Back to Cape Cod

My next destination was Cape Cod. I’d always wanted to go there. Growing up during the Kennedy administration, it always had such an allure. Also you have got to love a place named after a fish

Okay, this is probably the only time you'll find me referencing a fish on my blog
Okay, this is probably the only time you’ll find me referencing a fish on my blog

and a place that has its own style of house.


There is also the fact that my friends Susan, Liz and Pam vacationed there for years with their parents. I was so jealous! Well, finally, it was my turn to see the magical Cape Cod!

It was a dreary day when I pulled into Nickerson State Park. No hook ups, but the site was large and level, and I had a view of trees.


Always on the look out for the incongruous, I had to laugh at this “pay phone” near the office.


Of course, a pay phone location without a phone isn’t all that unusual any more. I remember how hard it was to get a pay phone installed at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport when the new terminal was built in 2011. They are taking out phones, not putting them in. What really gave me a chuckle was the sticker inside the shelter.


Hey – it made me laugh! (Your mileage may vary.)

The next day, I set out to explore. The weather was gloomy and damp. It drizzled and it rained and I learned the difference between water resistant and water repellant. My new jacket is water resistant and I was damp and chilly a good bit of the day. Thank goodness for a good heater in the truck!

I parked and set out to hike one of the trails. (Hiking sounds so much more vigorous than strolling – which is more like what I did.)

At the trail head, there were the usual list of rules and regulations.


Public nudity is prohibited? Drat! I guess I’ll just have to hike with my clothes on. It was too cold for strolling nude, anyway.

Unfortunately, I am writing this more than a month after the fact – actually closer to two months after the fact. So, if you know the details, feel free to post them in the comments. I picked up a brochure, but it dissolved in the rain.


There was this stone with a T carved into it. I think it marked the site of some former building.

I slogged along until I came to a fork in the road – so I decided to take it. (Thanks to Yogi Bera.)


I got to a turn off to see “Indian Rock.” I was curious. I love all the petroglyphs out west. I wondered what this might be.

It turns out that “Indian Rock”┬áthat is the record of the occupation of the Nauset Indians who lived beside the marshes of Cape Cod. They used this rock for grinding and polishing implements made of stone and animal bones. Stone axes were sharpened on the concave surfaces and bone fishhooks were shaped in the narrow groves.


This 20-ton boulder was originally located just below where I saw it, embedded in the mud of the marsh. The National Park Service moved it to this site in 1965.


This is the of the salt marsh. Salt marshes are something new to this freshwater girl.

I headed over to one of the two headquarters for the Cape Cod National Seashore. I needed to get a stamp in my National Parks Passport.

I took in an excellent video about the cape and toured a museum with some interesting artifacts. Since the weather was so dismal, it was rather crowded. I did manage to snap a few shots of some of the items that caught my attention.


This is a fly control box. They are placed in the marshes of Cape Cod. I had seen some in New Hampshire, but I didn’t have anyone to ask. The boxes are there to control the greenhead fly, which is known for its painful bite.

Female green heads lay two sets of eggs. After she lays her first set, she requires protein in order to make the second set viable. She gets the protein from blood, and they follow the carbon dioxide exhaled by mammals to find the blood. They are also attracted by the color blue.

These blue boxes. contain bait called Octnol, which is an artificial ox-breath. (Artificial ox-breath? There are so many things in the world that I had no idea that even exist.) They fly in through the bottom and are caught inside a secondary trap from which they can’t escape. According to the information I photographed, one of these boxes is capable of capturing twenty thousand greenhead flies in a single summer. That’s a whole lot of painful bites avoided.

After enjoying the information about greenhead fly control, I entered the museum. I was interested in the display about the breeches buoy that was used for rescuing people when ships would run aground or start sinking.

They would use a small cannon to fire a rope to the ship. They prepared the rope for this by wrapping it around the posts in this frame.


Directions were sent along for what to do. They were written on wooden paddles, that would definitely stand up to water better than paper. The directions were written in multiple languages, because trade has always been a multinational venture.


Then they would send across the breeches buoy. People would climb inside and stick their legs out the bottom and then slide back across the rope to safety.


Being a ship’s captain was a dignified profession. I was surprised that he would travel with a top hat. Popeye wouldn’t have had one.


Another interesting thing was that horses would wear bog shoes to keep from sinking when they were working in the soggy areas.


They actually had some bog shoes, but I couldn’t get a good photo.

After the museum, I drove around a bit more. The weather was improving.


By the time I got back to camp, I had a beautiful sunset. Perhaps the next day would be more enjoyable for being outside.



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