“I love it when a plan comes together.” -Hannibal, The A-Team.
What better way to spend a Saturday in the summer than eating a delicious meal in an airplane hangar, climbing to the top of the tallest all-granite building in the United States, and exploring the beaches and dunes of Cape Cod. After a wonderful trip to Provincetown, Massachusetts earlier in the spring, I planned to return this weekend to visit a historic landmark I did not have time to explore previously. When some friends asked me to join them for breakfast at a very cool restaurant at a small airport on the Cape, my plans were set. Add in a further adventure at National Seashore Park, and it all made for a wonderful day.
The primary motivation for my trip was to climb to the top of Pilgrim Monument, a 252-foot tall granite tower in the center of Provincetown. Before landing in Plymouth, the Pilgrims disembarked from the Mayflower on Cape Cod, near what would eventually become Provincetown. This was also the site of the historic Mayflower Compact, the document that the Pilgrims would use to govern their colony in Massachusetts. At the turn of the 20th century, it was decided to build a monument to commemorate the Pilgrims’ first landfall in the Americas. Constructed between 1907 and 1910, the structure is closely modeled after a tower in Sienna, Italy. Open to visitors, Pilgrim Monument is also the eighth-tallest monument in the United States (via Wikipedia).
After the museum, I got in my car and headed north to Race Point Beach, to visit the Old Harbor Life-Saving Station. Originally built in Chatham in 1897, the station was moved to Provincetown when beach erosion threatened to send it tumbling down into the Atlantic Ocean. Originally staffed by the United States Life-Saving Service (a precursor to the US Coast Guard), the station was crewed by 7-8 rescuers (or “lifesavers”) who would be responsible to go into the ocean to save the lives of sailors whose vessels had wrecked off the shores of Cape Cod. Through rain, snow, ice, hail, hurricanes, frigid cold, and blistering heat, these “surfmen” (another name for the “lifesavers”) would be the saviors for thousands of sailors who needed rescue at sea.
My third adventure this year through Cape Cod was memorable and thoroughly enjoyable. Hangar B Eatery is open every day during the summer season from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm. Pilgrim Monument is open year round. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 65 and older, and children ages 4 – 12 are $4. Finally, Old Harbor Life Saving Station is free, but access to the National Seashore Park beaches are $20 per car during the summer season (however, parking is free during the off-season).
For me, the Cape is a welcome respite, a sanctuary from the stresses and trials of life, where I can re-energize for the coming weeks ahead. I will continue to explore the national treasure that is Cape Cod, and will also continue to bring you stories of my travels there. I hope you enjoyed this post, and thanks for coming along on another journey down the open road ahead!