Cape Cod – Day 3
Our second full day at Cape Cod featured a 30+ mile bike ride, an introduction to the seals and a croquet battle royale on the South Lawn of the Chatham Bars Inn. Today’s blog post includes rarely seen pictures from my own personal journals!
On Monday, Ryan, Sam, Maria, Tim and I all rented bikes and rode along the Cape Cod Rail Trail. The Chatham Bars Inn has free bike rentals for guests– first come, first serve. Maria and Sam got their bikes first. As Ryan and I were picking up ours, Tim came down and secured the very last available bike.
I was the only one who opted for a helmet and this garnered some attention. My uncle ribbed me.
“I have a very important brain!” I said in desperate defence. The moment I said it, I knew I was in trouble.
“Are you saying we don’t?!?” Tim said with a big gotcha grin on his face, “Is your brain more important than ours?”
But the truth is, I was just scared of falling. It had been a while since I had been on a bike and this one was tall enough to make me feel even more unsteady.
Just moments after taunting me, Tim demonstrated exactly why I wanted a helmet. He peddled a mere 30 feet before his tire snagged in a crevice and he toppled over.
Tim left no ambiguity as to whether or not he was okay. As soon as he impacted the ground, he was cackling at himself. That distinct Sawyer cackle, loud and resonate. This formidable man was literally rolling on the ground laughing at himself. The recollection is still hilarious to me, even though three weeks had passed.
A passerby was standing nearby the site of Tim’s fall and she was startled by the accident. After her initial flinch, she asked a question with the most obvious of answers.
“Are you alright?”
Tim found a way to extend the humor of the incident. Even hours later at supper he told a tale of how *I* ran him off the road. My words to him as I bike checked him with roller derby brutality were alledgedly, “I’VE GOT A HELMET!!!!”
That was the only mishap we had and we all shared a great bike ride! This was the same bike path Ryan and I ran the day before. I was surprised with how much faster mileage goes when you are on the bike. Together, all five of us biked to the Harwick town center. I forgot to bring money, but Tim spotted me so “my brain” could have some Gatorade.
After that, we parted ways. Ryan & I kept going down the trail to Nickerson State Park. I thought the bike trail was nice before, but after the “rotary” (aka circle) in Harwick, the trail is AMAZING! It passed through beautiful forests (countless oak trees) and between crystal clear ponds. Just gorgeous.
Tony Airaghi once commended biking. He told me how it is very much like hiking and you can take in a lot of scenery. I definitely can agree. I just loved all the trees and views. And Nickerson State Park was the cream of the crop! Unlike the packed Cape Cod Rail Trail, the paved trails of the park were almost completely void of people. The bike trails in the state park were more hilly as well.
When Ryan & I first arrived at the park, I looked at a map and announced, “Hey! I want to see Cliff Pond! It sounds like there are cliffs there!”
Ryan smiled gently and I realized how unlikely my statement was. The topography was less flat than Elizabeth City, but it certainly was not “cliff material”. More likely the pond was named after some local dude with the surname “Cliff.”
But it was a destination and it was as good as anything else to bike to. As we discovered actual hills on the bike path, including one steep enough to warrant a warning sign, I got excited. Perhaps there were cliffs at Cliff Pond afterall.
We made our way near the pond and took a gravel road down to its shore.
And nope. No cliffs.
BUT– what we found was quite nice. Here this pristine pond with clear waters was mostly secluded. The children of a small family splashed in the water and a caught fish flopped around in a plastic bag. I was surprised to be at a place with such beauty and now having it swarming with humans.
Ryan and I did not bike with our cameras, so our only pictures (and a series of accidental videos we took thinking we were taking pictures) were from my camera.
We were out for about four hours and biked over thirty miles. Upon our return, we walked to downtown Chatham for lunch. We ate a a place called Battered Up. Ryan had a delicious chicken kabob and I had a yummy fried scallop cup.
After lunch, Ryan and I tried to take the Chatham Bars Inn’s free water shuttle to the North Shore. Unfortunately the last shuttle back from the North Shore leaves at 3:45 PM, so it wasn’t going to be worth it for Ryan and I to go out there to come right back. Ryan and I waited at the pier for Mom and Carolyn to return.
When they did, we recruited my cousins Sam and Gina and then we walked down to The Chatham Fish Pier. There, I finally got to see a seal close up! I had been hearing them and seeing their little black heads poke up out of the water in the horizon. At the Fish Pier, a couple of privy seals had discovered a strategy for an easy meal.
After the Fish Pier, we walked to the South Lawn of the Chatham Bars Inn to watch “Family Croquet”. Clint and Carolyn were taking on two brothers just who just learned to play that day. Carolyn and Clint may look like tough opponents… but the two boys seem to beat them with relative ease. : )
For supper, Ryan and I added ourselves on to Tim’s family’s reservations at The Tavern. I was surprised at how quickly the concierge was able to take care of my request.
“Was it the Sawyer party?” the fellow on the phone asked me.
“Yes,” I said.
“It’s already taken care of.”
Wow, now that’s service! Impressive!
Little did I know my Aunt Julie and my Uncle Chuck had also called to tag onto the reservations. When Ryan and I called, the concierge thought we were the same couple! As a result, when our party of eight showed up, the restaurant was only prepared for six. Luckily they quickly adapted. Ryan and I shared the delicious scallop entree, salad appetizers and…. yum, yum, yum– creme brulee.
Girl’s Night and BANG!
Monday night, my cousins Michelle and Jennifer had the night off as their husbands were watching their sons. So they recruited women to go out for a bit. Jennifer, Michelle, Maria, Gina, Sam and I all headed down to the Red Nun in Chatham. I found the outing very pleasant– a lot of story telling (I have pages and pages in my journal of various stories), a lot of laughter. When we returned back to the resort, I checked in with the guys. They were doing a favorite beach vacation activity– playing games. That night it was BANG! I joined them and my sister and my cousin Melanie for a quick game. It was an interesting game and educational. I didn’t realize my cousin Jack was so sneaky. I also didn’t realize my young cousin Melanie was so cut-throat. : )
And that was the packed third day of our vacation!!!!