Early in August, I picked up one of my hiking buddies and headed for a midweek jaunt to Sears Island. My friend is into the history of a pre-Columbian culture known as the Red Paint People and she thought we might locate some evidence of their existence on the island. Checking the tides for Sears Island (since parts of the beach become impassable as the tide comes in), I scheduled our arrival just before the 11am low tide and well before the 2pm rains.
My thought was that we would walk along the beach to the Blue Trail, returning to the car via the dirt road running through the middle of the island. After parking the car along the causeway, we immediately headed down to the beach to begin our explorations. I soon discovered that this side of Sears Island was a cobble beach which made walking a little bit difficult. I realized what my daughter meant when she told me to wear my hiking boots because there were ankle twisting rocks along the beach.
Even though the early part of our stroll wasn’t too difficult, we still needed to watch out step along the rocks. We meandered along the beach while my friend told me some fascinating “spirit stories” of the local tribes. Soon, we discovered a driftwood hut perched near a grassy area slightly above the beach. I had seen pictures of this structure on other blogs and it was kind of interesting to note the changes in the structure as the years went by. It would seem that some visitors have added to this shelter over time.
As we walked slowly along the beach, my friend picked up various smooth, indented rocks and showed me how these stones could have been used as tools by the native population. She really tried hard to have me imagine how the stone could fit into the palm of someone’s hand and be used for grinding grain or scraping or hammering. Unfortunately, I only saw a stone. However, I did find an interesting stone with lines etched into it that I could imagine was writing of some kind.
After traveling for an hour over the uneven layer of rocks beneath our feet we thought we should be getting close to the Blue Trail. A few people behind us, called to us and asked if we knew how much further to the trail as they were getting tired. We could not tell where we were on the map, since not all the little coves were marked. A woman coming the other way informed us that we were probably another hour from the trailhead. Hearing this the party that had asked the question decided to turn back. I looked at my friend and urged her on, promising that we would stop for a snack break before we headed to the interior of the island.
Although my friend started to complain a little, we trudged on. We did stop occasionally to admire the circular formation of the rocks beneath our feet, and a small cave that was probably formed by the tides. Every time we rounded another bend we expected to see the trail but continued to be disappointed. A few people told us we needed to look for the blue buoys that marked the trail beyond the second cove. Finally 2 hours from the car, I asked a woman if we were close to the trail. She pointed around the curve and told me it was right there. Sure enough, a string of buoys marked the trail; a trail that would not have been visible otherwise.
We sat on a rather large log and enjoyed the view while we ate our snack. Heading into the interior of the island, I noticed the first part of the trail was lined with ferns and conifers.Some trimming had been done recently, for I noticed cluster of green branches on the ground with one bright red leaf resting in the middle. It wasn’t long before the Blue Trail intersected with the dirt road.
We travelled along this path for almost an hour, noting the berry bushes along each side and the stone walls further in the woods. Occasionally, we felt a few drops of rain and hoped we could make it back to the car before the rain set in. At 2:07 we were 10 to 15 feet away from the car when the heavens opened with a torrential rain. We were drenched before we reached our destination. It had been a great day of discoveries and exploration, although a bit wet near the end.