Travel Diary
October 16, 2002
Cape Cod, MA

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We've made it all the way to Cape Cod. This is as far east as we'll drive for a while. There are parts of Maine and Canada that are farther east, but from here south, we will not be any farther east. For those of you who are curious, our campground in Eastham, Massachusetts is approximately 69.98 degrees west.

For perspective, Kirkland, Washington is approximately 3100 miles to our west at 122.2 degrees west.

A large portion of the tip of Cape Cod is actually a National Park. It's called the Cape Cod National Seashore. The visitor's center explained that this piece of land was formed long ago by glacial movement, and today is manipulated quite dramatically by the ocean. Most of the land here is sand and at the tip of the Cape, there are sand dunes that are so big, they're measured in portions of a mile.

The Atlantic Ocean beaches are quite interesting because the dunes are so big -- we visited a beach where the distance from the beach to the top of the dunes (where we parked) was easily 30 feet. We're told there is a lighthouse at the tip of the cape where the distance is more like 140 feet!

Here are a couple pictures of the beaches on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Cape.

Atlantic beach

Atlantic beach

Here's another picture of the Atlantic side. The two black specs in this photo were a couple of people surfing.

Atlantic beach

The Cape Cod Bay side on the same afternoon had beautiful calm waters. There were also some beautiful dunes with marine vegetation that helps keep the dunes from eroding.

Calm waters

Beach dunes

We also had the good fortune to visit Pete's Aunt Dina and Uncle Daniel who live on the Cape in Wellfleet. We had a wonderful time visiting with them. Here is Mary with Uncle Daniel. They are on a beach on the Cape Cod Bay side of the Cape. The land in the distance is Provincetown, which is at the very north end of the cape -- approximately 10 miles away.

Mary and Daniel

We spent two nights on the Cape. It gave us a chance to have two dinners with Aunt Dina and Uncle Daniel. It also gave us a chance to sit out the small "Nor'easter" that came through today. In layman's words, it was a big windy storm. There were sustained winds of around 30 mph today, and gusts of much more.

We spent the morning staying out of the rain, but then in the afternoon we ventured out. The ocean was amazing to see with this wind. It was also making a wonderful growling noise that was much different than our walk on the beach from yesterday. This is a picture of the Atlantic after many hours of heavy wind. Pete got out of the Jeep to experience the wind first hand, and at one point needed to hold on to a railing to avoid getting blown over.

Atlantic storm

In the late afternoon, there was a break in the clouds that helped to naturally light the grassy area above the beach. It helped make the beautiful colors of the plants even more vivid.

Beach grass

Beach grass

It was interesting to experience our first Nor'easter. We're very glad it wasn't any colder (they're the storms that dump large amounts of snow on the mid-Atlantic states in the winter). We're also glad that our house was happily parked through the whole storm.

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