A winter meander.
Our two day adventure in Cape Cod continued with a visit to the site of one of the first wireless radio transmission across the Atlantic. Guglielmo Marconi successfully transmitted a message to King Edward VII to Theodore Roosevelt from a beach near South Wellfleet, Massachusetts. The original monument was recently removed due to the continued encroachment of the ocean, and the visitor’s center was closed for the season. But, we were still able to climb up to the observation area and look out over the ocean, imagining the thrill of those early inventors as this message was transmitted between two heads of state. His invention played a critical role in the Titanic disaster as well, his radio men were in communication with the rescue ship, thus saving many lives. As cold as it was, this was a lovely place to discover, and revisit in warmer weather.
Deciding to take the slower route back we turned off the main road Route 6 and took Route 28, from the Orleans traffic circle. Our hosts at Carpe Diem had recommended a stop in Chatham, (pronounced Chat-em!) telling us this town was true “old Cape”. We were not disappointed. Using our Massachusetts road atlas we successfully wound through some lovely neighborhoods, reaching our destination, the Chatham Lighthouse. New England has many lighthouses, and I have visited more than a few. Each is unique, and many have helpful plaques or memorials giving you some of the history of the lighthouse. In this case, we learned that the Pilgrims were deterred from heading to their preferred destination of New York, by the treacherous waters off Chatham. So part of Chatham’s claim to fame is the fact that because of these unpredictable waters, the Pilgrims sailed on and settled a little further in Plymouth.
Chatham has a lovely downtown with fun shops, including two independent bookstores. As we are avid readers we had to check out both establishments. Yellow Umbrella Books is a lovely small bookstore filled to the brim with new and used books, in addition to a small selection of music. Where the Sidewalk Ends is at the far end of Main Street, a big barn of a bookstore filled with lots of light and a large children’s book selection.
This being December, all the shops were still decorated for the holidays. There was a particularly neat shop called Ducks in the Window, that boasts the largest collection of rubber ducks in a store. Main Street also has a lovely park that hosts small Christmas Trees decorated to reflect the businesses that sponsored them. There was much more we could have explored both in Chatham and the other towns we passed through on our journey, but the nice thing about a New England road trip is you can always return to an area, and we will.