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Published: July 22nd 2013
22 July, 2013
You know, sometimes just the name of a place will create a mental image of that place, even if you’ve never been there. Or maybe it’s a place you read about in a book and you picture it a certain way. Well, I had a picture of Cape Cod in my imagination, but it wasn’t a whole like the reality of the place.
We drove to Cape Cod this morning expecting to see beaches all along the way, but that is not what you see. You don’t even get a glimpse of the ocean or the bay for more than 30 miles. There are some ponds, and you can take side roads off of Highway 6, but you still may not see much. Even on roads with names like “Ocean View Drive” you may not get more than a peek at the ocean or the beach unless you’re willing to pay $10 to park and walk on the beach. You do see dunes, and Cape Cod has magnificent dunes. Cape Cod also has houses with shingled sides, just as I imagined, but most of them are not on the ocean. Down towards Provincetown, at the end
Do Not Pass
Duh! There's a bump and cones in the middle of the road.
of Cape Cod, the land is mostly Cape Cod National Seashore and thus has open beaches and no houses. There the beach is beautiful and available for the cost of admission, or as in our case, free with a senior National Park Pass. We also stopped at the Herring Cove Beach, which was also very nice.
We saw lighthouses. Nauset Light was white with a nice red stripe. Nearby were the little three sisters lights. We stopped and saw Cape Cod Light also known as Highlands Light. Why do things in Massachusetts have more than one name? Down at Race Point they have a very nice white lighthouse, called, interestingly enough, Race Point Light. And nearby is the Old Harbor Life-Saving Station, which is now also a museum. We saw a very tall, unusual-looking tower Kerry thought was a lighthouse, but it was the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, which can be seen from a pretty good distance. Did you know that the pilgrims on the Mayflower first landed on Cape Cod and spent more than a month exploring it before settling in Plymouth. And they were aiming for the mouth of the Hudson River, but missed and ended up
in Cape Cod Bay instead.
Another thing Cape Cod has is Traffic (and with a capital T.) This is Monday and we had bouts of stop and go traffic lasting for several miles more than once. What they don’t have is patience. If this lane isn’t moving and the other is, let’s try that lane, then switch back. Of course the roads changing from 4 lanes to 2 without warning can cause traffic to back up. They do have signs that tell you a no passing zone is coming up. Apparently in Massachusetts it’s also legal to pass on the right, because lots of folks do it. If someone is waiting to turn left, just zip past them on the shoulder of the road. Of course the multitudes of bicyclists on the road take their lives in their hands.
So all in all, it was an interesting day. We’ve seen Cape Cod. We got souvenirs. We’re done with that.
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