Thursday, August 1, 2019

Travel Blogger Bob Boutin and a Friend Visit Rhode Island's Gorge

Today we have the experienced travel blogger Bob Boutin sharing a great visit to the Blackstone Gorge in North Smithfield, RI! Welcome, Bob!
Rhode Island’s Gorge
If you’re a New Englander, then there’s a good chance that when you hear the word “gorge,”
you think of the northern New England states or western Massachusetts. Rhode Island
probably didn’t come to mind. However, tucked away in North Smithfield, RI right near
the Massachusetts border is the Blackstone Gorge.
Blackstone Gorge - Rolling Dam / Roaring DamT
The Rolling (or Roaring) Dam

At first, we thought it was just a waterfall. But come to find out, it’s more than that. This park
area crosses the Rhode Island/Massachusetts line, and the area is managed by both states.
I thought it was nice seeing both states getting along and working together, especially after
how Massachusetts treated Roger Williams.
Turns out that what we thought was a waterfall was really a dam. The Rolling Dam was c
reated in in 1886 so that the Blackstone Manufacturing Company could have water power
for the mills. The nearby Blackstone Gorge made it difficult to build anything near the dam,
so the company built their mills about a half mile downstream.

Entering the Blackstone Gorge

You really have to look for the entrance to the Blackstone Gorge. It’s well-hidden at the corner
of two side streets. There’s a parking lot that has room for about 20 cars. As we left the car,
we could already hear the dam, which was only a short walk away.
On the way, Benny noticed this colorful sign. What a great idea! We’ve seen other people
posting pictures of colored rocks on social media, but this was the first time we saw a setup
like this in person. He wanted to take all of the blue rocks. I know he can read the sign and
knew he was only supposed to take one; he was just seeing what he could get away with.
I made sure he ended up taking only one.
The Kindness Rocks Project in Blackstone, MA
Benny wanted to take all of the rocks. I told him “one and done!”

An older woman holding paddles passed us. “I’m going to die today!” she said exasperatedly,
whose sentiment was the exact opposite of the Kindness Rocks Project.
“Why?” I asked, not sure if I really wanted to get into this type of conversation at the moment.
“Look!” she said, pointing to two kayaks and an older man. “Look how close we’re going to
be to the falls!”
Small park area near the Rolling Dam in Blackstone, MA
Small park area near the dam. The boat launch is out of view to the right.

I could see why she was a bit nervous. The boat launch was literally right next to the falls.
And when I say literally, I mean within thirty feet. With the roaring of the powerful water
dropping over hard, unforgiving rocks, I would have been a bit hesitant to go kayaking
there too. But there was someone else further down kayaking, and it looked like he was fine.
I pointed him out to her, and told her so. It did little to alleviate her fears. She continued
walking to two kayaks near the boat ramp.
If you’re interested in kayaking up the Blackstone River from this spot, you should check
out the Blackstone River and Canal Guide.
The boat ramp near the Rolling Dam.
boat launch
Danger - dam ahead sign
If it weren’t for this dam sign, Benny would have jumped right into the water.

Views of the dam

It’s easy to get a good, close look at the dam. The best way is to go to the left of the park
area, or wrap around a short path and view the falls from a few yards downstream. If you
choose to go on the rocks, be aware that they can be a bit slippery when wet. The water’s
roar is loud enough to drown out your voice, so keep that in mind if you have inquisitive
family members or pets.
The Blackstone River at the Roaring Dam, near the Blackstone Gorge
The Blackstone River at the Roaring Dam, near the Blackstone GorgeDown the short path, there’s a rock you can sit on to take your perfect picture.


The trail down the river to the gorge

At this point, you may be wondering, “Where’s the gorge? You were supposed to tell me
where the Blackstone Gorge is!”
You’re right. After admiring the dam, you can take trail that follows the river. A few yards
down the path, you’ll cross state lines and enter Rhode Island. There are no signs that you’re
crossing state lines; you’ll have to trust me (and Google Maps). The trail isn’t too wide; you’ll
have to walk one-by-one. Parts of it are a bit rocky and there are roots in some places, so be
The Blackstone River, on the way to the Blackstone GorgeThe rocky path
Parts of the path are a bit rocky.

These precautions are a small price to pay for the beauty and seclusion that you’ll experience.
Within a few minutes, you’ll forget that you’re in southern New England; you’ll think you’re
somewhere in New Hampshire or Vermont.
The Blackstone River in North Smithfield.

Parents beware: If you’re hiking with the young ones, keep an eye on them. It’s a cool

and interesting place to explore, but at places there’s a steep drop of at least 50, 60,
or 70 feet. (I’m guesstimating. It’s high. Very high.)
Benny looking over the edge at the Blackstone Gorge
Benny looking over the edge. The black void is the river. 

If you enjoyed reading about the Blackstone Gorge, please share this post by using the
social media icons on the top and bottom of the article. Thanks!

If you like walking along rivers, you may also be interested in The Quequechan River Rail Trail.

About me:

I’m southern New England through and through: I was born and raised in Fall River,
went to school in Worcester, lived in East Providence for a while, and now I live near Cape Cod.
I love coffee milk, Coney Island sauce, and clamcakes and chowder.
My wife Christina is from Cranston,
and she’s been my West Bay Rhode Island tour guide ever since we started dating.

While I’ll go anywhere in the world (I can’t say no to a good adventure), I especially love
exploring the New England region and sharing what I’ve discovered with anyone who’ll listen.
I’ve been managing and writing my own blog,, for about a year now,
and one of the great things about my passion project is that it encourages me to find new
and interesting places to write about. Just having the blog in itself has encouraged me to
discover more about my own region! In an effort to learn about my immediate area, I’ve
recently begun the Things to do in MA and RI Facebook group. 

As you can see from the above post, I’ve been traveling a bit with Benny. My Del’s-loving
bear also likes adventure, but sometimes he can be a bit mischievous.
He keeps me on my toes.
We’d love to have you come along on our (mostly) New England adventures.
Why not subscribe so you never miss a post? Of course, you’re always welcome to visit
our Facebook page. If you know of someone who would love to discover New England with us,
feel free to send along these links. 

Thank you, Regina, for inviting me on your page. I look forward to visiting again!

Monday, June 17, 2019

Two Historical Romances, Each With a Mystery to Solve! Welcome, Author Linda Weaver Clarke!

Welcome, Author Linda Weaver Clarke! 

A Willow Valley Historical Romance

Angel’s Serenade is a Historical Romance with a mystery to solve. This story is set in 1836 in the United States. You will learn about the infamous River Pirates, the remedies for illnesses of that time period, the effects that music has on a person, and you will fall in love all over again.

Emmeline Scott is raising her sister’s two children and is surprised when she finds out the new doctor in town is helping her nephew adapt to his surroundings. As Emmeline gets to know the charming doctor, they become intrigued by her neighbor’s mysterious behavior. Will they discover his secret? And who is the leader of the River Pirates, who is causing so much havoc?

This book, combining children, doctors and music with a little bit of a mysterious pirate gang, is a lovely way to relax and enjoy positivity! Ms. Clarke has a gift for writing homey dialogue, and a deep understanding of children’s needs and feelings – all combined into a developing love story in the not-so-long-ago past. All of this results in an enjoyable read.” –Author Sherrill Cannon

When Emmeline is given the responsibility of raising her sister’s children, she finds out that it is not as easy as she thought. The children have a difficult time adapting to their new surroundings. Would giving them an education and all her love be enough? After her nephew meets the good doctor, Emmeline wonders why Sam is so drawn to him? When Doctor Lucas Golden finds out that he’s being picked on at school, he wants to help young Sam but his advice is unusual and Emmeline is not happy about his interference.

Clarke has created a sweet romance that will warm the heart, and it’s wrapped up in fascinating yesteryear details of courting, medical practice and river pirates. I highly recommend the book to those who enjoy sweet romance with a bit of mystery.” –Author Gail Pallotta

Emmeline Scott is an accomplished pianist and teaches piano to young students. Every day at five o’clock, after her last student is gone, she sits down at the piano and plays her favorite pieces. Unbeknown to Emmeline, the new doctor across the street sits outside on his porch and listens to her play. Lucas closes his practice at 5:00 and looks forward to being serenaded. It relaxes him after a long day at work. They haven’t been introduced, but he has dubbed her “Angel Lady” because of her music.

How about the mystery surrounding this story? Emmeline is worried about her neighbor. Why is Mr. Miller acting suspicious and meeting with disagreeable men in private? Is her neighbor harboring a secret, which may prevent him from winning the election? Is it possible that Emmeline can help or is it best to not get involved?


The first book in the Willow Valley Historical Romances is One Last Dance. In this story, Felicity Brooks is an artist but her career is cut short when her father passes away. When Felicity meets their new neighbor, a fine-looking bachelor, she soon discovers that he is hiding his true identity. Nicholas Adams is on a quest. But that is not all. When she finds out that someone is after a valuable heirloom…a precious treasure that her father had discovered in his attic, her life takes a new turn.

One Last Dance is a historical romance with a mystery to add to the tale. Felicity has always been a strong and independent woman. Amongst mystery, loss, paintings, and a career, she is going to have to decide if love has a place in her heart.” --Author Anna Del C Dye

Linda’s Website:

Here is a Video link for One Last Dance:

                                                        About Linda Weaver Clarke

Linda Weaver Clarke was raised among the Rocky Mountains of southern Idaho and now lives among the red hills of southern Utah. She is the author of Historical Romance, Mystery Suspense, Cozy Mysteries, Swashbuckling/Adventure Romance, a Children’s Book, and Nonfiction. Linda teaches a class about writing your family history that is free to the public at the Family Search Center in St. George, Utah. She is also a missionary at the Family Search Center where she helps people find their ancestors so they can learn about their heritage. To learn more, visit


Linda has graciously offered to give away both books to the person who wins the drawing at the end of her visit. So be sure and leave a comment to be eligible! Thank you, Linda!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Welcome, Author Linda Weaver Clarke! And a Giveaway!

Linda Weaver Clarke is not only a fantastic author and friend, she is a true keeper of historical facts and a preserver of the authenticity of yesteryear. In One Last Dance, she demonstrates her outstanding writing skills in writing clean and sweet romances, sweeping the reader away to another place and time in history.

GIVEAWAY!! Linda is so generous, too. She has offered an ebook copy to readers who answer the question: "Why do you enjoy reading clean historical romances?" Leave your reply and make sure you don't miss out on this great offer from a wonderful writer!

The Inspiring Story Behind 'One Last Dance'

Often times we hear about authors who write a story based upon a dream they had, but that never happened to me until now. One night I had a dream that was unforgettable. It had been a year since I had seen my father, and I never had a chance to say good-bye before he passed away at the age of 91. But I finally had that chance. In my dream, I was at a ball. Turning to my mother, I told her that I wanted to go home. But I would like to have one last dance with Dad first, I said.

When I turned around, I saw my father standing before me, looking handsome and youthful. When he slipped his coat off, I noticed he was wearing a suit. Looking up at him, I asked, “Dad? Could I have this one last dance before you go?”

He nodded and placed his hand around my waist, holding out his other hand for me to take. I felt the softness of his palm in mine and it felt so real. As we danced the waltz, I didn’t notice anyone else on the dance floor. It was just me and my father. When I leaned my head on his shoulder, it felt grand. As the dance came to an end, I looked up into his eyes and said, “Thanks, Dad, for one last dance.”

After waking up, it took me a while to realize that it had been a dream. It felt so real. After a few seconds, it dawned on me that I had danced with my father because I needed to say good-bye.

So this story begins with One Last Dance. Set in 1835, Felicity Brooks is a talented artist but her career is cut short when her father passes away. Realizing the importance of family, she travels home to care for her mother. When Felicity meets their charming new neighbor, a fine-looking bachelor, she soon discovers that he is hiding his true identity. Nicholas Adams is on a quest. But that is not all. Will one last dance heal her broken heart?

The Boston Waltz has an intriguing past. It received much criticism. After years of dancing at arm’s length, it was not readily accepted. To embrace one’s partner was unheard of and drew much criticism, especially among the pastors. In 1834, Lorenzo Papatino introduced this American Waltz, which was referred to as the Boston Waltz. It was much slower than the original waltzes in Germany and France. The waltz became popular among the country folk, but the upper class didn’t want to overstep the bounds of propriety. After a while, the waltz was gradually accepted.

One Last Dance is a historical romance with a mystery to add to the tale. Felicity has always been a strong and independent woman. Amongst mystery, loss, paintings, and a career, she is going to have to decide if love has a place in her heart.” --Author Anna Del C Dye

When Felicity finds out that someone is trying to steal a valuable treasure that her father discovered, the adventure begins. With the help of her neighbor, Nicholas Adams, they search for evidence. Who is breaking into her home? What are they after? While Nicholas and Felicity search for clues, they attend a county fair, enter a horse race, and toss a piece of cow dung in a contest.

“One thing that always keeps me reading this author’s books is her characters. They are engaging, funny and passionate. One Last Dance kept me guessing until the end and left me wanting to read this book all over again. If you like Historical Romance with a mysterious touch and well-developed characters, this book is a must-read.” --Author Katrina Hart

In One Last Dance, Felicity has the opportunity of dancing with her father in a dream. Some time later, she gets the opportunity of dancing the Boston Waltz with Nicholas Adams. At first, she hesitates because it hasn’t been completely accepted in society. Here is an excerpt:

“The Boston Waltz?” Nicholas winked at her. “How about it? It’s become quite popular lately.”

Felicity loved the waltz so much, that she was even dreaming about it. Ever since the Boston Waltz was introduced, the dance steps intrigued Felicity and she enjoyed the rhythm of the new dance. Looking around, Felicity noticed that everyone was staring at them. What was she to do? Many felt it wasn’t proper behavior. But apparently Nicholas didn’t care for convention. What would her aunt think if she chose to dance the waltz?

“Come on,” coaxed Nicholas. “Let’s show them how it’s done.” With his hand firmly around her waist, he extended the other toward her. “Take it. It’ll be fun.”

When she saw Louise frowning with both hands on her hips, Felicity took a deep breath and placed her hand in his. Then she placed the other on his shoulder. “I’m ready. Let’s do it.”

Within seconds, she was gently whirling around the room. Nicholas knew his steps very well and she had no problem following him. When he smiled at her, an inner joy crept through her. She was really enjoying herself. Suddenly, everyone and everything around her seemed to disappear. It was just the two of them and she felt as if she were floating about the room. When Felicity felt his breath upon her cheek, she looked up and noticed that he was watching her. She could feel his hand gently squeezing hers, giving her the message that he was enjoying himself. The touch of his hand upon her waist seemed to draw her near. The catchy rhythm, along with the close physical contact, made the dance quite desirable. He was having a wonderful time and so was she.

As the waltz came to a close, he looked into her eyes and said, “Wasn’t that fun? We should do it again sometime.”

One Last Dance is a Historical Romance with a mystery to be solved. You will learn the art of watercolor, dance the Boston Waltz, and watch romance blossom before your eyes.

Here is a Book Trailer that sets the mood of this story.

About Author: Linda Weaver Clarke was raised among the Rocky Mountains of southern Idaho and now lives among the red hills of southern Utah. Linda is the author of 24 books. She has written in several different genres, which include: historical romances, romantic cozy mysteries, a mystery suspense series, children’s book, and non-fiction. All her books are family friendly.

Linda’s Website: