July 5, 2013

7/2/13 - Cape Cod NS

If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air...

After sitting through some storms in the 5th wheel this week, I was glad when the weather was finally decent enough to go to Cape Cod National Seashore. After all, if you're staying at an RV park called "Gateway to Cape Cod", you need to go through the gate. 


We stopped first at the Salt Pond Visitor Center.  The pond is in front of the fence. In the distance is Salt Pond Bay.

Cape Cod is composed of rock debris from old glaciers.  Doane Rock is a boulder dumped by one of them.  I talked George into climbing up on it.  Not bad for an old guy!
We stopped at a couple of beaches, but the parking lots were already full.  Continuing north, I took a quick picture of Nauset Light while we were stopped at a light.  Lighthouses around here are like chess pieces; they move them from place to place when erosion claims the bluffs they're on.  This one was moved from Chatham in 1923.
The Three Sisters Lighthouses used to be at Nauset Beach. They moved the 19th century wooden buildings to Cable Road and arranged them in their original configuration.
Next stop was Marconi Beach. There's a boardwalk from the parking lot, then brand-new stairs from the bluff to the sand.  I'm not sure if rebuilding the stairs is an annual occurrence from winter storms, or one of the effects of Hurricane Sandy.  Or maybe they just wore out...
The surf wasn't very impressive, but some extremely optimistic surfers lazed in the water anyway.  There's a sign that advises great white sharks live there, and to avoid swimming near seals. We didn't see either, but surfing doesn't sound a viable option to me!  I'd be afraid my wetsuit and surfboard could be confused for a seal, and I don't think sharks are that picky anyway.
We stopped at the Province Lands Visitor Center, went up to the observation deck. It was pretty hazy so we could barely see the Pilgrim Monument at Provincetown. The pilgrims landed there in November, 1620, and probably couldn't see much better.
We had a picnic at Race Point Beach, although George kept asking me why I wanted to. I don't think he gets as excited about the beach as I do.  Maybe it's the sand in the sandwich? 
There's a ranger station nearby, and the sky was finally starting to blue up a bit.
We drove through Provincetown, but it was just before the 4th of July.  Short narrow streets with hundreds of people charging down the middle of them--and not a single parking place. I took one picture of the Pilgrim Monument, but we couldn't get to the museum. 
We crossed the dunes to Head of the Meadow Beach, which has a sandbar during low tide. The ranger told us sometimes there are seals basking there, but there weren't any today.  You'd think it would be a great source of amusement for them to watch people struggle across the water to get to the sandbar, then on to the shore.  After all, we thought it was rather entertaining. (At first I thought these guys were going to drop the baby in the water, but it's just beach chairs. )

More pictures of the beach: Cape Cod Natl Seashore

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