Cycling on Cape Cod is a remarkable experience. Earlier I wrote that we had been looking forward to the Cape Cod Rail Trail. We have now been on it twice, but to tell the truth it is not my favourite place to cycle on the Cape. Don't get me wrong: It is a nice, long trail through attractive wooded areas with relatively few interruptions. It is a great resource. But the special thing about Cape Cod is its abundance of coastland: the open ocean and bay views, the coves, the miles of saltwater marshes and sand dunes. The rail trail bypasses all of that, and so I feel that cycling on it does not capture the essence of the area. For a real "wow" experience, I recommend cycling along the National Seashore - a 40-mile stretch of coastal nature reserve with breathtaking views. You will have to cycle on the road with motor vehicles, but the route is very bike-friendly.
If you are hesitant to share long stretches of the road with cars, you can arrive to the National Seashore via the Rail Trail (pdf map here). Towards the very end of the trail in Wellfleet, turn right on Marconi Beach Road (above two photos) and this will take you right to the dunes. This road is spacious, virtually free of traffic, and breathtakingly scenic. It ends at Marconi Beach and the Marconi Station Observation area.
At the end of Marconi Beach Road is this beautiful landscape of sand dunes, tall grasses and miniature trees - on a hill overlooking the ocean.
Lucy and Rodney, our vintage Raleighs, found the area very romantic. Here they are enjoying the view of the dunes.
And here they are gazing at the ocean.
The Co-Habitant joins them in Thoreau-like meditation.
Here is Lucy Threespeed on her own, posing in front of the Marconi Station exhibit. Guglielmo Marconi is commonly credited with having invented the radio, and the Marconi Station in Wellfleet MA is the site of the first successfully completed transatlantic wireless communication between the U.S. and England in 1903.
There are many beautiful sites to photograph, but we were too busy cycling. These photos should give you an idea of the area's natural beauty.
Exhausted but pleased, Lucy and Rodney look forward to their next visit to this unique and wonderful place.