Boston Massachusetts

September 28, 2002

It’s Saturday evening and we’re sitting comfortably in our friends’ home just outside of Boston. This afternoon we went apple picking at a nearby farm, then wandered around Walden Pond for some late afternoon inspiration. It’s been a calm ending to a very full week on the road.

This week began as we finally got all 29 boxes successfully off to FedEx, and said goodbye to our New York home. We loaded up the car while double-parked, and to our joy and amazement we could see out the back window! After negotiating a few streets to get our of the Manhattan maze, The Big Apple truly was in our rear view mirror. It was goodbye city, hello green trees. It’s amazing how fast the landscape changes just north of the city.

We drove for a few hours up to New Haven, Connecticut, where we stopped and walked around Yale University. What a beautiful campus. We couldn’t help thinking how our lives would be different if we had attended here (assuming we would’ve gotten in, of course). It felt very English, ivy clinging to the stone walls, bells chiming at the top of the hour. The bells then went on to play the theme from Sesame Street. We saw a poster for a play, "Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella" at the local theater. It was pay what you will night, so we decided to find a campsite, then return for the play.

We drove east along the coast to Hammonasset Sate Park. We found our patch of grass for the night and set up our tent. After watching a brilliant sunset over the Long Island Sound we hopped back in the car and returned to Yale for the play.

"Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella" is all three plays on one stage interwoven into a kaleidoscope of words and action - Greek tragedy, Elizabethan drama and Rogers and Hamersitein musical! It was a bit like a fever-dream with three TVs all playing at once, but somehow it all made perfect sense. We both agreed that this was the most bizarre play we’d ever seen, and we highly recommend it.

On our second day we had a quick breakfast in Madison and found the first of what we’re sure will be many independent bookstores in our travels. We then drove inland to Dinosaur State Park, where in 1967 a farmer unearthed fossilized footprints of Dinosaurs. Spread out before us were hundreds of tracks criss-crossing each other in what used to be the muddy bank of a lake.

From there we then drove back down to the coast to Old Lyme, the birthplace of American Impressionism painting. We visited the Florence Griswald House, which in its day was the center of an artist colony. Many fine examples of the plein air style line the walls — some even painted right on the walls!

The next day we drove on to Mystic ( you know, of "Mystic Pizza" fame). This town was a real center for ship building in the 18th and 19th centuries, and now the Mystic Seaport is a 19-acre museum containing everything about tall ships you could ever want to know. We spent six hours there and barely saw half of it. We heard about the whaling industry, saw how rope was made in a huge long barn, learned how to navigate using a sextant, and crawled over every nook and cranny of the last surviving whale ship.

From here we drove up to Providence, Rhode Island and spent the night with Kate Snow and her husband Bart. Kate made a wonderful bowl of pasta and we stayed up late watching a video we’d gotten at the seaport that afternoon of a harrowing journey around Cape Horn in a tall ship.

In the morning we drove on to Cape Cod. Campgrounds were a little hard to find on our not-too-detailed map, and visitor information wasn’t the friendliest, but we did get settled in Nickerson State Park. We drove out to "P-town" at the "fist" at the end of the Cape (that’s Provincetown for the non-local). Here we hiked off across the wind-swept dunes and dipped our toes in the Atlantic with a seal as our witness. In town we watched a fishing boat come in trailed by a thick flock of seagulls. The boat pulled up at the dock right in front of us and began unloading its day’s catch into a waiting truck — talk about fresh fish!

That night it rained … and rained some more. We stayed nice and dry though because we’d rigged a tarp over the tent. We spent a relaxing day in Chatham (the "elbow" of the Cape) hitting the local bookstores and guaking at the prices of the antique nautical gizmos. The coast here really is beautiful, and as the fog rolled in the light from the Chatham Lighthouse shone out into the evening gloom. We turned the car back to face the rest of America and in the evening drove a couple hours to Boston and landed with our friends Alan and Debbie.

Now we’re settled in looking forward to our time in Bean Town. From here it’s on to Gloucester and points north.



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