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Like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants or Flat Stanley‘s trek around the world, the Red Chair is crisscrossing Cape Cod on a voyage of discovery. An assemblage of local innkeepers have banded together to assist the chair’s ramblings, and in the process have embarked on an adventure of our own.
This week we welcomed the Red Chair to the High Pointe Inn in West Barnstable, MA. She arrived without fanfare, undaunted by her trip thus far, and unencumbered by the usual trappings of world travel. It was our mission to introduce her to our historic hamlet by the sea.
Sandy Neck Beach seemed the best place to get started. Perhaps a brisk walk on the beach would put a blush on her cheek, and the airing out wouldn’t do us any harm either. Toting a red chair around causes a bit of a stir, and one intrepid park ranger queried the significance. We explained as best we could, then carried on exploring a few of the trails that wind their way through the marsh and dunes. Although she longed to play in the surf, the wind and waves proved to be too much for her, so she dallied a bit with the other chairs in the parking lot.
After our romp at the beach, we set off for the historic West Parish Meetinghouse. En route we passed by West Barnstable Tables and decided to stop. Here, housed in a large barn, 14 gifted craftsmen and women fashion beautiful hand-crafted furniture from salvaged antique buildings, boats, pianos and what-have-you. Unable to resist the juxtaposition of tables and chairs, we paused for a photo op.
Eventually we made it to the Meetinghouse where she paid homage to our servicemen and women and sat for a spell in the shadow of the bell tower and its gilded “Rooster” weathervane.
Our final stop was the West Barnstable train depot, where we parted ways with the Red Chair so that she might continue her journey. Our interlude had been brief, a whirlwind affair. She has miles to go and people to meet.
With spring arriving officially yesterday, I can finally say goodbye to winter, my least favorite season on Cape Cod. This year the weather gods were kind to us, with only one appreciable snow that required Rich to drag out the snowblower at our Inn on Cape Cod. Even with the record amount of snowfall in the state for that storm, it was gone in two days. Gotta love it.
It feels like spring arrived far sooner than she was expected, at least here on the Cape where often she doesn‘t truly engage until May. Already the goldfinches are turning their bright summer yellow and the crocuses are in full bloom, with the daffodils not far behind. Temperatures have soared into the upper 60s and low 70s for several days in a row and the convertibles and motorcycles enjoying the curves along scenic Route 6A are multiplying daily. Time to rev up the old Miata for her next season of adventures
What’s in store for her this year? Hopefully lots of trips to Sesuit Harbor Café for fried clams and lobster rolls, followed by a trip to Captain Frosty’s for coffee soft serve. There will be a trip or two to Fort Hill in Eastham for picnics and walking the nature trails. I would suspect she might also take us to Chatham a time or two for a visit to the Monomy National Wildlife Refuge and perhaps a stop at the Chatham Fish Pier as well. No doubt she will want to take a spin over to Wellfleet for a cruise along Ocean Drive, maybe sneak into the Beachcomber for a cocktail or two before dinner at Mac’s Shack.
Eventually we may end up at Highland Light in Truro or Race Point in Provincetown trying to spot a whale or two out on the horizon. We actually made that trip without her last week, as all reports indicated that the right whales were frolicking freely in Cape Cod Bay enjoying the early spring-like weather and the rich feeding grounds that attract them yearly on their migration north. We ended up at Herring Cove Beach in the Provincelands, where we were able to spot a few off in the distance through binoculars and Rich’s telephoto lens.
It promises to be a good spring, hopefully followed by a wonderful summer and a delightful fall. Rich and I, along with the Miata, hope to discover more of Cape Cod’s hidden treasures to share with our guests, more great eateries to enjoy the bounty of Cape Cod, and definitely more spots to wander aimlessly simply taking pleasure in this lovely peninsula we call home.
If you want to take full advantage of what Cape Cod has to offer this spring, summer or fall, check out some of our romance and adventure packages and call us for reservations. We’ll be happy to share our secret places with you, perhaps over coffee on the deck before breakfast in the morning.
As many of you know, The High Pointe Inn on Cape Cod has a view of the dunes of Sandy Neck Beach and Cape Cod Bay. Rich and I often walk Sandy Neck as it is a beautiful barrier beach that stretches for miles in either direction. Because we have had such mild weather we have had numerous opportunities to walk the beach this winter. It was Casey’s favorite romping spot.
So imagine our surprise when we opened our copy of the Cape Cod Times today to read that a group of approximately 25 right whales were spotted very close to the shoreline off Sandy Neck Beach yesterday. Photographed by an aerial survey team from the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS), the whales were clearly visible within several hundred feet of the beach.
According to the Boston Globe, there are only about 475 North Atlantic right whales left in the world, many of which gather off the coast of Cape Cod in springtime due to the rich feeding grounds located in Cape Cod Bay. This incredible phenomena draws crowds of spectators to witness the whales breaching so close to shore.
One of the world’s most endangered species, state and federal regulation prevent boaters from approaching within 500 yards of a right whale. They are called “right whales” because whalers thought the whales were the “right” ones to hunt, as they float when killed and often swim within sight of shore. They are also incredibly friendly, and often swam right up to boats as well. As such, they were hunted nearly to extinction during the active years of the whaling industry.
Other sightings have occurred recently at Herring Cove and Race Point beaches in Provincetown, as well as off the coast of Plymouth and Martha’s Vineyard, some as early as mid-December. So if any of you adventurers want to see whales “up close and personal” we suggest you make a beeline for Cape Cod soon and stay at our lovely Inn.