The Rock.

Greetings from The Bay State! The Voyage of DH has officially relocated to Massachusetts, and my week has been filled with packing boxes, driving the 320 miles from New Jersey to Massachusetts, signing my lease, unpacking, and doing lots and lots of shopping. It has been a bit of a whirlwind over the past seven days, and there is still more to do yet to furnish my new home before the first day of my new job this coming Monday. However, with temperatures today nearing 70 degrees, I took a time-out and hit the road to one of the most famous attractions in New England: Plymouth Rock.

Located in the seaside town of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Plymouth Rock is taught to all schoolchildren in the United States as the place where the Pilgrims (European settlers fleeing religious persecution) disembarked from the Mayflower in 1620. Plymouth Rock is technically a boulder that was moved 20,000 years ago by a glacier from the Boston area down to the shores of Plymouth (about 40 miles away). While the history lessons from our childhood are endearing, real life is always more complicated: the Pilgrims’ own writing did not record landing on any rock, the first mention of Plymouth Rock was not until 1715, and the first place the Pilgrims landed was not Plymouth but Provincetown in Cape Cod a month earlier (via Wikipedia).

Plymouth Rock was once a very large boulder weighing an estimated 20,000 pounds. However, the centuries have seen it broken into pieces, sold, chipped, and split until its current size is a mere 1/3 of the original. Plymouth Rock is now housed at Pilgrim Memorial State Park, a large public park alongside the shore of the Massachusetts Bay. With a beautiful day, I drove out to Plymouth for a fun, relaxing afternoon.

Map of Massachusetts, with Plymouth Rock indicated.
Plymouth Rock, approximately 40 miles south of Boston in Plymouth, MA.
View of two-lane road through woods.
Driving through the back roads of what is known as the south shore area of Massachusetts, I’m reminded very much of the back roads of South Jersey. These twisty roads were also fun to drive. Very fun.
View of Massachusetts Bay through car windshield.
Arrived in Plymouth!
Sign indicating location of Plymouth Rock, with portico in the background.
Walking up to Plymouth Rock. The portico in the background houses the rock and protects it from the elements… and would-be souvenir hunters who would take a piece with them.
Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rock! While historically important, it is very small. Imagine it 3 times the size, and you get a better idea of how it looked centuries ago.
Portico of Plymouth Rock with the Massachusetts Bay in the background.
Climbing the hill behind the shoreline gives you a better view of the portico, and the bay beyond.
Statue of Massasoit with plaque in the foreground.
The statue in the background honors Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag tribe, whom the Pilgrims first encountered upon their landing in Massachusetts Bay. His tribe kept the Pilgrims from starving to death in the early years of the settlement. This site is also the place where Native American tribes gather on Thanksgiving Day to mark the history of oppression and discrimination against Native American tribes.
Sarcophagus of remains of earliest Pilgrims.
This sarcophagus holds the remains of Pilgrims who died in the first winter, when almost half of the original passengers of the Mayflower perished. This location, Coles Hill, was the original burial ground for the Pilgrims. It’s a sober reminder of the truly difficult times the Pilgrims endured.
Massachusetts Bay with the shoreline of Plymouth, MA in the foreground.
A view of Massachusetts Bay from Plymouth.
View of the Plymouth shoreline through a restaurant window.
Lunch at Carmen’s Cafe Nicole, a waterfront eatery that serves American and Mexican breakfast and lunch. The staff was friendly, the atmosphere was comfortable, and the food was terrific.
Hot dog and potato salad.
I opted for the hot dog and the homemade potato salad (potatoes, mayonnaise, onion, scallions, and bacon melded together into a wonderful dish).
Walking around Plymouth after lunch, I spotted these lobster statues, each colorfully decorated by local businesses and each creatively named. This one is my favorite: “Clawdia.” The statues are sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.
After lunch, I decided to take a walk on the Plymouth breakwater jetty. It is designed to protect the town from heavy seas during bad weather, and to minimize erosion. You can walk all the way to the end, which is almost three quarters of a mile.
Plymouth Breakwater jetty, with people walking on it.
About halfway there, I turned around to grab a photo of my progress.
Picture of jetty rocks and the Massachusetts Bay.
I reached the end of the jetty. Being the only one at the very end, I sat down and put my feet up.
Gray Honda Accord in front of Massachusetts Bay shoreline.
DH chilling out and enjoying the sea breeze.
Gray Honda Accord coupe in IKEA parking lot.
By evening, it was back to work mode. For the past week, DH has been used more like a pickup truck than a sports car. He was in full “truck mode” with a trip to IKEA Friday night.
Furniture display at IKEA
I wish there was a button you could push at IKEA when you see a room setup you like- press a button, and by the time you return home, your empty apartment has been already furnished for you. You can keep your flying cars and warp drive… I want the future to give me instantly-decorated homes.

It was a beautiful day at Plymouth, and while Plymouth Rock may not have been the most visually impressive roadside attraction, it was still very cool to see a piece of American history up close. The entire park is free and open to tourists year round. Mayflower II, a replica of the original Mayflower, is usually moored at the park as well. However, until 2020, it is only in Plymouth during the summertime, as it goes to Mystic, Connecticut for restoration work each winter. 

In titling this post, “The Rock,” I could have also been speaking of my Accord as well. Despite its sports coupe design, the car has continued to motor along without complaint, hauling luggage, furniture, and the contents of seemingly countless shopping trips over the past week. Despite 77,500 miles on the odometer, the car continues to be a fun and rewarding drive. During our trip to Plymouth today, some of the back roads were very curvy and empty. I shifted the transmission into sport mode, gave it some gas, and took time out of my busy schedule to just… play.

Thanks for coming along on another Voyage of DH!

‘Till next time.

5 thoughts on “The Rock.

  1. I need a sense of scale in that photo with Plymouth Rock. Should have had you jump across the fence and stand on top of it, or something! That’s something I’ve always wanted to check out. And cheers to instantly-decorated homes. Now there’s an innovation I’ll be glad to see!

    Like

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