Cape Cod

I’d been to Wellfleet twice before, once with Dad where he bought me my first Mass Audubon membership, and another time alone when I really had nothing better to do on a Saturday and headed out alone. I’d never ventured farther than that, though. I have a bit of a mental block on Cape Cod, I think. In the summer, it’s off limits because it’s full of tourists and getting there involves a maddening wait for one of the two bridges that crosses over to it (or yes, a flight or a ferry, both of which just seem prohibitively expensive and leave you without a car when you arrive), and in the other months, it always seems to be colder than the rest of MA.

But we’re having this strange prolonged spring, and we decided to rush out to give it a shot before Memorial Day comes and the place fills up with tourists in unfortunate shorts.

Because it’s spring, you can imagine how happy Yen was to discover all of the flowers. You’re going to see a lot in this post, and I apologize for wearing pink during this trip. It makes for a particularly feminine experience reading this, I think.

What I like about the Wellfleet Sanctuary is the variety of terrains in such a small area. You are in a pine grove, you walk out on a boardwalk to the sea, you follow the edge of a pond, and of course you trek through fiddler crab villages.

We even surprised a couple of white-tailed deer who had probably been munching on the salt grass.

You know I love a good boardwalk, and we found one by the pond. I had skipped that section during my previous visits figuring that if I’m so close to the ocean, I could skip the pond. You’ve seen one pond, you’ve seen ’em all, right? I suppose. But this one had some good wildlife in it. Not that Yen counts as wildlife. I think he’s pretty much domesticated at this point, though I wouldn’t rule out a feral streak.

Lots and lots of bullfrog tadpoles.

Because it’s an Audubon property, there was a section of bird feeders. Full of chickadees as usual, but this jerk was taking advantage. Of course he wasn’t on the Squirrel Buster brand feeder.

We sat for a while in a bird blind, but couldn’t see anything. It was a pleasant spot, though.

Then we finally got to the beach. I am pretty sure that in this photo, I wasn’t contemplating walking out into the water. But you just never know.

The arrangement of this sanctuary is such that you go in big loops and keep ending up back at the visitor’s center. Which is nice because you can use the bathroom and check out the chickadees before setting out again.

On the way in, we’d noticed a cemetery with particularly nice trees. After the park, we headed over there before getting ready for dinner.

This was baffling to me. Apparently prickly pears are native on Cape Cod? Jenny, please don’t pick the prickly pear by the paw. When you pick a pear, try to use the claw!

Dinner that night was at the Mews. Yen tried venison for the first time and discovered he likes it – better than beef, he said. I declared it “organlike” and refused to have further samples. We both agreed that the Wellfleet oysters were terrific (as usual).

Next morning, we headed back into Provincetown to find some breakfast. Even though it’s a month away from the opening of the tourist season, we found quite a lot in attendance.

More interesting to me, though, was the National Seashore just past town.

As we left town, we noticed that if we kept going on this same road, we’d end up in California. Eventually.

Next up we visited Great Island. There were a few things that specifically do not recommend this hike. First of all, we saw a lot of dead things. Which of course can be interesting. But after the sixth bird, we started to wonder what was going on. Then we discovered this dolphin. Interesting, but…

Then there was the fact that much of the hike was over loose sand. That’s murder on the quads, I’m here to tell you. At least the second half of it was over a tree-covered dune, and so a little more hard packed.

Well, and it was pretty out there.

Exhausted after all that, we decided to finish the day with a little lighthouse viewing.

So another great mini vacation (without having to use up any actual vacation time). We liked it so much that we’re going to take Ruby next weekend so Jenny and Brent can go see it for themselves. Seems like something a person ought to do before she moves back to the Middle, eh?