Rock Around Plymouth Rock / Caught by Cape Cod

Wednesday, October 15

Nearing the end of our trip and moderately saddened that we wouldn't have time to tour through New York like we originally wanted, we braved on, undaunted, to Plymouth, Massachusetts. Even though it's size (or lack, thereof) was surprising, we enjoyed seeing Plymouth Rock, the landmark used by the pilgrims in 1620. Not far from the monument built to protect the rock was the Mayflower II, a replica of the original Mayflower.

After milling around Plymouth, we "set sail" to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We rounded the hook and stopped first at the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown. Okay, maybe I'm not a history buff, but none of us ever realized that the Mayflower first landed at Cape Cod before pressing on to Plymouth.

The climb up the monument wasn't nearly as challenging as Bunker Hill. There were ramps with landings in each corner instead of hundreds of steps. I couldn't resist a photo looking straight up the tower from the bottom with the ramps spiraling around above me. On the way up were what I'm guessing were cornerstones at one point in time which had been incorporated into the inner walls of the monument. Reading some of them was fascinating, but one that really caught my attention was one from Lincoln which apparently marked the area where Paul Revere ended his midnight ride in 1775.

The view from the top was breathtaking. I could actually see the hooked shape Cape Cod is so famous for. I took two photos of Provincetown with the last little strip of raised land out in the ocean and digitally melded them together. Betcha can't find the seam where the two photos met!!

We moved on to the end of the cape where a small park (we nearly missed it--it wasn't well marked) marks the general vicinity where the Mayflower first landed. The plaque on the stone reads:

The first landing place of the Pilgrims, Nov. 14, 1620. The map in Mourt's relation shows that near this spot, the Pilgrims first touched foot on American soil...

From this spot, we could also see the two nearly identical lighthouses, Wood End and Long Point.

Our last two lighthouses were also on Cape Cod. Race Point, like the prior two, was not closely accessible, but Highland Light, otherwise known as Cape Cod Light, not only afforded a close-up view, but also featured a great view of the ocean from the edge of the bank over the beach. Highland Light found itself literally on the edge of danger as severe cliff erosion forced a plan to move the lighthouse. The move was successfully completed in the summer of 1996. In my photo of the lighthouse with a field in the foreground, you can just make out a small wooden stake in the ground which marked the former location of the tower's center. Another photo here of the beach cliffs are typical for much of New England's coasts.

Just as a P.S., at the end of our trip, we seriously considered taking the time to cut over to see the Cape Hatteras Light in North Carolina for our last lighthouse. This one is a majestic tower and is one of the few lighthouses which permits visitors to climb to the top. Time just wasn't on our side, though.

The Last Stop

[Where It All Began]
[On the Road] [East Coast Ahead] [Philly]
[Color At Last] [The Kancamagus Highway]
[The Wild Moose Chase] [Oh Canada]
[Go East Young Man]
[...and a Cruise Ship in a Foggy Sea]
[Whale Woes] [L.L. Bean At Last]
[The Lights to Boston] [The Freedom Trail, part 1]
[The Freedom Trail, part 2] [The Freedom Trail, part 3]
[Rock Around Plymouth Rock / Caught by Cape Cod]
[The Last Stop] [Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow]