October 8 - 13, 2019: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
The next place we wanted to visit was Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It was a long way from Marmora, New Jersey so we stopped along the way in Branford, Connecticut and spent the night in a Park N' Ride lot near Walmart. On the way we traveled along US206 and Interstate 287 so we crossed into New York and Connecticut. We were trying to avoid the New York City area so we swung wide around the City.
We pretty much avoided Toll Roads until we crossed the Husdon River near Hamilton Fish, New York. We have kind of stopped trying to avoid the Toll Road just because in the Eastern States they are everywhere. Since we are pulling a trailer and prices vary depending on the day of the week, the least we have paid is $1.50 and the most has been $24.00 - ouch that one hurt!
A few of the really cool towns we drove through were Princeton, New Jersey (home to Princeton University) and New Haven, Connecticut (home of Yale University).
As you can see from the pictures, the Fall colors are starting to appear. It was an overcast day so the pictures do not do justice to the colors.
This Semi rollover had traffic backed up about 5-7 miles. We were so glad we were going North vs. South!
The next morning we headed out bright and early for Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We drove on US95 through Connecticut into Rhode Island towards Providence and then into Massachusetts. As you can see from the pictures lately, I have developed a fascination for bridges. There are some very cool designs all over the States and some of the ones below are from Massachusetts and they are MASSIVE!
All of the towns that we have been through are really cool. One of them was Fall River, MA and this was made famous by Lizzy Borden. It was also a very large textile area with a lot of textile mills. It looks like some of them have been converted into businesses which is kind of cool.
Interesting...history for all of this area!
Once we crossed the Bourne Bridge, onto Cape Cod, I realized....LOBSTER. OMG...I can get Lobster again ; ) And....Craig loved the names of these two towns. Sandwich and Mashpee. He kept saying he was going to eat Mashpee with his Sandwich ; )
We stayed at Shady Knoll Campground in Brewster. We chose this spot because it was central on the Cape and also close to the Cape Cod Rail Trail which we wanted to use to ride around all of the little towns on the Cape.
As with the other campgrounds, it is end of the season and no one is around. This campground closed on October 14 for the season and we left on October 13. The shower houses had great showers with a lot of pressure and it was HOT! Perfect!!!
Our first night in town we went to Lost Dog Pub (loved their logo and moto) for dinner and had New England Clam Chowder - YUM!
Unfortunately, during our stay it rained every day and the wind blew hard! The rain was between a mist or very hard and same as the wind. The trailer would rock and it was almost worse than the hurricane we experienced in Assateague Island National Seashore. The temperatures were 58f during the day and 52f at night. For the first time in months we started wearing pants!
Even with the rain and wind, we still ventured out and explored the different towns. One of the days we visited Chatham, MA which is on the Southern Coast of The Cape. We stopped by Chatham Perk for coffee and dessert and decided to have lunch because their menu looked awesome. Wow...their desserts were awesome (notice the shark fin cupcakes) and I loved the fact they have no internet, they encourage you to talk....wow....what a concept!
We then went down to waterfront to see the lighthouse and learned that the Rescue of the Pendleton (see the movie The Finest Hours) was from the Coast Guard at the Chatham Lighthouse. That is a great factual movie if you have not seen it.
And you can see how much it was raining by the puddle in the street.
We walked down to the beach and it was...cold...rainy...and windy! Needless to say, we did not stay long : )
We also saw that this is the area for...Atlantic White Sharks and their peak season is October! After we got back to the truck, we sat inside of it with our binoculars looking for sea lions and sharks : ) We then drove to the pier to watch the sea lions playing in the water.
One of the things we saw in Chatham was the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, unfortunately they were closed this day, so we stopped by another day. For those that do not know, I have a facination for sharks and that is why I took up scuba diving, so that I could dive with them ; ) Yes...crazy girl! The goal of the Conservancy is to educate the public about the Great White Shark through research, conservation, and public safety programs based in Cape Cod. They tag Great Whites and have a phone app called "Sharktivity" that you can download and see where shark sightings have been. It was fun for me to download the app and then try to spot Great Whites anytime we were near the water! Of course, we never saw any, but that did not stop us from looking!
They had a small display area with great information and the only live sharks were two little Chain Dogfish.
We took a day and drove to Plymouth, MA which was the site of the first Pilgrim settlement, founded in 1620. We visited Plymouth Rock, a boulder in Pilgrim Memorial State Park, which marks the place where the settlers are thought to have landed on shore. The Mayflower II, is a replica of the actual Mayflower and we were going to visit it, however it was undergoing restoration and not in the harbor.
As you can see from the pictures the wind and rain were pretty intense!
We found a coffee shop on Main Street and enjoyed a cup of tea while we dried off, watched the rain, and people watched from inside a warm dry store : )
One of the days we were able to have dinner with our friend Elizabeth and meet her husband Mike. They recently moved to Barnstable, Cape Cod from Colorado Springs where we tried to connect with them but missed each other. It was great to see Elizabeth and Mike and catch up after all of these years!
A funny thing about our dinner was during any NFL game there are 'food specials'. The Patriots were playing the Giants so...we took advantage of the specials. 1/2 price appetizers and wings or tenders for .39 cents each. You could get a variety of sauces so...thinking the sauces came in little cups you could dip into, I ordered Blueberry, Chipolte, and Spicy. Mike did the same....well what we didn't realize was...each order was 10 wings or tenders with the sauce spread over the top. So...I had 10 tenders with Blueberry, 10 tenders with Chipolte, 10 tenders with Spicy. And...so did Mike. So total we had 6 x 10 = 60 tenders, a plate of normal nachos, a plate of potatoe nachoes, a plate of artichoke dip, and fish & chips. OMG....it was hilarious! We had to pull an extra table over to hold all of our food and we both took a TON of food home for leftovers.
Thank you two for dinner and a great evening!
Trying to think of things to do indoors and stay out of the rain, one of the evenings we went to see a movie in Hyannis, MA. We saw Ad Aster which was pretty good.
We visited the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV - we call ours in Idaho DMV) and purchased an EZPass Transponder for Toll Roads. We figured we might as well do it since we still have months of Toll Roads we will be passing.
Another day I stayed in the trailer working on the computer all day, Craig ran into the town of Brewster to mail some packages, and he did laundry in the campground.
Our last day in Cape Cod, we drove to Provincetown, MA or as the locals call it "P-Town". This was the only day that we had no 'hard' rain. It was a light sprinkle off and on, but for the most part the best weather so far.
Funny thing is that there are wild turkeys EVERYWHERE....the one below walked across the road and right in front of our truck. The little turkey!
The other pictures are examples of houses the terrain, houses, and buildings. Very typical Cape Cod. And the history...Eastham established in 1651. Great history!
This area really reminded us of the Oregon Coast because of the houses right on the water and the style and colors of them. You cannot tell from the second picture, but it is the Welcome Sign to Provincetown, MA. Provincetown was founded in 1727 and said to have been the first spot that the Pilgrims landed. They did not establish a town here and sailed around to Plymouth to establish their first town.
The tower you can see in the mist is the Pilgrim Monument. We did not tour it or the museum because we knew we would lose daylight quickly and wanted to visit the beach first. Or...the furthest spot on Cape Cod.
We drove through town to Herring Cove Beach which is in the Cape Cod National Seashore Park and wandered the beach looking for treasures. We watched a seagull eating a crab for lunch, found some very cool shell critters stuck to rocks, Craig found a skeleton to some kind of bird that was wrapped in seaweed, I 'shopped' for rocks to take home, and of course used the binoculars looking to the Atlantic White Shark...did not see any though ; (
We then drove back into Provincetown to get warm, have lunch, and maybe a dessert. We wandered around the town admiring the architecture and having a blast people watching. It was a chilly 55f Saturday afternoon and the streets were busy. I cannot imagine what it would be like here on a nice sunny summer day. Crazy!
Since I had not had any Lobster for a while, that is what I wanted for lunch. We did not go to the Lobster Pot because their selections for Craig were minimal. So we ate at The Squealing Pig, I had a Lobster Roll and Craig had a BLT sandwich. We then enjoyed a tea from the Wired Puppy (love the name) and wandered down to the water to people watch.
As we walked back to the truck, we noticed the white pickup parked next to us was from...Oregon! Wow, I guess we are not the furthest West Coast people on the East Coast!
As we were leaving town, we drove on Cemetery Road and...it goes right through a Cemetery. How cool is that? I wish we would have had more time so we could have wandered through the headstones reading dates and stories. The picture out Craig's window is a crypt built into a hillside. This whole section had a lot of these. Man...we really should have stopped to explore and read. I bet there are some very old fascinating headstones in this whole part of Massachusetts!
Provincetown would be a great town to ride bicycles and the Cape Cod Rail Trail, it was too bad the weather did not cooperate for us.
On our drive home, we saw a few rafter (we call them flocks) of turkeys along the sides of the roads. Don't these guys realize that Thanksgiving is coming up and they need to start hiding in the woods?
We spent 5 days in Cape Cod and it rained about 90% each day. It was too bad because we really wanted to get out and ride bicycles on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, but the rain and winds were pretty intense. Although on the day we were driving out, we had blue sky and sunshine - YEAH! We contemplated staying one more day, but had plans to attend a concert in Stratton, Vermont that evening, so we hit the road. At least we know what it 'could' be like!
The whole Cape has a ton of history and really cool little towns. We visited Brewster, Chatham, Plymouth, Orleans, Provincetown, and drove through Dennis, Hyannis, and Barnstable many times. It would have been fun to take a ferry over to Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard, however they cancelled the ferries multiple days due to weather. So...we still explored a little and made due with the weather. We decided that we would like to come back and explore the Cape more and spend more time.
Oh, as a side note, we are still finding about 3-5 stink bugs per day. If you recall, these are the ones we picked up in Susquehanna State Park in Maryland. No idea where all of these little buggers are hiding, but...they come out of the woodwork daily. Even...clothes we have been wearing, you go to put it on and...stink bug in the pant leg. ICK! I wonder how long it will take us to get rid of these things : (
So...until next time Cape Cod!
Oh and...Dennis (Craig's dad), we found a town named after you ; )