Exit 9 off of I91 in North Haven, Connecticut is the epitome of suburban shopping mall sprawl at its worst. I’m sure it’s great for the town coffers in terms of taxes and it does concentrate the big box stores into one area but it’s still an ocean of asphalt. You literally take your life into your own hands if you try to walk between the plazas. There are no sidewalks or crosswalks, let alone an actual crossing signal but sometimes that particular ocean is the only place to go to get what we need.
One day, as I was alone and willing to dodge cars in order to get from the Target plaza to the Ulta one, I walked along behind the buildings where the asphalt ends and the Quinnipiac River tidal marsh begins. It was quiet and beautifully wild. On my ten minute walk I saw red-wing blackbirds and heard the rustling of small creatures in the reeds. The contrast between the concrete jungle to the left and Nature to the right was laughable if incredibly dispiriting.
About a month ago a brown directional sign showed up on Universal Drive pointing to a Tidal Marsh walk. Sy and I talked about finding it but never made it over there.
I decided to go and find the walk recently and talked the girls into going with me. It was a nice day. Hot because it’s summer but not so oppressive that I wanted to hide in the air-conditioned house. I figured walking along a salt marsh there would be a breeze if nothing else. Breezes are good, especially in August.
Finding the trail head was little difficult. There was a bit of driving back and forth between plazas looking for more signage. I even let Cassie drive when we were looking behind the buildings. She recently obtained her learner’s permit for official id and was very excited to be driving in a plaza that actually had cars in it. They were few and far between but I suppose she could have hit one if she really tried. Her sister was less than impressed but we all survived the experience and eventually found the trail where people were emerging from the trees.
It’s a path, reasonably level and clear and best of all, almost entirely in the shade.
It goes along for about a mile and dead-ends at a bridge, possibly a railroad one. We would have had to scramble down a bank and up the bridge to figure it out and Sofie was getting tired and hungry by then.
It was a nice walk on a beautiful day with two of the people I love most in this world.