I have been coming to these islands for about 33 years... which is startling since I am only 29. Cough. Over this time I have seen a lot of the major attractions available on the 7 mile long island. And over the years I have become less active in my desire to explore. I blame it on wine.
But now I have a son. [Everyone pretend that the previous statement didn't sound like I just *discovered I had a son after 11 years. I knew he was there.] And my son is a Boy Scout [damnit].
I'm still bitter about the lack of quality information I was given in Brownies and Girl Scouts. I can't think of ONE damn thing they taught me that I use today. Where as in the Boy Scouts I learned how to make a snare, tie a life-saving knot, understand the historical relevance of the county names in Maryland (yawn), start a fire, put out a fire, how to retire a flag, how to make a dozen people sick after inhaling toxic fumes from a synthetic torched flag that basically melted on to the logs and ruined the whole s'mores thing planned for later. How to make scrambled eggs in a ziplock back. How to throw away scrambled eggs in a ziplock bag without anyone watching (it looked like barf in a bag, be reasonable. I wasn't going to be eating that.) And all sorts of MUCH MORE INTERESTING STUFF that the Girl Scouts did not deem necessary for me to know. Their belief was much more along the lines of "Sell cookies, maintain your looks, sew patches on your sash in an orderly manner and finally, marry rich."
Well I have a boy and that mixed with the fact that I stumbled upon an old map of the Island Preserves that was tragically laid out - well, that was a recipe for hiking and ADVENCHA!
So back to the shitty map I found. It was one of those maps that was once a decent map. And then someone went on a quest to see how many times they could photo copy it before the letters turned into little unrecognizable blobs and the icons looked like squished mosquito deaths and because the universe is hysterical, it was somehow reproduced in a canted perspective, too. (They know how to hurt me.)
So right then and there I decided two things - 1) This map would be re-drawn and 2) I would personally need to investigate these Preserves to validate their existence. As if that could be done, haha. My bar for it being just another chunk of ferns and dirt and being "a Preserve" cue dramatic music - would be A SIGN.
Day One - Scudder Preserve (mid Island)
We found the road (alleluia), parked and made our way in. There was a SIGN (pictured below) and we enjoyed a path that seemed a lot more like an overgrown maintenance road. Then we found an abandoned house (it was an artists studio - I didn't want to diminish my groups spirits by pointing out that there were watercolors and a half used palette in the east room.) So it was an abandoned house. Seamus asked if we could keep it. I said no. Then he asked if we could break in, and my heart swelled in pride. "You really ARE my son aren't you?" Anyways - It was a lovely success and we only suffered about 3 bug bites on the 3 mile hike.
After the hike there was the experimental cooking of chicken, the making of yellow rice and then the parting of groups. Shannon and Seamus stayed with the chicken and rice while Scott and I attended the WWII Memorial Fund Lobstah Dinnah. We ate like pigs. It was amazing. These folks know their way around seafood. Bless them.