The weather was gorgeous. A bit cold with a stiff wind, but fairly clear skies. It all made for a great day to go exploring the Cape. I started by taking Tucker for a long walk on the beach within the Cape Cod National Seashore. Later in the day we drove towards Province town while stopping of at several light houses along the way. The lighthouses here are beautiful, but shockingly short. I’ve only seen a few lighthouses on the west coast, in fact I think I’ve seen more today on the Cape then in the sum total of my life, however it really does seem the ones in California I remember being much taller. Some here are just 40 feet tall. I’ll have to research that next time I get internet access…
Provincetown came highly recommended by my friends in Boston. I can see how fun it would be… in season. This is true of everything on the cape, as I drive by everywhere has signs outside saying “Closed for the Season, see you next May” or something similar. Ok, I’m exaggerating by saying everywhere, really it’s just 90% of the businesses that cater primarily to tourists, so that’s all the restaurants and shops. The chain stores and shops for locals in the major towns are all still open, but then they are not really the point of visiting Cape Cod. Anyway, Provincetown looks fun, somewhat like Laguna Beach or Belmont Shores. Which is to say it’s touristy, walkable with lots of great food (although 90% closed) and both family and gay friendly.
After having the requisite steamers (clams) in P-Town and enjoying a fabulous sunset. I headed back up the Cape (South) for another beach and lighthouse visit before heading north towards Vermont.
I wasn’t sure where I was going to stay, I just knew I wanted to spend the night in Vermont before arriving in Montreal to visit Sylvie the next morning. After much scouring of my limited guide book supply I found something that actually sounded cool to me, to take a tour the Ben and Jerry’s Factory. Only somehow I lingered much longer on the cape then I thought I would and as I drove across Massachusetts and probably spent too much time on scenic roads through New Hampshire and into Vermont that I realized there was no way I was going to make it to Ben and Jerry’s Factory in Waterbury Connecticut by the time they stopped doing tours (5pm). I was also becoming very aware that every single campground I drove by in New Hampshire and Vermont was closed for the season. Apparently no one around here likes camping in the snow… I mean in California we close some of the campgrounds, but not all of them. I started looking for Wal-Marts as well since I was now into a “just need somewhere to sleep” mode. Really, I love campgrounds, but sometimes it’s such a waste of money when I show up at 9pm and leave at 8am. I drove through a Walmart parking lot just east of Waterbury, but it was attached to a mall and there wasn’t a single truck or RV parked anywhere. That always makes me worry a little… not so much for safety, but because I don’t want a store manger or worse police officer knocking on my window at 3am telling me over-nighting isn’t allowed here. Wal-mart’s official policy is to allow people to over-night in their parking lots, but only if local regulations don’t prohibit it. In many places owners of local campgrounds have banded together and convinced local legislatures to pass municipal laws banning the practice… which is just stupid and greedy. I don’t sleep in Walmart parking lots as an alternative to camping, I do it as an alternative to sleeping on some dark alley, or logging road, or rest stop, or turnout, or on some residential street. It’s flat out extortion by the campground owners to demand $20+ for me to park and sleep for 8 hours. Anyway… a bit worried about where to sleep I called Sylvie who was happy receive me late that evening rather than the next morning… so of I headed into Canada.
I crossed the boarder into Canada around 11pm. It wasn’t a “big” hassle, but it was more of a hassle then I expected. I was prepare with vaccination paper on the dog, which I handed the guy at the drive up window, but he still asked that I pull aside and come inside to talk to the border agents. So I went in expecting the dog to be the issue, they didn’t even look at the paperwork. They were more interested in me and how long I was planning on being in Canada. It’s understandable I guess, that they don’t get many people crossing the boarder for “tourism purposes” from California, with a dog, at 11pm. What I did for a living, when I was returning to work, how long and where I was staying in Canada. It occurred to me as they asked that that was the real concern, was I illegally immigrating to Canada. I suppose they get a lot of political refugees fleeing the states, but I’ve got a ticket to Thailand so I’m not trying to move to Canada… yet… I’ll wait for the next election.