Winter Walks on Cape Cod

One of my favorite Cape Cod activities is to walk the miles of deserted beaches after a Nor’Easter, marveling at the erosion and collecting random bits of flotsam and jetsam. Needless to say, I’ve been doing some serious beach walking after this recent (and ridiculous!) stretch of storms we’ve endured this month. Some of the more notable things I’ve seen are the North side parking lot at Herring Cove beach. The lot appears to be changing with the ever shifting sands and tides. Oh, Cape Cod National Seashore officials, you will be busy this spring! And who didn’t gawk at the Artimis, a 42-foot decommissioned dragger that now rests on the West End Breakwater. Thank you, March 2nd storm. Ever since it got stuck, there has been a steady stream of people walking out at low tide to check this old vessel out.

Marvel at Mother Nature

Moving a bit farther up Cape to Orleans, there’s Liam’s, the popular snack bar at Nauset beach that has been serving up awesome onion rings and fried clams for three decades. Now perched on a precarious ledge of sand, it makes for quite the sight. I grew up in Orleans and can’t get over how much Nauset beach has changed since I was a kid. The sand seems to be migrating south. It is what sand does around here, it comes and goes, reveals things here and covers them over there. At Nauset, 19th century carriage wheel tracks and horse hoof prints have recently emerged, carved into old layers of muck. They’re a good reminder that all this change is nothing new. Simply a fact of life. The only thing to do is wander along the shores, marvel at Mother Nature, and hang a few new washed up buoys on the barn out back!

Historic Provincetown

All of our Cape Cod towns do a great job when it comes to preserving the past and making their historic locations accessible for the public to enjoy. Provincetown just happens to be at the top of my list for places to see a number of sites all in one day. Here are three notable locations that will give the inquiring traveler a bit more insight into our local Ptown history.

1) Pilgrim Monument – Built between 1907 and 1910, this is the tallest all granite structure in the United States.  On a clear day you can see these from across Cape Cod Bay so it’s pretty hard to miss when you’re in town. The Monument commemorates the 1620 landfall of the Pilgrims and signing of the Mayflower Compact in Provincetown Harbor.

2) Race Point Lighthouse – This historic light has been keeping vessels from running aground since 1816 and sits in the beautiful sand dunes of the Cape Cod National Seashore. For a really unique treat, accommodations for about 10 people are available if you want to stay overnight.

3.)  Old Harbor Life Saving Station – Originally built in Chatham in 1897 this building was relocated to Provincetown by barge in 1977.  Situated in the National Seashore the station offers insight into the lives of brave surf-men and their various methods for saving sailors in distress.  You’ve got to see the breeches buoy rescue re-enactments by the staff on Thursdays during the summer months.

If you need to find a place to stay after your busy day please be sure to check in with us here at the Brass Key Guesthouse!