Saturday, November 5, 2011

A quick trip to old Cape Cod

Ah, old Cape Cod, the land of quaint "thickly settled" villages on narrow curvy roads, lovely old buildings, clam shacks, chowder, Pilgrims and, during the summer months, soul destroying traffic jams on those quaint,narrow, curvy roads.  Your diarist prefers the "off season".  Lodging is cheaper and many (but as we shall see, not all) things are still open.  Diaristwoman had a couple days off from the school where she works and so we decided to stretch that into a long weekend and head up to the Cape.  We left on Saturday morning in the midst of a Halloween Nor'easter--rain lashing down and temperatures falling.  The weather progs were bleating about significant snow accumulations but we went anyway figuring we'd be close enough to the coast to miss the white stuff.  We got to about Newark, New Jersey and the rain transitioned into snow.  Traffic slowed to a crawl as we approached the George Washington bridge which leads into NYC.  Long story short, the snow did make the roads greasy and people were doing stupid stuff with automobiles but by the time we got to the Connecticut/Rhode Island border the snow switched back to rain and remained in that state all the way to the Cape.  The slow pace gave diaristwoman plenty of time to research lodging and we eventually called in at the "Earl of Sandwich" motel in East Sandwich, Massachusetts.  After the long drive, the highlight of the day was a fine dinner at a restaurant over at nearby Mashpee Commons called "Bleu". The chef is irresistibly named Fredric Feufeu.   Bleu us not cheap, we dropped a cool Benjamin with Chef Feufeu, but we highly recommend it.  And yes, Gunnar, evenings at truly great restaurants are part of why diaristwoman lets me accumulate a backyard full of Moth Boats.  You can check out Bleu here:

 Sunday morning dawned grey and rainy.  Although the Cape missed the snows that indeed did fall west of route I-95, it got the full brunt of the winds which were also associated with this early snow storm.  Gusts during the night and up to mid-morning were in the 50 to 60 MPH range.  We were almost the only ones staying at the Earl of Sandwich Saturday night, but by the time we returned Sunday evening from a dash to the outer Cape the joint was jumping, mostly with locals staying at the motel (which still had electricity) after losing power at home.  But enough of power outages--what did we see that day as we drove out to the fist end of the Cape?  To start off with, we took route 6A, which runs along the north shore of the Cape rather than the faster but less scenic route 6 which runs through the middle of the Cape.  Route 6A is that typical narrow, winding Cape Cod style road which would be perfect in my Bugeye sprite but requires restraint as it goes through small villages such as Barnstable.  Sadly the shoulder-less. two lane road didn't provide many good places to  pull over for photography along the way, but in truth, the rain discouraged exiting the car for photo ops as well.  In the village of Truro we stopped at Truro Vinyards and sampled their offerings:  Refreshed, we carried on toward Race Point which is just north of Provincetown.

Approaching Race Point.  One can see the wildness of the dunes and the buckling of the road surface.  In many places the tarmac was well covered with sand.  Don't forget to click on the photos for larger views.

By the time we got to Race Point the rain had stopped but the wind was still up.  The sea was boiling.  We attempted to go for a walk along the beach but were immediately driven back to the car by the sand blasting we received as soon as we opened the door.

Herring Cove is a clothing optional beach.  No doubt something of a showplace in summer.  There were no Moth Boats to distract your diarist this day.

 Another look at the dunes and shattered roads along the outer Cape.

Looking across the dunes one can see the Pilgrim tower which is in the middle of "downtown" Provincetown.

Zooming in on the tower.  It kinda reminds me of the Bromo-seltzer tower in Baltimore!  See if you don't agree:

Finally, we leave you with a look at Wood End Light, one of three lighthouses found at the outer end of Cape Cod.  I'll continue with more of our Cape Cod adventure in the next post.  Stay tuned.

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