August 1: I’m back in the land of onshore flow!

For those who don’t live on the rainy side of the Cascades, that means I’m getting an ocean breeze, aka natural AC, and I am so expletive-deleted happy about it I could spit. It only got to 75dF where I am today, which, admittedly, is on Cape Cod, which means I’m surrounded by ocean, so that may have something to do with it [g].

I got kind of a late start this morning, trying to decide which direction to go, and wound up heading down to the Cape, as they say locally. Distances are so short in this part of the world that looking at a map makes me feel like things are much farther than they should be. I’m used to looking at a map of, say, Washington, all on one page, but putting something 400 miles across on one page is way different than putting something only about 150 miles across on one page.

The Cape Cod Canal, from a viewpoint on the Cape side of the Sagamore Bridge.
The Cape Cod Canal, from a viewpoint on the Cape side of the Sagamore Bridge.

Anyway, so I arrived at the Sagamore Bridge about eleven in the morning, and crossed the Cape Cod Canal (which technically makes the Cape an island, but whatever). First I took what was marked on the map as a scenic route along the edge of the bay, but I never did get a glimpse of the water from it (I mean, why else would it be marked scenic? – mostly what I saw was a lot of trees and little shops and stuff), so after lunch in Hyannis, I got onto the main highway and made time to the “real” Cape, which to me is Cape Cod National Seashore.

I stopped at the visitor center at Salt Pond and got myself oriented, as well as asking where to camp. Turns out the National Seashore does not have campgrounds of its own, and the private campgrounds on the Cape are expensive. I’m paying considerably more for a campsite here than I paid for my motel in Williamsburg. Which is just Wrong. It is a nice campground, though, with showers and laundry facilities, among other things.

The ocean side of the Cape, from where Marconi sent the first wireless transmission between the U.S. and the U.K.
The ocean side of the Cape, from where Marconi sent the first wireless transmission between the U.S. and the U.K.
I'd never seen white wild roses before, but they were all over the place at the Marconi walk.
I’d never seen white wild roses before, but they were all over the place at the Marconi walk.
This is knapweed, which is lovely and all over the place on the Cape. Too bad it's considered a noxious weed.
This is knapweed, which is lovely and all over the place on the Cape. Too bad it’s considered a noxious weed.
One of the beaches on the ocean side of the Cape, with lots of sunbathers.
One of the beaches on the ocean side of the Cape, with lots of sunbathers.
Cape Cod Lighthouse. There are over half a dozen lighthouses on the Cape, but this was the first one -- or, rather, this is the one they rebuilt in the 1850s after the one from the 1790s burned down or something.
Cape Cod Lighthouse. There are over half a dozen lighthouses on the Cape, but this was the first one — or, rather, this is the one they rebuilt in the 1850s after the one from the 1790s burned down or something.
This small Fresnel lens was inside the keeper's quarters of the Cape Cod Lighthouse. The original -- first order! -- lens was destroyed!!! when the lighthouse was automated, which was a horrible crime, IMHO.
This small Fresnel lens was inside the keeper’s quarters of the Cape Cod Lighthouse. The original — first order! — lens was destroyed!!! when the lighthouse was automated, which was a horrible crime, IMHO.

This afternoon I drove all the way to Provincetown, stopping at a couple of places along the way (although I intend to do some more exploring in that direction tomorrow), including a lighthouse and another visitor center, as well as several beaches and the place where Marconi sent the first wireless signal from the U.S. to the U.K. (yes, I know he sent a signal from Canada to the U.K. before that, but still [g]). I really love this place, in spite of the summer crowds, and in spite of the fact that swimming in the ocean is not my thing (it seems really weird to me, AAMOF, but then I’ve been living for 23 years in a place where swimming in the ocean without a wetsuit, no matter what time of year it is, will give you hypothermia).

It’s so beautiful here. The dunes are a surreal landscape, the lighthouses are charming, and even the busy little tourist towns are cute. I’m glad I decided to stay two nights here, and I’m looking forward to doing some more exploring tomorrow.

The sky from the Province Lands visitor center near Provincetown. The skies are amazing here.
The sky from the Province Lands visitor center near Provincetown. The skies are amazing here.
The Race Point Lighthouse at the very tip of the Cape, taken with all the zoom my little camera could muster.
The Race Point Lighthouse at the very tip of the Cape, taken with all the zoom my little camera could muster.