Fire Island Beach Walk
By Richard Wong
A beach walk on Fire Island the day after the Summer Solstice, the First Day of Summer and the longest day of the
year. Not being into the "power hikes" some of the regular members like, I thought a walk on Fire Island sounded good and would be a break from the regular grind. I have never been to Fire
Island before and being a little slack in showing up for hikes this year due to other commitments, I was feeling in need of a little activity, so off I went.
We were to meet up at the Flushing Municipal
Parking lot in Queens and receive directions and car pooling assignments to Fire Island at 2pm. I grabbed a ride to the meeting site and Fire Island from Ray and Sara, a couple of regular CMC'ers which I think
every new member gets to know or should get to know. Good people.
Knowing the event would be an evening hike, I got there early and grabbed lunch in Flushing with a fellow hiker and friend, Kady, who
knows the area. After meeting at 2PM in the Parking Lot, we got a late start and ran into heavy traffic conditions, (imagine that, everyone else seemed to want to go Jones Beach that day!) but we finally made
it to the Bayshore Ferry Terminal. Due to the delays we had to wait about an hour for the next ferry to Ocean Beach on Fire Island. That was where I got asked by Ray and Yolanda to provide this little
trip write up.
The ferry ride to Fire Island was a good break from the traffic and hot weather.
There are not too many experiences as soothing as the sound of waves splashing against the hull and the cool wind blowing through your hair. After getting off the ferry everyone got a dinner break to grab a bite at the local stores or to find a spot to eat whatever they brought with them before meeting on the beach at 6:30PM for the walk.
It has been a few years since I have been to a beach, any beach. I think the one on Fire Island is exceptional just because beaches on Long Island are notoriously rocky, but this one is sandy fairly
clean and not crowded. I had switched to sandals from my hiking shoes for the walk just so I could walk in and out of the water and feel the cold crisp waves snapping against the shore. Mother Nature is
the best artist, a living sculpture of basic elements with infinite variety. I tuned my radio to some good tunes and just enjoyed the feeling of being content with where I was and what I was doing.
Basically, when I looked up from my internal revelry, I had found I had lost track of time and a good portion of the group, but it was not really a big problem. The group leaders, (Yolanda, Josephine and
Maria) at the beginning of the hike, had tied yellow ribbons on the entrance to the path back to the ferry from the beach. There was no worry about getting lost since all the paths off the beach essentially
look the same.
I saw that Yolanda and Maria was leading a small group inland to find an overlook spot to watch the sunset.Â I followed them part way but eventually decided to return to the beach since I
preferred to be walking on the beach. Along the way back to the beach, I met two new CMC members who were heading back also since it was getting late and we were rapidly loosing daylight. Further along
the way back, I ran into a few more CMC'ers looking for the path back to the ferry and mentioned to them to look for the yellow ribbons.
As I took one last look and headed off the beach on to the path back to
the ferry terminal, and what would be the start of a long trip back home I could not help thinking the day was too short.