Expotitions to Birch Point

“Didn’t we used to walk over here and eat lunch?” “Is this place only accessible in a kayak?”

Yes, we used to walk to the Birch Point range light. We walked there at all times of the day. Early in the morning or in the evening during the northern sunset that goes on forever. Yes, sometimes we packed a lunch. We would sit on the big cement block to eat.

To get there, we would walk down to the beach and head down past the stream at the Stevens Attie end of the beach. After Morgan’s Piedmont’s, was the first of two rocky little peninsulas with a kind of little cove in between them. This little point was fairly easy to walk around on the rocks but if we wanted a bit more adventure, there was a path through the woods, so we often took that instead. Then we made our way through the little cove, which featured narrow sand and gravel beaches, lots of docks to climb over and places where we had to walk on stone walls that people had built along the front edge of their lawns. For a while, somebody was using an abandoned dredge pipe for a dock and if nobody was home there, we would crawl through it out to the end and back. After the cove, there was a point that we really couldn’t easily walk around but there was a beautiful path through the woods. Then a sand beach and… Birch Point! Our destination!

One time I tried to recreate the whole experience for my kids: Lizard, who was about 5 or 6 at the time, and Mouse and Valdemort, who would have been about 3 or 4. We got down to the end of the beach and around the first point and were making our way through the cove. We got to the Cullis Doelle Armstrong cabin house, where there is a rock wall to walk, and everything was going pretty okay.

Until Zoe came along. I’m not sure if this Zoe was Zoe I or Zoe II, we’re up to Zoe IV these days. All Zoes are friendly St. Bernard dogs with no ill intentions but the kids didn’t give this Zoe any time to prove herself. Mouse and Valdemort climbed straight up either side of me. I could tell that Lizard Breath wanted to climb too but there was no climbing terrain left. Everybody was screaming bloody murder except for me. I was standing there feeling something like stupifaction or whatever. What on earth do I do now? Zoe’s owner called her home and I made an executive decision to scrub the expotition. We headed for home and as we passed one cabin, a terrified elderly woman came outside and asked us if there had been a bear! Well, not that day, thank fate for small favors.

It isn’t that easy to walk over to Birch Point any more. The paths through the woods are gone, filled in by cabins or houses. The water is low enough in recent years that it’s probably pretty easy to walk on the rocks around the points. But the world just isn’t the same. Back in the day, I think the neighbors on our way to Birch Point figured we were just urchins from over on the beach and they probably knew our grandparents. We never bothered anything on anyone’s property, we were more interested in the adventure involved in an expotition to Birch Point! Times have changed though and I’m not sure that the neighbors these days would be all that happy to have people walking along their walls or climbing over their docks.

So, yes, you can walk to Birch Point, but I’m more likely to paddle a kayak over there these days. And then again, maybe I should try to walk over there again…

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