cape cod national sea shore

Day 33 – Cape Cod’s Sandy Shores Part 2

Day 33 of Year Long Roadtrip Following Scenic Byways in the USA

Cape Cod National Seashore

What a lovely day, despite the wind!  I spent the morning with Eric and Lise. Eric whipped up a great frittata while we chatted about the joys of house remodeling and determined what places I should see today.  We decided it would be best to stay around the “elbow” of the cape and visit Wellfleet today and visit Provincetown tomorrow.

It was a pleasure to have Lise and Eric join me for the morning.  I didn’t have to navigate alone, and I got to hear about the places from the locals!  Eric is a law enforcement ranger for the Cape Cod National Seashore, so he spends the summers on the nearby beaches keeping the tourists orderly.  Lise has been on the cape for most her life, so they were quite knowledgeable of the area.  I felt like Reader’s Digest was quoting from them!

Fort Hill

Our first stop was at Fort Hill, a high point in the area that overlooks Nauset Marsh, Coast Guard Beach, and the Atlantic Ocean.  The wind was howling, so I took a picture from the car, and we continued on to Nauset Light Beach.

cape cod

The Nauset Light

The Nauset Light is somewhat inland compared to the other lights I have seen.  It is set back because the beach recedes 3 feet a year as the currents carry the sand northward to Provincetown.  The Nauset Light is one of the few lighthouses that has both a red and a white light continuously blink on and off as the light rotates clockwise.

cape cod national sea shore

Coast Guard Beach

After visiting the lighthouse, we braved the wind and walked from Nauset Light Beach to Coast Guard Beach, about 2 miles in total, as we passed the sand dunes on one side and the white caps of the Atlantic on the other.  Lise and Eric have a tradition to walk this stretch, no matter the weather, every New Year’s Day!  Lise used to lifeguard in the summers on Coast Guard Beach and lived in a Coast Guard housing structure just above the dunes.  She could look out the window, see the surf, and know how her day was going to be.


After the walk, we parted ways for the day, and I visited Chatham.  Eric suggested the clam chowder at the Chatham Squire, and it hit the spot.  I met Art and Karen, from New Hampshire, at this pub.  They were on the cape using a gift certificate to an inn that they had from their 25th wedding anniversary.  Evidently, I looked like a local as they asked for dinner suggestions.  Hopefully they found a good place.  Art and Karen were from New Hampshire and they invited me back to their home state during nice weather.  Then, when I got back to the car, they had found VANilla and left a note saying the dogs were sleeping – how cool was that!

chatham squire

Warm inside with chowder, I passed through a park with a pumpkin people contest on display by the local merchants and strolled the streets of Chatham while window shopping. I dropped into The Black Dog store just because a black lab mix named Scout is so near and dear to my heart.  I found a wooden black lab Christmas ornament that will travel on my rear view mirror to represent Scout whenever she is only with me in spirit.

cape cod

Nearby, I found a webcam cache.  I tried one before in Vegas, but never succeeded in finding the camera, so this is another new experience.  This camera was in the Yellow Umbrella Bookstore.  Their camera was programmed to take a picture every hour from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, so I stood in front of the bookstore with my gps and smiled for the camera at 2:30!  I have to download my picture from and log it on the geocaching website.

Sandy Neck Beach

After Chatham, I backtracked a little to Sandy Neck Beach.  It is very close to Sandwich, where I was yesterday.  I was curious to see the difference in the Cape Cod Bay as compared to the Atlantic during the wind storm.  I think the bay was windier!  Water-smoothed stones wash up along the beach here and trails crisscross through acres of sand dunes.  It was lovely, though I think Scout and Petey were happy to get out of the wind and into the car.

I’m back at the house relaxing, what a nice treat!  ETB



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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

6 thoughts on “Day 33 – Cape Cod’s Sandy Shores Part 2

  1. I’m sure you don’t remember but when I first met Scout at your cute little house, he jumped all over me and I thought “eek, my gosh, no discipline,” and now that I’m a dog mom, I get it and wonder how I managed all those years w/o a dog. Anyway, Beth I know your mother is so proud of what you are doing… a free spirit, enjoying your life and meeting tons of new friends.

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