We arrived at Scussett Beach State Reservation after a brief two-hour drive Monday. The first half of the drive was through Narragansett, Newport and some other small towns on roads that could stand some maintenance but the last half was good roads on I-195 and US-6. The campground is nice. We have water and 30 amps, Verizon and satellite. I don't know why they call it a State Reservation instead of a State Park. I may have to research that. The sites are fairly large. The only complaint I have is the hookups. The Electric post is shared by the site behind us which requires a long cord and the water has a four-way hookup even farther away that is shared by four sites which requires a lot of hose. We had also arranged for mail to be sent to us at the Sagamore Post Office so we picked it up Monday afternoon too. It contained our meds for the next three months.
Tuesday was our 42nd anniversary and we decided on a whale watching cruise out of Provincetown, MA. Provincetown is on the very tip of Cape Cod and a tourist mecca in these parts. Thankfully, we are early in the season and the tourist explosion hasn't occurred yet! The problem with being early in the season is there is a reason for that - it's still pretty darn cold!!! We have been having lows around 40 degrees for the past week and highs in the mid 50s. That isn't too bad when you are in the sun and out of the wind, but when you are in the shade and the wind is blowing, it's like a Nor'easter in Jacksonville in January!
Anyhow, the whale cruise was great. We thankfully took a dose of Bonine
an hour or so before the boat left the dock as we encountered some pretty heavy seas on the trip. It was well worth it though as we really got close to a lot of whales. I took quite a few pictures and posted the few that came out so-so but you really appreciate nature photographers for their ability to capture the scenes they do. It's really difficult to get good shots when the target isn't posing, is only visible for a second, and especially when the boat is rolling in 10 foot seas. I about froze my hands off (no, I wasn't wearing gloves - I'm from Florida and don't have any) holding on to the rail with one hand while trying to look through the viewfinder and snap a shot with the other. Appreciate what I got or Don't you come back here, no more, no more; Don't you come back here no more..... :)
After the cruise we stopped at the Cape Cod Potato Chip factory on the way back and took their self-guided tour. It reminded me a little of the Coors Brewery tour we took a few years ago - the volume of product being produced and the lack of people doing it. There were only three or four people on the floor of the plant and most of those were involved with getting the completely packaged chips off the plant floor. The whole process is completely automated with the exception of the one person checking for bad potatoes as they were finished being brush peeled . The potatoes they use are purchased at various places on the Eastern seaboard depending on the time of year so they are always fresh. They also are a little smaller than the potatoes you normally see. If you have eaten their chips, you may have noticed that they are smaller and thicker than Lays or others. With the exception of checking for bad potatoes, the quality control is completely automatic. For instance, to see if the proper amount of seasoning has been applied, the machines weigh one cubic foot of the chips and compare it to the weight of one cubic foot of unseasoned chips. For example, their White Cheese seasoned chips are supposed to weight exactly twice as much as unseasoned chips. We were not allowed to take pictures in the plant so my words will have to suffice.
After the factory tour we went to a local Olive Garden to have our traditional anniversary Italian meal (we had Italian the night I proposed and at our rehearsal dinner). Unfortunately that didn't go as well as the rest of the day. The food wasn't as good as ours in Orange Park and the service was terrible. But I guess it will have to suffice until our 43rd!!!
Wednesday we didn't do much but veg out and catch up on some computer work, but Thursday we went out again. First stop was Pairpoint Glass
, America's oldest glass works. They were established in 1837. Today they were not blowing glass so much as just making different glass shapes. Afterwards we went to Friendly's
which is a restaurant chain up here mostly known for their ice cream. We did have a great lunch, complete with sundaes! Then we figured we needed to walk some of that off so we went for a hike up Sagamore Hill which turned out to be much nicer than we anticipated. It was a little over one mile for a good hike. We hadn't read anything about it but just saw the sign near the campground and decided to do it. Sagamore Hill
was part of our coastal defenses during WWII and was supposed to protect the Cape Cod Canal. All that's left of the emplacement is the two Panama Gun Mounts with 155mm Guns at each and some refurbished magazines. It also had some nice views of Sagamore Beach.
We then decided to go have a look at the Cape Cod Canal
and Scussett Beach itself. We were lucky to catch a barge coming through the canal which runs from Buzzard Bay to Cape Cod Bay. We then went by the campground to Scussett Beach and saw the barge coming out and losing its escort of a Pilot boat and another tug boat. Apparently the pilot boat leads them through the canal and then the tug follows in case it is needed to help steer the barge.
Tomorrow we head for the Hanscom AFB FamCamp just North of Boston. We plan on staying there almost two weeks so I will break its blog up into three or four parts.