Friday, September 30, 2011

Cape Ann Expedition

September 20, 2011
To Rockport, Massachusetts

A clear cold day-- wind N W
Salem to Cape Ann expedition
Leave Salem for the Cape on foot 
    HDT Journal, September 22, 1858

We travel along the back roads as much as possible, and today we were on our way to Cape Ann for our annual September vacation. As you can see by the quote above, Henry Thoreau also visited here in late September.

He took a train to Salem, then walked from there to Rockport, on the first day of what he called his “Cape Ann expedition.”

Our usual route takes us through southern Vermont. Just three weeks ago, Tropical Storm Irene caused much havoc, turning placid brooks into raging torrents. The waters have receded, but the brooks sure don't look like they used to.

It’s remarkable how quickly some roads and bridges have been repaired. Well, most of them. This is the detour around the Main Street of Jamaica, Vermont.

Besides the urgency of getting basic services restored for its residents, Vermont is also thinking of the upcoming Foliage Season, which is a large part of her economy.
Despite the damage, people seem to have kept their sense of humor (from the Halloween display at a popular farm stand)

Unlike the weather for Thoreau's expedition, it was unusually warm for this time of year. It was raining lightly today. 
When we finally arrived in Rockport, Mom and I were ready to sit and relax, after driving most of the day on pleasant but winding roads.
Jackie and Dennis would be joining us for several days,
for their first trip to Cape Ann.
Jackie and I were looking forward to some seashore botanizing.

They had taken another (faster) route, but arrived moments after we did.

Let the vacation begin !

We got settled into our rooms at the hotel, which sits overlooking Front Beach.

Rockport is indeed rocky, but this small stretch of sand is a great place for beachcombing.

Our lodging is a small room at an older sixties-style motel, but it is kept beautifully by the owners, who are friendly and helpful.

When you stay there, you realize the truth of the old saying,
“Location, location, location.”

We sat awhile on the balcony, drinking in the view, and being entranced by the splashing of the waves that are a constant on this beach.
The sound usually keeps me up the first night, and by the third night, you can’t imagine being able to sleep without it.

Just before we walked down to the Square for dinner,
the clouds parted, and a bit of sunshine peeped through.

Later, I awoke in the middle of the night.
The little waves were still tossing themselves down,
and the stars were out.

What woke me was the moon's light shining on my face.
It was just rising over the part of town called Bearskin Neck.

There’s no escape possible from Nature here.
Nor would it be wise to ignore her, for those who venture out onto the Ocean.

The Sun may rule the land, but it is the Moon who rules the sea.


  1. What fun to revisit Rockport via your lovely blog. It's great to hear the sea again, and your moonshots are gorgeous.

  2. well I was up for an hour in the middle of the night, sitting on that balcony with the camera ...
    carpe noctem !
    It was great showing you & Dennis some of my favorite places there.

  3. That looks like the "moon bridge" and sounds like the waves on Lake Champlain when I visit camp in the middle of the summer. What a soothing kind of sound.

  4. Sue, I enjoyed your post and your sharing of a moonlit Sandy Bay.