Friday, August 08, 2008

Cape Cod, MA

Beached boat

Our first trip to Cape Cod was all the way to Provincetown on the tip. Traffic was light all the way allowing us to make it in about 2 hours from base camp. After a minor squabble with the parking attendant I managed to calm him down enough to get some advice on beaches and hiking trails. Apparently the Provincetown beaches are very close to the harbor where boaters tend to dump their waste (aka stinky poo-poo) which is the reason why this 24 year resident warned us that swimming from the local beach is not something he recommends. Instead he suggested one of the many beaches along the National Seashore (pdf map here) where we could also hike one of the many trails. He also warned me that this year was seeing a high level of inappropriate trailside behavior. "Just use the blinders.", he said as he demonstrated using his hand at the edge of his eyes. I think he winked at me too but I can't be certain.

Race Point Beach was our first Cape Cod beach. It was beautiful. It was a hot sunny day and the Atlantic was definitely refreshing. We relaxed here for a few hours before heading down the shoreline to check out another National Seashore beach. Once purchased, the day pass for this area allows you to park and visit any of the beaches in the Cape Cod National Seashore park. If you're Dutch, you will hear the word "free" in there somewhere.

Race Point Beach, Cape Cod
Kid crashing wave Mermaid's purse

Our next stop was Nauset Beach. We arrived at about 2:30pm and the lot was full but the wait for an opening was not long. This beach was definitely the most memorable beach for us. The waves were much bigger than at Race Point and the water was slightly warmer too. We spent another 2-3 hours here relaxing and taking photos of each other wiping out in the crashing waves. As the day wore on the waves started getting bigger and they were curling out further from shore. This meant that fewer people were being swept off their feet and more surfers were pulling out their boards. Another entertainment scene was about to unfold.

Nauset Beach, Cape Cod
Nauset Beach, Cape Cod Wipe-out Swallowed by a wave

Finally we left the beach and started to make our trek back to base camp. At one point I decided to turn off and explore one of the Cape side beaches. First Encounter Beach ended up being the random pick. We arrived about an hour before one of the most spectacular sunsets I've every seen. The colours popping out of the sky and water were amazing. Impossible to catch on camera but I tried.

First Encounter Beach sunset
Sunset over Cape Cod First Encounter Beach sunset

The last day on the Cape we drove down to Woods Hole and Hyannis Port, summer getaway for the Kennedys. We also managed to squeeze in a tour of the Cape Cod Potato Chip factory where we scored some free samples and of course one last trip to a beach. This time we hit Town Neck Beach in Sandwich where we could watch the boats, large and small, come and go through the canal.

Cape Cod Potato Chips Cruise ship leaving Cape canal
Town Neck Beach, Cape Cod Smelly dead crab

Oh, and we did see another lighthouse or two along the way.

Nobska Lighthouse

Another great day spent making memories. All said and done, we still have several things left on our Cape Cod to-do list... oh well, there's always next year.

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