One day. Six beaches of The National Seashore, climbing huge dunes, seeing the Province Lands from up high, visiting friends, downtown Provincetown, a personal tour guide, and indescribable sights (although I’ll try), and over 800 photographs (which I haven’t seen all of yet) – this was my Sunday. I am in awe.
I am trying to savor each place again as I look at my photographs from this wonderful day. Consider this part one – I have no idea how many parts there will be.
The car wasn’t even parked yet at this overlook at Coast Guard Beach and I said, “Stop.” This unbelievable vista is looking toward Nauset Marsh and Nauset Spit, the location of The Outermost House before it was lost to the sea in 1978.
It was windy and cold here on the top of the dune cliffs overlooking the North Atlantic and the Spit. Winter has not been easy on the shore this year; erosion is a natural occurrence that will continue to change our shores.
Copied from this sign below…. click through to read the rest on a larger image.
“Author and naturalist Henry Beston came to this shore in September 1927. On the dunes about a mile and a half to your right he built a cottage with two rooms and a fireplace. Here he lived a solitary year in the company of the ocean. His nearest neighbors were the Coast Guardsmen on the hill behind you.”
The former Coast Guard Station, but not the original. Due to being a graveyard for over 3000 shipwrecks by this shore, rescue services were developed in the 1700s, eventually becoming a professional rescue organization and then the United States Coast Guard.
The National Parks Service has a very interesting page here with this excerpt cut from it, and facts about the beach and the history.
….The continued frequent loss of life along the nation’s shores led Congress, in 1871-1872, to reorganize the Life Saving Service, a place it on a full-time professional basis. The construction and manning of nine stations on the “backside” of Cape Cod was provided for in the Federal budget of 1871.
One of the original nine stations was constructed at Nauset. It was located about 350 yards southeast of the present building. Shoreline erosion compelled the construction of a new station. The old station remained in service until 1937, when it was replaced by the present structure. The present building was in service as a Coast Guard Station until 1958…..
The weather vane – sailing ship and whale.
The Blizzard of ’78, with waves 14.5 feet above mean low tide took dunes down, a parking lot and bath house out as well as four homes, including The Outermost House from Nauset Spit.
The National Seashore posts instructions for a cell phone tour along the way. While we did not try this, nor did we get down to the beach itself, there was so much to see right at the top of the cliff; the winds made us return to the car.
Although we would have liked go get onto the beach, we saw no stairs at the end of this viewing point (or anywhere else), and with the harsh wind, we decided not to follow the sandy path down the dune to find the access.
We did not follow the path to the edge of the cliff to see if there was a drop.
As far as the eye can see…….. beautiful blues.
Every so often I ask myself why I am doing this blog; it takes a lot of time, and is a lot of work. Then, an email came in a few weeks ago from a friend who told me that for a few moments each day, she is able to escape. She can travel – through me – to places that circumstances and health may not allow her or her husband to ever see. That is why I am doing this blog. So, Jaana, and for others who are journeying to places they may never see otherwise, this one is for you – just wait until you see what is coming up.