Our plan for the day was to drive to Provincetown at the end of Cape Cod and then return to Chatham again in the evening. We had never been to Provincetown, so weren’t sure what we might find when we got there, or what we might see along the way. Our first side trip was to see the Chatham lighthouse and to look at a bit of the local shoreline. (above – click on thumbnail for larger version of information plaque)
As mentioned in an earlier post, the main highway follows along the center of the cape and doesn’t provide very many scenic vistas. However, that didn’t stop me from finding a few things to photograph, especially interesting things like solid blue fire hydrants in the morning light :-).
The morning air was cool so we started off the day with the Volvo’s top up but it wasn’t long before we switched to convertible mode. As we passed through Orleans, Cape Cod MA, I had to turn around and go back to photograph their police department’s all black vintage 1946 Chevrolet cruiser. I guess that I could have slammed on the brakes when I first noticed it but thought better of such action. It’s never a good idea to cause a major traffic pile-up right in front of a police station :-).
Before visiting Provincetown, we did some touring in and around Cape Cod National Seashore Park which occupies most of the southeast portion of the cape from Eastham to Provincetown.
The visitor center at the park provides an upper level viewing area from which one can see quite a distance in all directions. Inside the building there are a number of interesting displays and plenty to read about Cape Cod history. Plenty of warnings about Poison Ivy too! (click on the image to go to our informative pictorial page about how to identify Poison Ivy)
Although this was a nature preserve, I think that my favorite photo find was this cigar and post image right next to a fire hydrant. A perfect combination :-).
The park features plenty of sand and trails through predominately oaks and pines but as the sign indicates, the combination of hills and sand-covered pavement can lead to a significant number of bicycle accidents for the careless or unwary.
We were present during the day and the large amphitheater was not in use but during the summer months I expect that the location would be a wonderful place from which to watch the sun setting out over the ocean.
Once we had spent a bit of time photographing mushrooms, plants and butterflies near the visitor center, we headed over to Race Point Beach. An interesting plastic matting was in use to provide a more environmentally sensitive way to reach the beach area.
Once you’ve walked along the blue carpet through the sand dunes, there is plenty of beach for folks who like the feel of fine sand between the toes. One Greater Black-backed Gull was begging to have its picture taken so I agreed!
There were not very many people on the beach at this time of the year, but one fellow was quite comfortable with his spotting scope and lawn chair as he watched migrating birds flying past and enjoyed watching the comings and goings of the various trawlers that passed by his post. Although I could often see the birds that he was watching, all of them were too far offshore for my 300mm lens to capture as anything more than dots. Planes and trawlers were easier.
On this portion of the beach there is a designated sand route for those who want to drive on the sand and have a permit to do so.
Once I had enough sand in my shoes, I headed back to the parking lot and on to our next stop, the Provincetown Pilgrim Monument, MA.