The Best things on the Cape CAN be free




Yesterday was a fabulous day. Not horribly hot and humid, but hot enough to swim.

I have a hard time paying to swim....as who owns the ocean, but I realize that you pay to park, and the fees cover the maintenance of the parking lots and beaches, though at 15.00 a pop, I suspect the town coffers are quite full. You also can't get a three day or week pass/permit, unless you have a certificate of residency (which you can get for a week if you rent here) which prevents outsiders from coming in. It also keeps out those who can't afford to park, which leads me to another issue...the lack of "diversity". No Blacks, Latinos, Asian populations on this part of the Cape, save for the color of Provincetown.

So, rather than pay to park, Larry and I have learned various ways to circumvent the fees. One, is to find a place to park, and walk to a beach. Two, is to go to the beach after 3:30, where permits are not usually checked. Still good swim time, and enough time to catch a bit of a tan without burning. Three, is to find public beaches.

These beaches may not be large, or groomed, but they tend to be more quiet, and more natural.We don't need the food concession, or the bathrooms, or a life guard. A strip of sand, some water, and the landscape make for a perfect day. A back pack with with a towel, book, camera and water bottle is all that we need.

Orleans has Rock Harbor, and Wellfleet has Great Island.
Parking is free at both places, and Great Island hosts miles of trails and lovely beaches on the Bay. The hike to the beach is a rolling 1/2 mile hike, where you travel from pine barren to marsh to dunes and water all in of 20 minutes. During low tide you can hike the 3.5 miles of trails to the end, but caution...once the tide comes in, the trails become water logged, or worse, completely obliterated.

For my yearly lobster roll, we stopped down at the harbor to the little store that sells both seafood to cook, and prepared food. There is nothing like fawning over huge chunks of lobster, slathered with mayo, watching the boats come in and out, the gulls circling about...

We met friends to see a local production of Godspell, done by young folks who are studying at the local acting/singing/music academy. It bought back memories of the 70's, and though at first the subject matter touched upon my never-recovered-Catholic issues, I was able to smile and take the good and leave the rest.

Off to make toast and get ready for today. It is overcast and a perfect day to go into Provincetown and Wellfleet. Then dinner tonight at home with friends.

Photos of the hike at Great Island, and guess whose legs at the beach.

Patti O Sand

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