Almost Five Hundred Miles In

I recently seem to be alternating walking days and rest days.  My first month was filled with a week of walking, and then a rest day.  Even then, I'd walk up to five miles on those days off.  

It poured buckets on the day I was supposed to walk to Hyannis, still on Cape Cod.  It was the same day Terrie was coming up from New Jersey to visit with me.  So I ended up waiting for her in Bourne where I had stayed two nights with Maura and her family.

Once in Hyannis, the weather broke and we were able to explore a bit.  We had dinner at Spanky's Clam Shack after getting more than one recommendation to do so. 

The next day, a super hot rest day, we boarded a boat for a harbor tour that gave us a peek at the Kennedy compound and more.  We also managed to squeeze in about three miles that left us drenched with sweat.  So we treated ourselves to some Gifford's ice cream, possibly the best ice cream brand around. Previously I've only seen it in Maine.

We topped the day off with dinner at The Skipper Chowder House in South Yarmouth, a popular place overlooking the water. 

The next morning Terrie dropped me off in South Dennis, and I jumped on the bike path there to make my way to Brewster.

This part of the Cape Cod Rail Trail was heavily used, and weaved between lakes with both private and public beaches.  I contemplated a stop to dip my feet, but the thought of having some sand stuck between my toes after putting my shoes back on to finish my day put the kibosh on that idea. 

The trail was relatively flat, and my stopping point included a lunch break at Stone L'Oven Pizza, right off the trail.  A panini, an Allagash, and some World Cup did a girl good.

After lunch, I hopped in an Uber, and headed to Jayne's.  Her mother-in-law lives in the house next door, so I stayed there.  I met the family, including three large and loving dogs, and we chatted on the front porch about life and people we have in common.  Thanks, Bob, for pairing me up with Jayne and her crew!

The next morning, Jayne dropped me at the bike path in Orleans for my trek to Wellfleet where I'd stay in an Airbnb.

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My home for the night, while comfortable, wasn't too convenient to getting around to explore.  I did finally settle on a place called The Wicked Oyster for dinner. 

I was the only one sitting at the bar initially, and chatted with the bartenders.  One of them, Gabriel, told me about some hikes around Provincetown, where I would be the next day.  And he kept filling my water glass after he heard about my adventures that day and my trip overall. 

A wonderful scallop meal was had, and I took my car home. 

I've been really lucky, overall, with the drivers I've had.  On this night I met Danny.  As the conversation often does, he asked me what brought me to town.  By the end of the trip he was trying to give me money as a donation; I couldn't accept the cash, of course. 

Danny found the Jenn's Journey North Facebook page the next day, and offered to help with any errands I might need to take care of before I left for Boston; he knew Ubers were scarce once the weekends pass.  His kindness was most appreciated, but I was already on my way to my next destination.

Ah, Provincetown.  A beach town bustling with activity.  When I arrived, it was too early to check in at my Airbnb so I took myself to lunch, where it was fun to people watch.

I made my way to Matthew's place then.  His apartment is not far from the pier, which would be convenient the next morning. 

After dropping my pack off, I walked down to the Pilgrim's First Landing Park, where in 1620 those seeking religious freedom arrived on the Mayflower.  The day was hot, and I walked out on the jetty to sit on some rocks and feel a breeze off the water.  People were swimming and kayaking, and I just had visions from Jaws float through my head.

The walk back to the center of town was a sticky one, and I found a restaurant where you could sit inside with some air conditioning.  Being there on my own, I didn't stay out late, and was back at the apartment around 8 p.m.

The next morning I was up early, on the lookout for some iced coffee before I picked up my ferry ticket.  I found a place that also made fresh donuts, so that was a bonus!

The high speed ferry ride was comfortable, with air conditioning inside.  I would stare at the water, looking for a whale sighting, but also noticed how black and cold it looked.  I felt homesick, and tired, but was looking forward to seeing Rachel when we docked.

Rachel and I know each other from Syracuse University.  She has been one of my biggest cheerleaders, in both my planning stages for this trip, and on my daily adventures as I made my way to Boston.  Tim, another person from CDM Smith, was also going to meet me.

What I thought would be a quick hello turned into quite the welcoming party!  Rachel showed up with a giant Jenn's Journey North sign, and she had found not only Tim, but Larry, too.  And there was my walking buddy Jenn, also from CDM Smith, who had walked with Mary and me to Providence!

Dan and Dolores from Acadia National Park on My Mind were also there.  I "met" them virtually on a Cadillac Mountain to Mount Katahdin event that raised money for both Acadia National Park and Millinocket, the gateway to Baxter State Park.  Dan asked me how it felt to have these people meet me here in Boston, and I really became a little overwhelmed with emotion.  Like I said, I had become a little homesick, so it really meant a lot to see familiar faces and meet new people who knew Michael, too.

Rachel was gracious enough to invite me to stay two nights at her home, including the July 4th holiday.  Her husband is amazing, and works a mean grill, too!

A big treat during my stay was a foot reflexology session at Happy Feet.  Neither Rachel nor I had any idea about what to expect, but we just rolled with the punches!  The session started with pressure applied to knots in my shoulders and my back.  After carrying around Lucy the backpack for so long, this was heavenly.  We were instructed to lie down, and my person proceeded to press on parts of my foot that I didn't even know existed!

On July 5th, Rachel drove me to a town called Malden where I would start my walk.  I had originally planned to start in Boston, which would mean a 22.6 mile day.  It might not sound like a lot to some of my fellow Freewalkers, but the day was the hottest one yet on my trip.  By the end of the 4.3 miles on the Northern Strand Community Trail I was drenched and almost delirious, and there was nowhere to sit to get out of the sun.

I didn't find a decent place to rest until I was near the Lynn Works, over six miles into the day's journey.  Every part of my clothing was stuck to me by the time I plopped down onto a bench outside North Shore Community College, and consumed a large amount of water and lemonade.

Not long after that, the greenway route hugged the coast, and there was some breeze off the ocean as I passed through Lynn and into Swampscott.  The latter has some beautiful homes that I tried to enjoy seeing, but the sun was getting to me.  I worried about how tired and hot I was in the ninety-plus degree weather, and I just collapsed down onto a random sidewalk to get an Uber.  Barely a minute into the ride I saw the 'Entering Marblehead' sign.  I had failed to reach my day's destination by less than a mile, but due to the overwhelming heat, I didn't regret my decision.

My day was topped off by a dinner date with Tracy, Michael and Sophie.  I was given the grand tour of the town, despite the dimming light, and my new young friend gave me the biggest hug as she said goodnight!