To The Beach!

Regular readers of this publication (there are at least three or four of you, which is a hefty increase from the one or two who were tuning in a year ago) might be sick of hearing me extol Cape Cod. You know what? Sue me. I traipse through life under numerous aliases, so you’ll never track me down.

The Outer Cape's sand cliff-backed ocean coastline.
The Outer Cape’s sand cliff-backed ocean coastline.

This, then, is another story revolving around The Cape, a locale that I and my wife Sandy most favor. We find Cape Cod to carry a pretty perfect combination of attributes and personality traits. Overall it is scenically beautiful, which is why we spend much time outdoors, way more than we do back home. And, if you know where to go, you’ll find expansive and mostly undeveloped shoreline and forested and sand dune areas that are far beyond beautiful. Awe-inspiring and majestic are words I’d use to describe those sections, especially the Outer Cape’s long stretches of sand cliff-backed ocean coastline and crazily huge dunes. What’s more, Cape Cod is nicely doused with cute villages, good art galleries and museums, small theater companies and plenty of cinemas and restaurants. All of this is right up my and Sandy’s alleys. We’re at ease, wowed and highly entertained on Cape Cod.

We were on Cape Cod for a spell earlier this month, based in a somewhat secluded part of Orleans, one of The Cape’s 15 townships. The Atlantic Ocean, which paws at and sometimes pounds CC’s eastern border, was near our rented house. Ditto for the endless extent of sands that goes hand-in-hand with the ocean. In other words, double duh, the beach. I’ve racked up many miles of hiking and strolling on Orleans’ share of the ocean beach over the years, and also on the portions within the boundaries of other Cape townships such as Wellfleet and Truro.

Normally when I’m out on Cape Cod’s sands (be they beside the ocean or Cape Cod Bay or Nantucket Sound) or poking around in its forests and marshlands, I don’t particularly like seeing or being aware of fellow humans. Sandy excluded, I hasten to add. That’s because I’m a misanthrope and also because my delicate psychological relationship with Mother Nature is easily disturbed. Not to mention my delicate psychological relationship with myself. Luckily for me, normally Sandy and I don’t come in contact with many others on our expeditions. In summer, when Cape Cod swarms with frolickers, that wouldn’t be the case. But the hordes of humanity significantly diminish in the off-season, which is when Sandy and I do our Cape thing.

A view from Nauset Beach.
A view from Nauset Beach.

Our first full day on Cape Cod this month was the Friday of Columbus Day weekend. A good way to inaugurate our latest Cape trip, we decided, would be to head to Nauset Beach, a part of Orleans’ coastline that has been tamed a
bit in its central section so that people can get their beach fixes. There’s the mandatory big parking area, the restrooms and showers, a seafood stand. And not much else, actually, besides trillions of grains of sand and trillions of gallons of H2O and millions of blades of beach grasses. No boardwalk, no amusements. Which pleases me. And no sand cliffs, which doesn’t, Nauset Beach being a tad south of the Outer Cape.

Nauset Beach. October 2016.
Nauset Beach. October 2016.

In the summer Nauset Beach is congested. Otherwise, usually not. On the Friday in question Sandy and I were surprised, but shouldn’t have been, to see quite a few vehicles in the parking lot. And quite a few people, hardly a mob but maybe 125 or so, scattered around Nauset Beach’s miles-long length. Hey, why not? Columbus Day weekend is a Cape draw. And the day was perfect. Mild, sunny, a light breeze coming off the waters. And, much to my amazement, I was glad to be among those folks. It happens sometimes.

img_1088img_1089Everyone was calm and quiet. Small brigades of my brethren were cemented into beach chairs, staring trancelike at the ocean waves. Others practiced multitasking. Sandy and me, for instance. We walked the sands, gazing downward at human footprints and canine pawprints, upward at the clear blue sky and outward at the eight to ten foot waves rolling relentlessly to shore. During our journey we came across beaucoup people out for a jaunt with their canine friends. Two couples led dogs almost as large as they were. Perhaps the creatures were ponies. I’m not sure. Wait, on second thought they definitely were dogs. I heard them bark, not neigh.

What is it about sand, sky and indescribably massive bodies of water that attract people like ants drawn to carelessly disposed and half-eaten Slim Jims? A few hours after leaving Nauset Beach that question came to me and, predictably, I had no bright answers. It’s quite the phenomenon, though, a natural part of human behavior as far as I can tell. Maybe it has something to do with our links to our fishy ancestors who eons ago inhabited Planet Earth’s liquid stuff. Whatever, I love staring out at Cape Cod’s waters and scampering on its shorelines. I can’t keep away. Invisible forces from within and without bring me there. It amazes me that I used to have no clue that this innate attraction was lurking inside me waiting to bloom. I found out only when Sandy and I hit The Cape for the first time in 1998.

After an hour and a half of beach-meandering we headed back to our car to retrieve our picnic lunch. A gourmet meal of yogurt, grapes, pretzels and seltzer awaited us. We ate it at one of the tables outside the seafood stand and then drove off for some sightseeing in the historic core of Orleans village. The first adventure of our Cape Cod 2016 sojourn was in the books.

 

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24 thoughts on “To The Beach!

  1. Still the Lucky Few October 26, 2016 / 12:52 am

    My introduction to Cape Cod was through a song by Doris Day—a yearning, enchanting theme. I’ve never been there, but can see, from your pictures that the ‘draw’ is strong, with good reason!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger October 26, 2016 / 10:30 am

      I never would have thought that I’d discover a place that I would want to keep going back to. Cape Cod, though, is that place.

      Like

  2. vprofy October 26, 2016 / 10:29 am

    For over 10 years Nantucket was our vacation spot. Then John decided to sell and we were out our summer rental. More recently with daughter and grandkids family we’ve been going to Orleans. For several years on Pilgrim Lake, this year Ayres Pond. We do two weeks July-August. I’ve written about both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger October 26, 2016 / 10:52 am

      Hi. I’m always glad to find a Cape Cod fan.
      I’ll look at your stories.

      Like

  3. greenpete58 October 26, 2016 / 11:49 am

    As a kid our family visited the Jersey Shore a lot. But I’ve only been to Cape Cod once, to visit Sandwich, which two of my ancestors helped establish (1630s?). Would love to get all the way out to Provincetown some day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger October 26, 2016 / 12:47 pm

      The interesting thing about Provincetown is that there are a number of aspects to it: the uninhabited areas (endless coastlines; eye-popping sand dunes; forests; beautiful waters); and the inhabited village section, which is old, quaint and funky.

      Like

  4. C. C. Cedras October 26, 2016 / 12:55 pm

    It’s been YEARS, YEARS I tell you, since I’ve been to CC. Thank you for painting this wonderful picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sara Solovitch October 26, 2016 / 2:08 pm

    All that focus on footprints and pawprints sounds almost meditative. It’s wonderful to find a place you love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger October 26, 2016 / 4:58 pm

      Hi Sara. You’re right — strolling on the beach can put a person into a meditative state!

      Like

  6. Ken Dowell October 26, 2016 / 4:56 pm

    If you’re in the Northeast, September and October are beautiful times to go to the beach. I live near the New Jersey shore and even the seediest of the shore towns here can look stunning when all the summer visitors have gone back home.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Joyce October 26, 2016 / 5:25 pm

    I totally agree with you . …l love the Cape!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. courseofmirrors November 3, 2016 / 8:45 am

    … Eternity in a grain of sand …
    Or the ocean in a drop. That’s it, bliss. You’re lucky devils 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger November 3, 2016 / 9:59 am

      Hi. You’re right . . . I guess that in various ways many people (including me) are on some kind of a search for bliss.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Gilly November 11, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    Oooooh – I can REALLY relate to this – especially no board walk and no amusements! Cape Cod looks like the sort of place that would be ruined by too many people (more than 10 in a 20 mile radius is too many for me 🙂 ) We live in a village 10 minutes away from the sea and I LOVE it off season when the amusements are closed and beaches deserted. Our beaches are not as pretty as yours – we have lots of shingle and less sand but it’s still beautiful in its own way. Yes – what is it about large bodies of water attracting people? Is it something really primal in us like you say?

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger November 11, 2016 / 1:48 pm

      Hi, Gilly. I live quite a distance from ocean waters. Didn’t know that I like them so much till I started visiting Cape Cod, whose eastern border is the Atlantic Ocean. On Cape Cod I can hardly get enough of those waters.
      I’m not certain about humans’ attraction to the seas, but I have to think that it is inborn and instinctive.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Martin November 12, 2016 / 10:39 am

    Thanks for this post, it brought back images of sand that I have trodden and waters I have swum in.
    Now I need to go to the beach again!

    Liked by 1 person

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