National Seashore

The beaches and dunes spanning the Atlantic coastline have been designated Cape Cod National Seashore, protected as part of the National Park Service. The Salt Pond Visitor Center lives at Eastham, where the park boundaries expand inland to encompass more land as it stretches to the north, but, like many shops and restaurants, was closed this time of year. At that site I found one of the few trees celebrating autumn in grand style.

Salt Pond

Along the road, I startled a wild turkey.

In 1836, Eastham residents petitioned the Boston Marine Society to build a lighthouse because of numerous shipwrecks. Originally there were three of these sentinels; the light now standing was the center. As with many lighthouses along the coast, this one was moved four times due to erosion. The red paint was added in 1940 to aid in identification during the day. Nauset Beach was named for the indigenous peoples of the area.

Nauset Beach Light

Walking the beaches, it all seemed more dramatic in off season; I wasn’t distracted by all the people that would have been around in summer. Breathing deep the sea air, I could feel the soft sand where my foot sinks in, the tight wet surface along the water’s edge, the cool of the ocean lapping at my feet. Looking out, the waves go on almost forever, breaking only when they reach land. The next shore would be Europe—maybe Portugal, Spain near Compostela where the famed Camino trail ends, or France along the Bay of Biscay.

For lunch, an iconic lobster roll

A stop to see the lighthouse in evening, while driving back another day from Provincetown

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Published by rkrontheroad

Writer, photographer, traveler

39 thoughts on “National Seashore

  1. Great photos Ruth! I was there in July to visit an old friend who lives in Hyannis. I have been there many times over the years but your descriptions are SO beautiful and enriching. Enjoy your visit with your son and wife.

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  2. Lovely pictures and narrative, as usual. It would be nice to go there now, with less people and beautiful fall color. I miss New England. We haven’t been anywhere in over 2 years. Darn Covid.

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    1. This was the first trip I’ve taken since the pandemic. It was a strange year for autumn colors, but I’m not complaining! So nice to get away for a little while. Thanks, Barbara.

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  3. Autumn in New England is truly another world! We have some red leaves here in California, but not nearly as abundant as on the other side of the country. Absolutely picturesque, and I’d return to New England for those delicious lobster rolls (although this is the first time I’ve since a roll served with greens??).

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    1. Autumn in the wasn’t as showy as I remember from my childhood, just an off-year I was told, but there were still some trees in color. Perhaps the restaurant was trying to be a little more healthy with the greens these days. It was delicious!

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      1. I spent some time wandering up your west coast a few years ago and it was wonderful. Having some Internet problems right now but looking forward to checking out your site soon.

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    1. There are so many pretty little places around the cape and serene beaches. I missed the ocean, living inland. Thanks for visiting, Leighton. I’ll catch up soon with my favorite bloggers – came home to Internet problems at my house, still working on it!

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  4. This looks like my idea of a perfect coastline, at least as seen through your lens – quiet beaches with interesting photo opps (I love your shot with the driftwood!), soft light, space to breathe in the sea air, a picturesque lighthouse or two, and great seafood!

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    1. The beaches are so lovely without the crowds. There were five or six wild turkeys rooting around in the fallen leaves around the house one day. Couldn’t get a good photo, but fun to watch them.

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  5. Cape Cod sure has a lot of faces. The one time we visited we only had time to take the highway to Provincetown and back, so we missed the ocean views and beach walks. Also, I like the choice of lobster roll in lettuce leaves. Ours was in a kind of hoagie roll – a little too heavy for my taste.

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      1. The bun was well hidden! I agree about missing the coast, Ruth. Growing up in Los Angeles, the beach and the ocean permeated my DNA forever. We make a two-week trip back to San Diego every summer, just so I can get my “fix” of white sand and blue waters.

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