Day 9, October 19, 2003: Kingstown, RI to Hampton Beach, NH
Today was spent, in essence, circumnavigating most of Cape Cod. For all that travel I have very little to report: Cape Cod is very pretty. Cape Cod seems to have no fast food restaurants of the "normal" sort. Cape Cod seems to have no "chain" motels. Cape Cod is, to my great surprise, rather agricultural. But the weather was uniformly grey and overcast and that may have dampened my enthusiasm a bit.
I walked out onto Horseneck Beach early in the day despite it being officially closed for the season but the grey windy day wasn't conducive to much beyond nasal drips and numb fingers. Later on I drove along the Cape Cod Canal and saw this amazing vertical lift draw bridge unlike anything I've seen before. Truly huge. And it appears to be quite famous among those who follow both bridges and railroads since it is actually a railroad bridge. Sorry to say that it wasn't moved during my time there but it probably would have been impressive in motion.
Stopped later at Chatham Light during a slightly brighter period. It is still has an active Coast Guard detachment but the light itself is far from impressive. But the area is quite popular with tourists nevertheless but the coast and dunes below the light seem to be the real attraction, not the light itself. The temporary brightening of the day was short lived and it began closing down and drizzling soon afterward. It is starting to look more and more like I picked the wrong time of year for this drive although these weather fronts are always unpredictable. It might be beautiful tomorrow. Let's hope so.
At first writing, this page totally failed to mention Boston. Given the amount of whinging I did about New York City that may be surprising. In fact I was prepared for the worst when it came to Boston given the stories about traffic snarls caused by "The Big Dig" and the legendary agressiveness of the city's drivers. As it turns out, the drive through Boston turned out to be totally uneventful and passed almost unnoticed. The only real memory of that part of the drive is driving in a longish tunnel and then popping up to pass onto a really beautiful new suspension bridge which crosses the Charles River. Well done, Boston.
Found a decent looking motel for the night in Hampton Beach, NH. This area is another of those beachfront communities that pretty much go dormant after Labor Day. That meant hunting for a very long time to find a restaurant that remained open during the off season to feed the locals. They exist in a core of the city that is pretty well hidden from the tourist areas but I located a good one eventually and had a lovely bowl of clam chowder with freshly baked rolls and a Heineken for dinner.