HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY (2019)

Our Location:
Driveway Surfing
Cape Cod, MA 02630



MONDAY

TRAVEL DAY
YEAR #2 - STOP #32



Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May. The holiday was held on May 30 from 1868 to 1970. It marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Every year volunteers place an American flag on each grave in all national cemeteries.

Excerpted from Wikipedia






Our 2019 Memorial Day campsite



Until next time
TWO PEAS


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NICKERSON STATE PARK (MA)

Nickerson State Park is a beautiful summer destination place to visit, if you're tent camping! There are over 400 campsites here but only a few are well suited for anything larger a 25 foot travel trailer. Some of the curves inside the campground loops are very tight and there are low hanging branches within most of the campsites.

However there are several ponds for swimming and fishing and an extensive trail system for hiking and biking. Reservations are a must between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, but outside of these dates the campground usually has open sites for last minute arrivals.

Even is you do manage to get a larger trailer onto a campsite you'll find most sites are sandy and unlevel. After several different attempts we were finally able to get level enough for our three day visit here in the middle of May.



MONDAY

TRAVEL DAY
YEAR #2 - STOP #31

"The Bay State"
is our 18th visited state

Just when I thought I had a handle on how to deal with all the different kind of intersections we have been coming across lately, we get into Massachusetts and all of a sudden we stumble into something new. A roundabout, traffic circle, rotary, call it what ever you want it is daunting when you are towing a trailer. No stop lights, no stop signs, everyone just merges into the outer ring of a circle and goes around until they want off.

Good news is once you get into that outer ring you have the right of way and everyone else has to yield to you, of course that's if they are familiar with the rules, not everyone is and that is what sometimes causes close calls as far as collisions go.

We had three such intersections to maneuver though today and once I got the hang of it things went a lot smoother. It's all in the timing of when you reach the intersection that determines the degree of difficulty you encounter when trying to negotiate the traffic flow.




TUESDAY

SIGHTSEEING DAY
88 MILES DRIVEN TODAY

Today's sightseeing adventure is really quite simple, we want to go visit the Cape Cod National Seashore (#8 out of 10 for us), look at several lighthouses and drive down to Provincetown for lunch.

Our first stop was the Salt Pond Visitor Center of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Here we got my Passport Book stamped and watched several short documentary films about the history and future of the National Seashore. We also dropped a few dollars in the gift shop as always and then proceeded down to the beach.

Coast Guard Beach is the nearest access to the beach from the Visitor Center so that's where we headed. First thing we saw there was the old Coast Guard Station which is due for a major facelift later this summer and from the looks of it, it sure could use it.

Coast Guard Beach
Coast Guard Beach Headquarters

Next up was a short walk down to the pristine shoreline to collect our thimble full of sand to take home and add to our collection.

Cape Cod National Seashore
The pristine shoreline of the Cape Cod National Seashore

Less than a mile north of here is Nauset Lighthouse, one of many lighthouses located all along the coastline of Massachusetts.

Nauset Lighthouse
Nauset Lighthouse

Then a quick look at the Highland Lighthouse before heading down to Provincetown for lunch.


I see many similarities between Provincetown, MA and Key West, FL, a city I'm very familiar with. First off they are both literally at the "End of the Road". Provincetown is at the eastern end of US6 which up until the 1960s was the longest road in America, stretching from California to Massachusetts. Key West is at the southern end of US1 which is currently the longest north-south road in America, stretching from Maine to Florida.

But that's just geography, let's talk about the people who live there, now and centuries ago. Centuries ago both towns had many legendary characters, including poets, authors, wreckers, pirates and fishermen. Today both cities are proud of their large LGBTA communities. In both towns you'll find lots of touristy discount T-shirt shops and galleries filled with local arts and crafts. You'll also find a very high cost of living and likewise high priced restaurants and bars.

Each town hosts their own annual festival, Provincetown has their Carnival Week in August and Key West has their Fantasy Fest in October. While Carnival Week in Provincetown temporarily increases the town's population from 3,000 to an estimated 90,000, Key West's population triples from 25,000 to an estimated 75,000 during Fantasy Fest. Both cities depend heavily on just this one week of tourism to support the annual income of it's merchants.

And don't think there aren't still some quirky and creative characters still hanging around. I submit the following photo as proof that Provincetown is still just a little off in their advertising methods.

Provincetown
Does this make you want to stay at this beachside bed and breafast?



WEDNESDAY

WORK DAY FROM MOM's
64 MILES DRIVEN TODAY

This morning we are going to drop in for a visit with Trica's mom and step-dad, it will also give us a chance to decide how best to place THE POD in their driveway for the next seven days. There is plenty of room, we just have to decide how to stack everything so no one gets blocked in.

Tricia and I both got some work done and before we knew it dinner time had rolled around. Our hosts generously offered to take us out for a great meal at Cooke's Seafood and then we treated them with a trip to Four Seas Ice Cream for desert. Both of these establishments are tops on Tricia's Cape Cod favorites places to eat list and I suspect with seven more days on The Cape we haven't seen the last of them.


Just so everyone knows we won't be blogging next week, so I guess I'm taking my first vacation in over a year. We'll be visiting with Tricia's extended family and friends, BBQing and generally just enjoying their company during The Memorial Day Weekend.


We hope everyone has a great three day holiday weekend
and then arrives safely back at work on time Tuesday!



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FISHERMEN'S MEMORIAL STATE PARK (RI)

This will be our only stop in the state of Rhode Island and since we always try to visit at least one state park where ever we are we chose Fishermen's Memorial State Park, which is located just a few hundred yards away from the beach and small fishing village of Galilee.

It's a beautiful location and the park is well maintained with a few waterfront sites overlooking the very wide and marshy Aguntang Brook that leads out into the ocean. All the Rhode Island State Parks campgrounds are reasonably priced, if you are a Rhode Island resident you'll pay just $20 a night to camp here. Non-residents are charged an extra $15 per night and everyone pays $.25 a minute, with a 3 minute minimum, if you want to use the hot showers in the bath house. The outdoor cold water rinse showers are free if you just need to get the salt water and sand off you. I'm sure there is a good reason for this, I'm just not sure what that could be!



THURSDAY

TRAVEL DAY
YEAR #2 - STOP #30

"The Ocean State"
is our 17th visited state

Remember the odd traffic solutions we encounter back in New Jersey? They were called jughandles and while I thought they didn't make sense I could at least see how they could possibly work. Here is a graphic I found displaying the three different types of jughandles they use in New Jersey and I also found out we can expect to see them in many other states while we are here visiting the Northeastern United States.

Today however while traveling east through Connecticut and into Rhode Island we started seeing a whole different solution to traffic flow at intersections. Basically here in Rhode Island they just eliminate intersection altogether. I did some research and found out this is a variant of something called a Michigan Left Turn.

Here is a graphic I found displaying a typical Michigan Left Turn. This moves the turning lanes away from the main intersection and creates a second set of stop lights very nearby. Not quite sure how this improves anything.

But here in Rhode Island while traveling on US1 we found that where a very minor road crosses a major road they just eliminate the intersection altogether. I very crudely altered the Michigan Left graphic to show what we found in Rhode Island.

This works out great for people traveling along the primary highway for a longer distance, there are no traffic lights or intersections to deal with. But if you are on the secondary road and need to get to the other side and continue on in the same direction it does create a bit of a problem.

Let's see if a can explain it in words so you can follow along on the graphic. In order to go straight across the road you first have to make a right hand turn and merge into several lanes of oncoming traffic that is going 50MPH. Then as soon as you can, you have to start moving over to the far left lane so you can enter into the U-Turn Only lane. Don't worry if you miss the first opportunity to do so because about every half mile or so there will be other U-Turn Only lane.

Now wait until there is a break in the traffic so you can make your U-Turn and go to the far right lane. If you made it into the first U-Turn it won't be so bad, there will be a separate non-traffic right turn lane for you to enter into, make your right turn and be on your way. The problem gets worse when you weren't able to merge left fast enough to make that first U-Turn Lane. Because the second U-Turn Lane may not be at an intersection at all and that right turn lane won't be there to get out of oncoming traffic.

Now add into the mix the fact that you are towing a 28 foot trailer behind you. See how this could go terribly wrong pretty fast? Don't worry our now fully functioning GPS has a feature where I can tell it not to route us anywhere that we will be asked to make a U-Turn and fortunately our destination was on the right hand side of US1 so we wouldn't of gotten into the predicament anyway!

Now I can't wait until we visit Michigan so we can experience Michigan Left turns where it all began. If you check out our Visited States Map at the very bottom of the blog you'll notice that Michigan is actually the very last state we plan to visit in the lower 48, of course things can always change but for now, let's leave it the way it is!



FRIDAY

WORK DAY FROM THE POD
0 MILES DRIVEN TODAY



SATURDAY

SIGHTSEEING DAY
172 MILES DRIVEN TODAY

We were up early and out the door because we have a lot planned for today. First up, a big breakfast including johnnycakes and coffee milk, two Rhode Island specialties, then we're off to Newport, RI. From where we are camped the best route to Newport will have us crossing the Claiborne Pell Bridge. It is the bridge that is featured on the back of the 2001 state quarter which is at the top of this post. I found out through some additional research that this bridge is currently the only toll road in the entire state, $2 per axle each way for out-of-towners, $.83 for Rhode Islanders. That means by the end of the day we will have donated $8 to the bridge maintenance fund, I'm OK with that!

Claiborne Pell Bridge
The Claiborne Pell Bridge

Bridge Tower
A closer look at the bridge towers as we pass underneath

Our reason for going into Newport is to check out their Cliff Walk, a 3.5 mile long walkway between huge waterfront estate homes and the cliffs that create the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean in this area. This walkway was designed and built by the estate owners between 1880-1920, I can only imagine that in today's world the property owners would be a little more reluctant to share their backyards and these wonderful views with the general public. Today we will only be checking out a small portion of the walk, about 3/4 of a mile of the northern end, because we have many other things to see and do today.



THE CLIFF WALK

in Newport, Rhode Island


A commemorative plaque explaining the Cliff Walk's origins
A parking lot view looking towards the northern end of the Cliff Walk
The first few yards of the Cliff Walk
One of the decorative locked gates leading into an estate's backyard
Well maintained landscaping along the walk, notice the tall privacy hedges
One of the visible estate homes along the walk
At some points there are designed access points to the lower level
Some brave people scrambling down onto the rocks
Always a welcome sight along the walk
A look back at the beach where ROVER is parked
Strong barriers to keep people safe from falling off the cliffs
Modest fencing in a little less dangerous area of the cliffs
At several points there are narrow side trails leading...
...down to the waters edge.


One other thing we learned while driving around Rhode Island, particularly in Providence, is you not only have to keep your eyes on the road, you have to keep a watch out on the rooftops, you never know what may be lurking up there.

?
These were just cool looking lamp posts!

Big Blue Bug
Not sure what this is from the street view...

Big Blue Bug
How about from the Interstate entrance ramp view.

The second and third photos show a local landmark, and the advertising gimick, for Big Blue Bug Solutions, a pest control company headquartered in Providence, RI.


Enough driving around, let's get out and stretch those legs some more. Rhode Island only has one National Memorial site and that is dedicated to the contributions of a man named Roger Williams. There is a vistor center at the site where we got our Passport Book stamped and then watched a short documentary video about Roger's accomplishments and contributuions to creating the state of Rhode Island in the early days of our nation. After the video we spoke with the park ranger for quite some time about the local history and then we ventured out into the beautiful rectangular park in the center of Providence which makes up the Memorial site.

All this walking around has made me thirsty! I know just the thing to quench that, another Rhode Island specialty drive, Del's Frozen Lemonade. There are shops, food trucks and refreshment carts all over the city featuring this frozen delight, we just had to try one. Apparently not all Del's Frozen Lemonades are alike!

We went to a stand alone Del's store which sold us two lemonades that just didn't seem to meet our expectations. We looked it up on Google and sure enough the location we chose only received 3.2 stars where most others were in the 4.5 to 5 star range. Next time we'll consult Google first!

It's mid-afternoon now and we need to get back home and get some rest because tonight we have a date. Tricia's step sister Chris has invited us over for dinner and her husband Bob will be BBQing up some chicken and sausage. We are supposed to bring desert and I know there was a delicious looking Dutch Apple Crumb Pie at the Stop-n-Shop Grocery on Thursday, guess we'll have to stop and pick one up.



SUNDAY

WORK DAY FROM THE POD
0 MILES DRIVEN TODAY



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Until next time

TWO PEAS