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.
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.
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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