Cape Cod in the Winter

Over the holiday’s I was on the East Coast visiting with friends and family and doing my best to stay warm. A couple days after Christmas I drove from Connecticut to spend the next week with my family in Cape Cod.

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The above photo was taken mid route between Providence and Cape Cod (at Fall River). Don’t worry, I was in the passenger seat.

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This photo was taken going over the Bourne Bridge at Sunset. The drive out to Cape Cod is very beautiful.

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There’s really nothing like an East Coast Christmas. Cape Cod is such a beautiful place, even in the (extreme) cold.

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The above four photos were taken at Harding Beach in Chatham. It was a very cold and windy beach walk, but it makes for a fun adventure.

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The above four photos were taken at the Chatham Fish Pier, which is a great seal/shark lookout place in the summer and is also next to a tasty fish market. It’s a fun place to go and watch the fishing boats come in with their daily take. The fish attract the seals, and the seals attract the sharks.. circle of life.

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The above two photos are from Chatham Lighthouse and the beach accompanying it.

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The last stop at sunset was Cold Storage Beach in Dennis. If it weren’t so frigid and windy, this is a great walking beach to explore in the summer time. You can see these beach photos have WAY less snow, since this is the bay-side.

Every year people flock to Cape Cod in the summer time, and yet everything shuts down in the winter. I find the quite and stillness mixed with the snowy landscape just so beautiful in winter. If you have the chance to experience Cape Cod in the winter, it’s worth your time.

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Exploring Cape Cod: Chatham, First Night

Chatham is an adorable (pricy) town in the elbow of Cape Cod. Winter time is definitely their slump season, but on December 31st the town comes alive for First Night. It’s a great time to catch sales (50% off!) at the normally mucho expensive, cutsie shops along Main Street.

I had to include the above picture, because while taking a break from the Main Street drag of shops and tourists my family and I did a loop around the neighborhood where we ran across this house… and mini house.

The road looped around to this cute beach area. From there we went back into town. It was a nice little detour.

You can tell by these pics it was a tad overcast on the 31st, but Chatham kept their schedule despite the drizzle.

More adorable shops!

SHOPS! SHOPS! SHOPS!

They had bands playing inside a local church (I’m sure the rain pushed them off the churches lush front yard and into the warm dry chapel). Normally they have ice craving and people give out noise makers and hats displaying “2012!”. As I was leaving I snapped this shot of a carpenter beginning his demonstration of chainsaw carving. He carves these logs down into little bears.

Exploring Cape Cod: Great Island Trail

The next day was about ten degree’s warmer, which in winter degrees, made being outside bearable. We decided to make a day of it and head out to Wellfleet, MA. HERE is the link to where you can park to do this hike. THIS link leads to an archaic yet helpful brochure with a map of the hike. We figured we did probably an 8 mile loop in total.

The hike is a mix of marsh, wooded trails, and beach. It also has several places to pick up the walk, so if you want more time walking the beach you can just jump back onto the trail when you’re ready (without having to back track).

Once we had our fill of beach walking (sand walking can be tiresome) we headed up into the hills.

After a wooded hike, the trail spit us out on the other side of the peninsula. We walked this side of the beach for a while. What beautiful cliffs sit ahead of us.

Unfortunately, we reached a point in the hike where we needed to cross a river that was just a tad too wide to jump across and way to deep to cut across. But we were there for a walk, so we just cut back along the dry edge of the marsh, adding distance to our hike.

One thing that was unavoidable, and a bit frightening, were all the dead birds we ran across while in the marsh. We were examining animal tracks, but it was still to hard to tell how they passed on. It was disturbing, the giant quantity of dead birds. Prepare yourself for this if you are going to do this loop. Also be careful if you’re bringing pets along. Whatever killed these birds must be pretty powerful.

Our timing was perfect, as we finished the hike just as the sun was setting. I imagine there are some scary animals in that woods, so be sure to allow yourself time to complete this during daylight hours. Also be sure to check tidal information, as I’m sure at high tide much of the marsh fills in.

The sunset was the perfect payoff to a great hike.