Posts Tagged With: provincetown

BIKING TO WICKEDLY FUN OLD COLONY PUB

Yesterday, we set out on our bikes to find a crumbling old wharf we’d seen from atop the Pilgrims Monument. And, we expected to poke around town and look-see Commercial Street. Biking on this narrow, one-way street can be heart stopping as you sidle by within inches of slow moving cars and trucks.

We found the old wharf and it didn’t disappoint. Beautiful in its decaying state; stubbornly hanging on; slowly giving over to the birds and barnacles.

We lingered, knowing it may be gone the next time we visit New England. In its heyday, there were 119 wharves serving Provincetown. Five remain.

Biking is a cool and pleasant way to beat the heat. In town, I stopped at several places that caught my eye. Edel’s Stained Glass sits on a corner and twinkles at you as the light catches a rainbow of colored glass. Inside, refreshingly original pieces, some with lacy  lead work,  all vibrant and unique. You can commission a work or pick from delicious choices.

You can find her at www.edelbyrne.com

At Forbidden Fruit, I was attracted to beautiful masks and learned from the proprietor, the masks are made by an Italian Craftsman, Frank Ciccamore, a very low key guy who worked on several award winning movies, providing the costuming.  The proprietor/partner, below, was unsure how to spell Frank’s name.

The Venetian Masks were wonderful, in any case. He had nice stuff, jewelry, garden and home decor, treasures  from around the world. On line he is :www.EatMyApple.com

And then we stopped at this wonderfully storied pub called Old Colony Tap. It appeared to have been built when Massachusetts was still a colony. The wood, old and scarred, the eclectic assortment of oddities clinging to the walls and ceilings was nothing to the stories told us by Proprietor/Partner, George Green.

When asked how long he’d been working here, he told us the Pub belonged to his his grandmother who died at age 94, about 50 years ago. His Great Grandfather was Skerry Jack, one of the men who helped move buildings (and people) off the dangerous Long Point, called Helltown,  and into Provincetown, something we’d learned about in the Highlands Museum.  He was a walking history book.

A local artist once whiled away many happy hours painting people who hung out at the bar. Now deceased, George told us. There are probably 30 of these portraits hanging about.

Jim remembered a marvelous bar in Buckley, WA. called 747 Main. The proprietor, a gold toothed former vaudevillian loved to entertain. She opened her bar from 6 p.m. to midnight, every Saturday, and entertained and sang with a great deal of charade, using mustaches, and costume props. At midnight, the ritual she introduced was for everyone to stand, hold hands and sing God Bless America. Then exit.
George told us of his favorite bar experience from Garden Grove, California. His then girlfriend told him they were going to a classy joint with a dress code, and he needed a tie. In the 60’s, eight bucks was a princely sum to pay for a tie, but he fancied up. She took him to this bar where they were met at the door by the guy who enforces the dress code. He snipped off his brand new tie with a scissors. “There must have been 1200 of them hanging around the place,” he laughed.

We stopped at George’s sister establishment, the Surf Club, for a bowl of wonderful chowder and steamer clams. Is life on the road good? Or what?

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Cape Cod – Day 6

Jim says:

And our third day in the Provincetown area. It was another hot and humid day and the Weather wimp…that’s me…said “YUK”.

Yesterday we left the motorhome and Bronco at the VFW and rode our bicycles about one mile down to Commercial Street in Provincetown. We did this to avoid the high parking fees and also to get some needed exercise.

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Our free parking spot on Commercial Street in Provincetown.

It’s a very narrow one-way waterfront street loaded with piers, shops, bicycles, cars and people. We went about one mile along Commercial Street and since bicycles are exempt from one-way street requirements, we doubled back and re-did the one mile because Mary didn’t want to miss any shops. Heaven forbid!

Mary checked out quite a few shops and we rode on to all the piers. After a couple of hours on the hot and humid day, a cold beer was sounding really good. Just about the time we discussed that thought…I spied a neat old tavern called the Old Colony Tap. It’s been there for many years and is just loaded with character! We enjoyed a cold beer, chatted with the owner about the history of the place and took a number of pictures.

We were getting a little hungry so he suggested his other place, the Spar Cafe right around the corner and on the waterfront. We ended up with the best seats in the house and enjoyed some delicious clam chowder and steamer clams. Yummy!

Here’s some photos…

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To see the other 43 photos I took, click this link…
http://picasaweb.google.com/jimjrver/CapeCodMA062310#

Mary sure has fallen in love with the full-time RVing lifestyle. During lunch she said to me…”Pinch me to make me sure I’m awake and just not dreaming all of this!”. I replied…”It’s a lousy job…but somebody’s got to do it!”. 🙂

We’ve gone as far east as we planned on our current trip. This morning, because we cannot go any further east, we will head west and go to the VFW in the town of Bourne on the Cape Cod Canal. We’ll hang out in that area for a couple of days.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

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Cape Cod – Day 5

Jim says:

And our second day in the Province town area. It was a partly cloudy day with temperatures in the high 70’s with high humidity once again.

We started our day by driving to the town of Truro, a few miles southeast of Provincetown. Our first stop was at the Highland House Museum operated by the Truro Historical Society. Built in 1907, it was once a summer hotel for many years. It had many interesting artifacts of the area.

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Then to the nearby Cape Cod Highland Light. It’s the oldest operating lighthouse on Cape Cod, in operation since 1797. In July of 1996, it was moved 453 feet back from the edge of the eroding cliff to save it from falling into the ocean.

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Here’s the official website link for the museum and lighthouse…
http://www.trurohistorical.org

We then drove along the very narrow Commercial Street along the waterfront of Provincetown to arrive at the Pilgrim’s First Landing Park. While there we took a walk along a long stone breakwater.

Our final stop of the day was at the Old Harbor Life-Saving Service Station at Race Point. It was in operation from 1872 and 1915. It’s been maintained as it was in 1900 and now is the only one remaining from the original 13 stations along Cape Cod. Cape Cod history has reported in excess of 3,000 shipwrecks along its coast. However, it was the opening of the Cape Cod Canal in 1914 that reduced navigation dangers and ended the colorful era of the lifesavers on Cape Cod. In 1915, the U. S. Life Saving Service was incorporated into the newly formed U. S. Coast Guard.

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Here’s the official government website link…
http://www.nps.gov/caco/historyculture/old-harbor-life-saving-station.htm

To see the other 44 photos I took today, click this link…
http://picasaweb.google.com/jimjrver/CapeCodMA062210#

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

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Cape Cod – Day 4

Jim says:

After about a 50 mile drive in the motorhome yesterday, we arrived at the VFW in Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod. We have now reached the eastern-most parking point on our current journey.

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It was a hot day in the lower 80’s and quite humid with no breeze, but nonetheless we headed out to begin our exploration of the area.

First stop was at the recycle center which we found quite by accident where they recycle everything and now Mary is a happy camper. Me too as it was really starting to pile up.

Then to the Cape Cod National Seashore Provincelands Visitor Center where we watched two short films and learned much about the local area. We visited two local beaches and scouted out some biking trails.

Next we visited the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. Most folks don’t know the Pilgrims stopped at Provincetown before arriving at Plymouth, Massachusetts, but they did and the museum does a great job of telling their story. The monument at 252 feet and 7.5 inches is the tallest all-granite structure in the United States and ends up at 350 feet above sea level where it provides a great 360 degree view! It celebrates its 100th birthday this August.

Here’s the official website link…
http://www.pilgrim-monument.org/monument.html

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about the monument…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilgrim_Monument

Here are some photos I took today.

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Here we are parked at the VFW…

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To see the other 24 photos I took, click this link…
http://picasaweb.google.com/jimjrver/CapeCodMA062110

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about Provincetown…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provincetown,_Massachusetts

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

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Cape Cod – Day 3

Jim says:

Another full day of wandering…mostly cloudy, high 70’s with high humidity.

First stop…the Cape Cod National Seashore Park Visitors Center at Eastham. This is the primary center to learn about the park. We watched a couple of short movies and visited the nice museum.

Next stop was a few miles north to the location of the site Marconi telegraph site. At this place the first trans-Atlantic telegraph message occurred in 1903. Here’s an informational link about that location…
http://www.stormfax.com/wireless.htm

Mary’s youngest daughter had told her about the Cape Cod Kettle Ponds. They are fresh water ponds which were formed during the ice age and Mary had to see some for herself. During the course of our day she saw several and she took off her shoes and waded into a couple of them.

The cape is only about one mile wide in this area, so we drifted westerly and allowed Mary to get her first view of Cape Cod Bay.

Along the way we went through the small fishing port of Rock Harbor where we bought a couple of live lobsters. You know what happened next! Within an hour we were back to the motorhome and those buggers were in the pot. I think Mary’s become addicted to Lobster!

Here are four photos that I took…

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To see the other 40, click this link…
http://picasaweb.google.com/jimjrver/CapeCodMA062010#

Here’s the official government website for the Cape Cod National Seashore Park Visitors Center…
http://www.nps.gov/caco/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm

In his book Cape Cod, Henry David Thoreau wrote…
“The seashore is sort of a neutral ground, a most advantageous point from which to contemplate this world”. Well said, Henry!

In other news…
I must recant a statement I made several days ago…that is that in Hyannis the motorhome had reached its most easterly point planned for our current trip. A couple of days ago I located another VFW in Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod, about 50 miles Northeast of Hyannis. We’ll move the motorhome to there today.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

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