August 18, 2021
As you may know, sleeping in isn't generally what we do, but this morning I'm not up until just after 8:00 a.m. I rolled over when I woke up at around 6:00 a.m. Oh, well.
Today is another travel day. We'll make our way onto "The Cape" for a visit with the The Reverend Ann Coburn in Wellfleet where she has a summer home.
Neither Melanie nor I have ever set foot on Cape Cod so we're excited to see what all the fuss is about. Over the past several weeks people to whom we've mentioned our intent to travel there have across the board been effusive about the place.
We leave our very nice Boondockers Welcome location and travel 6 or so miles to a local water treatment plant where they have a dump station for the price of $6.25. We receive a receipt that gives us access to the dump through the end of the year. With tanks empty, we're on our way to the cape.
Melanie finds lunch for us in Braintree, MA. Olympian Diner a relatively small diner and we get one of the last tables in the place which appears to us to be inhabited by mostly locals. We wonder if we aren't recognized as people who aren't from around there.
Lunch is good and, as we make our way back to the van, Melanie spots a Walgreens and says she'll get a pack of Scott's toilet paper we need. I go to the van, start the generator and van air conditioner. It's in the mid 80's and getting warm in the van.
I find a place to get diesel fuel and, after filling up our tank, We head again for Wellfleet. We've still got about 80 miles+ to go. The drive is nice and uneventful and we arrive a little past 3:00 Eastern.
Our host, Rev. Ann Coburn come out to greet us and we decide on a spot for Miranda in front of her garage. Ann is an EPF member and works with one of EPF's working groups, Palestinian Israeli Network (PIN). We sit outside on her deck and drink water and catch up a bit before we all decide an adult beverage is in order. Melanie and Ann have a glass of wine and I opt for a new double IPA I found in Portland, ME.
Ann and Melanie begin preparations for a nice dinner for us and we snack on some Brattleboro, VT cheese I purchased at the Saturday Brattleboro Farmers Market. I also retrieve Kimchi and pickled cucumbers purchased at the same Farmers Market to have with our dinner.
Melanie and Ann continue to catch up after dinner while I clear the table and clean up the dinner dishes. After I'm finished, Melanie and Ann come in and we part ways for the evening.
We make our way to the van, get ready for bed and stream a bit before sleep just after 10.
July 19, 2021
We up around 7:00 a.m. and I make coffee while Melanie checks emails and social media. We have breakfast in the van and Melanie, seeing Ann has emerged from her home, goes to check in with her.
After a while Melanie returns and goes to Ann's cottage and gets a shower. She tells me we're going out around 10:00 a.m. for a tour of Wellfleet and a visit to a house currently rented by her ex-sister-in-law that's within the National Sea Shore nearby.
Our tour and visit last for about 2 hours and once we're back, I get a saw from Ann's garage and prune some branches that overhang and are blocking Ann's driveway. Melanie makes our lunch salad and, as I finish pruning, she's ready for us to eat.
After lunch, rain begins to fall, I journal and Melanie checks email and works for a bit. Lying down in the back of the van seems like the thing to do. We'll run to a local market when it stops raining.
We drive into Wellfleet and park just across from the Hatch's Fish & Produce Market. It's dripping rain as we make our way past the produce outside and into the fish market that has a variety of seafood. Ann asks for help with mussels (part of our dinner tonight) and some smoked blue fish.
We in and out and back into a harder rain shower. Traveling back to Ann's house where Melanie and Ann prepare dinner. It stops raining, outside table and chairs are wiped down for left-over rain water and we enjoy a great dinner of mussels, fresh corn-on-the-cob and salad.
I'm up after we finish dinner and take dishes inside and proceed with the clean up. Melanie and Ann join me and Melanie assists in putting the finishing touches on cleaning up. We chat for a bit before retiring to the van.
Streaming and sleep ensue, but we're keeping an eye on Henri, a tropical storm threatening to become a hurricane as it makes its way towards us. First one to hit New England in 30 years they say.
July 20, 2021
I'm up around 6:00 a.m. making coffee. I check the weather and we're still under a hurricane watch. Not good, but we've got time to make a decision on whether we stay or try to move Miranda out of potential harms way.
Melanie begins her work day as we both sip coffee. Melanie goes for a shower in Ann's cottage and I continue to read and eat breakfast.
Ann comes out of her house and Melanie joins her. I clean up dishes and move outside to take the bikes out of storage and set them up. Batteries are plugged in to top off a full charge of a few days. I remove the rear caution light on my bike and plug it in too.
I also run hoses from Ann's house to Miranda and fill Miranda with fresh water. I leave the hoses connected so we can use that water instead of the water from our 30 gallon fresh water tank. I figure if we lose power and thus have no well water we'll at least have access to fresh water.
I join Ann and Melanie on the deck for more coffee and a brief discussion of the day about to unfold for us. Melanie and Ann will make a plan and I'm going out for a bike ride around Wellfleet.
I finish preparations for my ride and bid all farewell with the ring of my bike bell. I've decided to check out the Cape Cod Rail Trail (CCRT). I'll travel about 1.5 miles from Ann's home to the terminus in Wellfleet and ride from there.
Highway 6 is busy. Almost always busy. It takes me a few minutes to be able to cross it and make my way down the way to the trail. Patience.
The CCRT is an asphalt trail. It's mostly smooth going, but tree roots have begun to buck up the surface which has been gratefully marked with yellow paint so a rider can anticipate them. I ride out 14 miles through mostly tree covered trail. It's a warm day and there are many people out using the trail, waking and riding and skating.
Just after my odometer turns 15 miles, I turn around and head back. I make it back to the terminus at around 1:30 p.m. and decide to get something to eat. PB Boulangerie is close by the terminus of the trail and I ride over, park my bike, and go inside to order lunch.
Because of COVID-19 and it's variant, all food is for take-out or outside consumption. I order a Salmon BLT, get a drink and a cookie and sit outside under an umbrella and enjoy. Recommended.
Returning to the van, I catch up with Melanie and Ann, then rest in the van for a bit before going into the cottage for a shower in preparation for our planned dinner outing to Winslow's Tavern in Wellfleet.
We get to the Tavern a little past their opening at 5:30 p.m. The place on the patio out front we'd hope to get before the dinner crowd arrived is not available. The place is hoping.
We quickly decide an inside table is better than a 45 minute wait for outside and Melanie, Ann and I move inside to wait on The Very Reverend Tracey and Emily. Tracey is a former Dean of the Cathedral in Cleveland, Emily Ingalls is her wife. Melanie had reminded me of a 60 Minutes segment of a few years back featuring Tracey and her battle with a form of dementia.
From her website:
The Very Rev. Tracey Lind and her spouse Emily Ingalls are traveling across North America sharing the insights they’ve gained from a life complicated by dementia. A retired Episcopal minister and city planner, Tracey was diagnosed with the early stages of Frontotemporal Degeneration in 2016. Emily, who spent more than 20 years in commercial real estate and project management, now considers herself Chief Logistics Officer, responsible for managing a life and home turned upside down by this disease.
Tracey and Emily arrive, we're introduced and the evening and food are very, very nice. Tracey and Emily are interested in making Miranda's acquaintance so as we part ways for the evening, we make a plan for them to come by Ann's house for tour.
Since we're under a Hurricane Watch on the Cape, we volunteer to assist Tracey and Emily going around to some of the older parishioners homes to help them prepare.
We drive and meet Tracey and Emily at Wellfleet harbor for a walk around and potential ice cream stop. Many of the boats have already been pulled out of the water, but it's very calm this evening and we can't stand in one place long as the mosquitos are out in force. Tracey and I walk and talk photography. None of use apparently need, nor want ice cream.
Once we're back at Ann's, we part ways, a bit of streaming and sleep follow.
July 21, 2021
I'm composing this day on Monday, the 23rd. Much has happened since Saturday and I'm not sure when I woke up or got up, but I do know with certainty and so do you, if you've read my postings for the past few weeks, coffee was consumed.
We have breakfast and Melanie begins her work day eventually joining Ann on her deck.
I know I must get out either on my bike or by car to buy coffee beans as we've consumed the last of that purchased in Freeport, Maine.
Tracey and Emily show up early afternoon and I give them the tour of Miranda as promised. Afterwards it's time for a swim and all the women folk go to Duck Pond leaving me to run my coffee errand. I'm also charged with procuring dinner for Ann, Melanie and me.
I use Ann's car to travel over to PB Boulangerie and grab dinner and dessert for us. The entree is frozen so I leave it to in Ann's house to thaw. Moroccan Lamb Bolognese. Yum.
I find a local coffee roasters. They're open until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and they're located just off the Cape Cod Rail Trail about 6 miles and change from Ann's house.
I get to the roasters at just past 3:00 and find that I should have pre-ordered any coffee I wanted. Drat. Okay, now things are getting critical since many places in Wellfleet close around 4:00 p.m.
Riding at a faster pace, I make it to the CCRT terminus and park my bike in front of Blue Willow Fine Foods and Bakery. As I get off, a woman inside turns the "Open" sign around to read "Closed." Oh, no.
A man inside seeing my reaction opens the door of the Blue Willow and asks if I'd like to come in. I do and quickly find coffee. He graciously grinds it for me and I'm gone, thanking him profusely for allowing me in at the last minute.
I get home and shower. By this time Melanie and Ann are on the deck having an adult beverage. I put water on the boil for pasta that will be served with the Bolognese. I join them for drinks.
Dinner is, indeed, quite good and we talk a while before those blood-thirsty creatures begin to annoy us. Ann volunteers to clean up dishes. Melanie and I begin preparations for Henri's potential impact on us. At the moment, it appears we won't have much about which to worry, but we move the deck table and chairs away from the large windows, put away the umbrella, and close all the windows in Ann's cottage.
We say good night and all of us hope the storm won't be a factor for tomorrow's church services at St. James The Fisherman Episcopal Summer Chapel.
Melanie and I stream a bit and sleep.
July 22, 2021
l've set an alarm for 5:45 a.m. I'm up making coffee before the snooze can remind me. We have a bit of breakfast and just after 8:10 a.m. we're outside waiting for Ann to join us so we can travel together to St. James.
I drive so I can drop Melanie and Ann off since parking is limited around the church proper. It has stopped raining about an hour before we set out and looks like we'll only have a windy day with little or no rain in the forecast. Henri has mercifully tracked well to our west.
I park the car and join the few folks who have shown up to participate join Tracey and Melanie for a Conversation on the Patio before services. There's a nice turnout for such a potentially inclement day and a nice bit of back and forth goes on. Wind is all we get from Henri.
After church services, we travel a short distance to brunch at Van Rensselaer's. There are eight around a table and conversation is lively and great. Brunch is tasty too. Recommended.
After brunch, we travel back to Ann's and Melanie and I go to Wellfleet Market Place in Ann's car and purchase a few items we need and then it's back to the van. I take a big dog nap.
Waking at around 3:00 p.m., I decide to take a bike ride to wake up. I prepare our steaks in a marinade for the evening's dinner and get on my bike headed for the CCRT.
I'm stopped by a phone call from my friend, Trip Tomlinson, who wants to know how Henri treated us. We catch up for a few minutes and Melanie, who said she wasn't interested in a bike ride, shows up on her bike. She's going to the post office in my general direction.
We ride together until she reaches the post office which is only a few yards away from the trailhead of the CCRT.
Since it's getting later in the day, I decide as I ride on to the trail I'll ride out 10 miles at a good pace and then come back. It's windy, but no rain, and there are a good many people, mostly folks with children, out for rides and walks.
I get back from my ride, take out and set up our griddle, get a quick shower and join Melanie and Ann for cocktails and a nosh. Melanie prepares potatoes, Ann a nice salad and when the time is right, I griddle the steaks.
We remain outside talking after dinner until, you know, mosquitos. Melanie cleans up the dishes, then I grab the griddle and clean it up too.
We talk inside for a bit before Melanie and I retire to the van for streaming and sleep.
August 23-24, 2021
Our routine hasn't changed any over the past couple of days. No alarms. We've been able to wake up when we do.
We continue to enjoy our time with our host, the Reverend Ann Coburn. We share a nosh in the evenings and our wide ranging discussions. Melanie and I are most grateful for Ann's hospitality in allowing us and Miranda a very nice spot for our extended stay with her.
The weather has been most cooperative with highs in the low 80's and low's in the 70's. We're happy to have dodged Henri's wrath such as it was.
I've enjoyed a few more rides on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. I've ridden most every day and even explored the Nickerson State Park which has easy access off the trail.
On Monday evening I had dinner with the Very Reverend Tracey and her wife, Emily, at their rental home in Wellfleet. It was great evening of talking photography, among other things.
The lazy days of summer never looked so good. Jus' sayin'.
Steven and Melanie