Three Sunsets In A Row: A Cape Cod Story

As I begin to compose this opus on October 9, my wife Sandy and I are into day six of our annual Cape Cod pilgrimage. More likely than not we’ll have returned to our suburban- Philadelphia abode before I complete the piece. That’s because I’m on The Cape (a 65-mile-long peninsula in Massachusetts, USA) to indulge in fun and games and to immerse myself in natural beauty. Ergo, writing sessions are nowhere near the front burner.

We love Cape Cod, as I’ve noted in a bunch of essays since launching this publication four and a half years ago, and so far the trip has been absolutely A-OK. We’ve filled many of our waking hours with activities that bring us pleasure and joy. To name a few: walking along Atlantic Ocean and Cape Cod Bay coastlines; moseying around sweet villages; flying our trusty kite; chowing down each night in good, dependable restaurants; grooving hard to rock and blues bands; playing a round of miniature golf; going on a whale watch voyage in the Atlantic Ocean. Holy shit, I’m a fortunate f*cker, aren’t I? And I’d unhesitatingly call Sandy a fortunate f*cker too, except that she’d be very displeased with my language if I did.

Probably I’ll focus a bit more on some of the above pursuits in a future story or two. But the rest of this piece will be about a different subject, one that warms the hearts of much of humanity. Yes, somewhere in the vicinity of 80,000,000 articles already have been written about sunsets, but that won’t stop me. I’m a follower, not an innovator, so I ain’t too proud to squeeze yet another sunset story into the mega-humungous pile!

Is there anything about this sunset story to set it apart? Don’t bet your life on it. But it does have something going for it. You see, before this trip Sandy and I never witnessed more than two consecutive sunsets. But we improved on that by catching sunsets on the 5th, 6th and 7th of October, a personal record that we may never top. This wasn’t by grand design. Instead, things just casually fell into place. Not otherwise engaged on each of those nights at around 6:00 PM, we wisely chose to watch our friend the Sun make its way to the horizon, and we stuck around for a while longer because, as everyone knows, sunsets frequently become better after the Sun has disappeared. Then we headed off to dinner, feeling better ourselves.

Rock Harbor (Orleans, Cape Cod)
Rock Harbor (Orleans, Cape Cod)

The sunsets that we caught had different personalities from one another. The first, a gauzy cloth of yellow and orange in a cloudless sky, was the brightest, even though the colors didn’t cascade all over the heavens. The colors would have done so, I thought, if a nice amount of clouds, with their reflective and refractive powers, had been present.

Corn Hill Beach (Truro, Cape Cod)
Corn Hill Beach (Truro, Cape Cod)

But what do I really know about clouds? There were plenty of them, airy and tufted, the next night. The sunset remained muted nonetheless, with simple bands of orange and yellow that didn’t radiate into other regions of the skies. Clouds! I think they thumbed their noses at me that night just for spite.

Mayo Beach (Wellfleet, Cape Cod)
Mayo Beach (Wellfleet, Cape Cod)

And the third sunset was the least colorful of all. In fact, only hints of yellow were visible through a very dense cloud cover. But that was all right with me. It was a different form of sunset, a subdued one in greys, yet beautiful. And a lonely kite surfer was a good addition to the scene.

The sunsets took place over Cape Cod Bay, which abuts Cape Cod’s northern side. For sunset number one we took our positions at Rock Harbor, in Orleans. For the second we stood on the sands of Corn Hill Beach, in Truro. And for the third we gazed from Mayo Beach, in Wellfleet. I tell you, each of those locations is magnificent. The unfussy layout of all the pieces (sky, waters, sands, grasses) is as fine as you ever could wish to see. Hell, sunsets are the icing on an already-astonishing cake.

So, here’s the thing. At home in my suburban/urban region, there are not a lot of expanses where you can engage with nature properly. Overdevelopment has seen to that. And sunsets? Well, good luck viewing them over the houses and office buildings and other structures. That’s why, when at home, sunsets are rarely anything I think about. Out of sight, out of mind, you know?

But on Cape Cod? Man, when I first came here, in 1998, my nature-loving component swelled in size and slapped me awake. While on the Cape I make it a point to walk on sands or in forests or marshlands every day, weather permitting. And though Sandy and I don’t seek out sunsets compulsively — too much of a good thing would dampen the glory — we never want to end a Cape vacation without having scratched “watch one or more sunsets” off our to-do list. Sunsets are there for the taking, after all, beautiful performances for which the tickets are free.

(Please don’t be shy about adding your comments or about sharing this essay. Gracias.)

(If you click on any photo, a larger image will open in a separate window.)

132 thoughts on “Three Sunsets In A Row: A Cape Cod Story

  1. The Artist's Child October 20, 2019 / 11:12 pm

    Beautiful sunsets. Loved the sun sinking into the water. We are about to lose the view of the setting sun from our place because of the monstrous house that will be built next door. Development is definitely not nature friendly. Cape Cod is a lovely place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 21, 2019 / 6:46 am

      Hi there. I’m glad to hear from you. It’s no fun when a house is built nearby. That kind of thing happens almost everywhere. Build, build, build — that’s what mankind does.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. cath October 21, 2019 / 2:35 pm

    I agree, with the beautiful photos and the philosophical wandering between them. It really is too easy to take them for granted. Tomorrow I’m going to make a point of going out to the west end of the house and watch the sun sink below the horizon. Thanks for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pam Lazos October 23, 2019 / 12:49 pm

    I’ve had only one visit to Cape Cod, but I do love those rocky beaches. And a sunset is beautiful all the world over. Thanks, Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 23, 2019 / 2:53 pm

      Hi. I just thought of something. A good place to watch a sunset from would be the Cira Green elevated park near 30th St Station. I might do that one day.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. artdoesmatter October 24, 2019 / 8:23 am

    Neil, I hope you and Sandy are enjoying your latest “pilgrimage” to Cape Cod! Your photos are seriously gorgeous – what an eye you have! I’m particularly enraptured by your captures of Corn Hill Beach and Mayo Beach! May your wonderful adventures to continue!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 24, 2019 / 5:55 pm

      Hi. I’m glad to hear from you. We returned home two days ago, but Cape Cod is still on my mind. My next story will also be about The Cape. Take care. See ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. chattykerry October 25, 2019 / 11:21 am

    That looks so pretty. We really don’t see sunsets or sunrise because we life in the depth of a forest. Sometimes I catch an orange light at dusk.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Michele Anderson October 25, 2019 / 7:26 pm

    Beautiful pictures and sounds like you guys are having a wonderful time. That’s what it’s all about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 25, 2019 / 10:15 pm

      It was an excellent trip in a number of ways. We got back home a few days ago.
      Glad to hear from you, Michele. Enjoy the weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Silver Screenings October 25, 2019 / 11:00 pm

    Ah, you’ve brought back some lovely memories for me. Many years ago I was at Cape Cod and fell in love with it, even though I was there for a short time. Thank you for sharing these beautiful sunsets. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2019 / 6:59 am

      Hello, Ruth. I have a feeling that Cape Cod is still very similar to what it was when you visited. I’m glad you enjoyed this story. Have an excellent weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. candidkay October 26, 2019 / 2:57 pm

    I love Cape Cod! Happy memories in Wellfleet–and I love that the Cape has protected the wildlife and the views. It takes vigilance, with developers always wanting to build, build, build. So glad you got a chance to enjoy . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2019 / 4:26 pm

      Right, JFK did a great thing by putting much of the ocean coastline under federal protection. That coastline is my favorite part of Cape Cod.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. jeanleesworld October 29, 2019 / 10:14 pm

    Oh, I do miss catching sunsets and sunrises! The sunrises seem more dramatic here than the sundowns. But even this wee farming community that I’m in has enough buildings sprouting up and about that it’s hard to take a decent photo in town. I’m glad you had your time with the horizon! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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