My next stop was E. Falmouth, to visit my dad and his wife. They live in Charleston, SC, but own a condo on the Cape. What a rough life! But I get to share. So in the past three days, I’ve gone from flat Ohio to hiking the Adirondacks, through idyllic Green River, VT and now to the Atlantic Ocean.
My time there was about as good as it gets for me: eating, reading, sleeping, and whatever else came along. The only thing I missed over my visit last year was the lobster feast. I think it was just too much of an ordeal for the mellow mood of the visit. My dad is still gaining strength after cancer surgery and a serious C-diff intestinal infection in May and June. He doing great, but the pace was a little slower to keep stress and exertion to a minimum.
The highlight of the Cape visit was an overnight visit to Provincetown. I had gone there 6 years ago, only to be stricken by pancreatitis the day after. I was hospitalized in Boston for three weeks, with several other infections complicating my recovery. It was a nasty memory connected with the stop in Provincetown. This visit more than made up for it.
A good friend from Columbus was staying there for a week. His mother, suffering from ovarian cancer, had organized the trip with her 4 children to celebrate her birthday. It was also to celebrate her long history of summers in Provincetown starting back in the 50’s, when it was a thriving artist colony.
The afternoon I arrived my friend R and I drove out to the beach. As we walked further down the point, away from the parking lots, the crowd became more gay. And then it became more nudist. Fun. Of course I had to explore a bit in the dunes, where men like to cruise. Not much to see or do, though. Really, there wasn’t. But the slight elevation offered nice views of Provincetown over the grassy marshes. The landscape around the coast of the Cape is expansive, sprawling, moody. There’s a Zen feel to its minimalism; swaths of furry grass flutter in the wind, splotched with placid pools of briny water, itself articulated by little islands of grass. Simple, soothing.
That evening I was invited to the big birthday celebration. It was held at a fine Italian/American restaurant called Cafe Luna. A good time was had by all. R’s mom is a regal presence, backed by a general’s disposition. Her offspring often show a combination of intimidation and resentment. It was a complicated and sometimes difficult family to grow up in. But everyone was on best behavior that night. And my creamed lobster over angel hair pasta was delicious.
It was interesting to spend some time with R away from our normal schedule. We are both musicians in the same orchestra, and our lives and conversations often revolve around work. He was quite relaxed during this visit.
Later that night he and I went in town to check out the night life. It’s nice when gay couples can hold hands in public. Variety was not lacking. Not was attitude. Summer in Ptown brings out the Buff and the Beautiful. We went to a bar for awhile, but decided the crowd outside was more interesting.
We ended the night at a little pizza and ice cream place called Spiritus. Everybody had the same idea. The place was tiny, but had great pizza, thin crust, hot from the oven. I scarfed down two slices. Out front dozens of men perched along several cement benches like Starlings on a telephone wire, chatting animatedly. Fun. After perching awhile, we flew away happily home.
The next morning, I rented a bike and we rode out past Ptown to Race point park. We picked up a paved trail around the park. Hilly terrain made the ride fun, and we passed through lots of dunes with varying vegetation, the most stunning of which was the rugosa rose fields. The low growing salt tolerant roses are covered at this time of year with huge, raging orange-red hips against the dark, shiny foliage.
The dunes eventually gave way to a magical Beech forest. The trees closed in toward the path, shading out the hot sun. Undergrowth thickened, afforded root holds by centuries of composted Beech leaves. Sweet scents reached our noses from lots of Clethra blooming bushes, which occur naturally around the Cape. The woods thickened. A mile or so later we arrived at a large pond, barely visible through the curtain of branches. The scene was magical. The pond was covered with white water lilies. Thousand of flowers speckled the water like the first lazy flakes of wet snow on grass. Within a few minutes, hungry mosquitoes broke our reverie, and we headed back.
Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera on the Ptown trip. Sorry.
Ho hum, another spectacular day in my trip. The next stop was in the Poconos, near Allentown PA.