Near our campsite at Scusset Beach State Park is a 14-mile loop bike trail that runs beside the Cape Cod Canal. What a perfect day to try out Lucy’s new eyewear! I’m not sure what Lucy thought about her “doggles”. We were pleased that she didn’t try to take them off, although she did keep her head hanging low. Maybe she’s embarrassed. Everyone we passed thought the doggles were hysterical (in a precious way, I’m sure!)
A short drive up the coast from our campsite is historic Plymouth. We went there to see where the pilgrims landed in 1620 after crossing the Atlantic Ocean in the Mayflower. We saw the Plymouth Rock which is supposedly the boulder on which the Mayflower pilgrims first stepped….what is left of it, anyway. Over the centuries, it has been moved several times and broken each time. At one point in time, an axe was kept next to it so that souvenir chunks could be chipped off! It now is about 1/3 of its original size and is protected by gratings and covered by a portico. Still, it’s a rock. Yawn.
Continuing our walking tour, we viewed various statues and monuments to the early settlers and the Wampanoag sachem chief who befriended the Pilgrims and helped them survive. Of the 102 original pilgrims, only 51 survived the first year. Legend has it that the Pilgrims who died in that first winter were secretly buried and their graves planted over to conceal the number of dead. This granite sarcophagus now contains many of the recovered bones.
The Jenney Grist Mill is a 17th-century living history museum with guided tours through the mill and demonstrations of corn-grinding.
We walked through Burial Hill which is the oldest European graveyard in New England. Gravestones date to the late 1680’s, and it is claimed that some of the Mayflower passengers were also buried here. It was interesting to read the words used to identify and honor the deceased on these old gravestones.
The National Monument to the Forefathers is the largest free-standing granite statue in the world and the 3rd tallest statue in the US. It represents the figure of Faith with one foot on Plymouth Rock and one finger pointing to the heavens. The other figures on the statue represent the virtues of the Pilgrims: Morality, Education, Law, and Liberty.
I have to admit that the best part of the day was having lunch at the CabbyShack Restaurant and Pub which was featured on the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate – Guilty Pleasures”. Yummmmmm.
We had a bit of a hiccup in our campsite reservation at Scusset Beach which left us without a campsite for 2 nights right in the middle of our 10 day stay! So Mike’s good friend Mike Grady invited us to ‘camp’ in his driveway at his Cape Cod home (aka the Irish Riviera). We had to drive The Bear over a really old bridge (the Sagamore Bridge) with very skinny lanes and a very high curb. We decided to hog both lanes and just drive down the middle. It was still hair curling. When we reached Mike’s house, we all assessed the situation. A few branches would have to be clipped because of our height. But when we attempted to back in, we were going to be too close to the overhead power lines. So we came in from the other side of his arced drive and voila! Then we ran an extension cord to his house to provide the power needed for our refrigerator. Uh-oh. The grounding prong on our plug was broken. Weird. So Mike went to the hardware store, bought a new plug end, and spliced the new plug onto our house cable. Finally, everything is working, and pop! We were sucking too much juice and tripped the circuit breaker in Mike’s house. He switched us to a circuit with less of a load and then finally we were all set to begin the festivities.
Mike and Mike’s friendship goes back almost 40 years. They met in the 1970’s when they were both starting their careers in Federal law enforcement. The stories of ‘way back then’ these two tell are hysterical! We had a great weekend with several fantastic bike rides on the ‘rail trail’. The weather was perfect and we rode 24 miles the first day, then 26 miles on a different route the second day, and took a 1 ½ hour morning walk before breakfast on Sunday! We enjoyed many happy hours on the patio deck, eating, drinking, story telling and laughing. Ellen is a great cook and every dinner was a feast. I’m so happy that our original campsite reservation got screwed up, because we wouldn’t have wanted to miss creating this wonderful memory.
We are now at the Wompatuck State Park campground in Hingham, MA (near Boston). We are only minutes from Mike’s hometown of Quincy. We plan to visit his favorite aunts, cousins, and his best buddy from grade school and high school.