Monday, October 18, 2010

Up, Up Into And Onto The Sand Dunes

I was in Provincetown for the weekend in order to sing in a concert to benefit the Provincetown Soup Kitchen. But I had lots of free time and was exploring the sand dunes at Head-Of-The-Meadow Beach on Cape Cod. I'd tasted rose hips and wild cranberries and now found an Earth Star on the sand near the cranberries. Earth Stars are a spherical fungus with a double layered wall. The outer layer splits open and curls back, forcing the spores out of the inner sphere. I thought this was an especially fascinating discovery:

I climbed higher and higher on the sand dunes, following the bare spots between the scrub roses, beach plums, wild cranberries, scrub oaks and coastal grasses:

I could see for miles. Notice that in many of these ocean view photos taken from atop the dunes, one can actually see the curvature of the earth:

I wasn't sure if these were the fabled beech plums until I got brave enough to taste them. They were indeed wild plums, sour but full of flavor. It's no wonder the locals collect them and make jams. With a little sugar, they'd be really delicious:

A brief video taken at the top of a sand dune:

Higher and higher I climbed, until I decided it was time to find my way back to my car:

But every "trail" I followed turned out to be a dead end. I kept searching until I found a road through the woods. I figured it surely must lead back to the parking lot, so I followed it:

I followed this road for a very long time. I found an empty beach house which I guessed was used by rangers during the busy season. But there was no access to anywhere else except to continue on this small road. When it turned toward the highway and began going sharply downhill, I knew that following it any farther would be big mistake:

So I retraced my steps, descended a steep sand dune and made it back to the beach:

Truth be told, I was getting mighty tired. Walking in sand is like those dreams where you're trying to run but are bogged down and everything is in slow motion:

I was happy when I found the pathway between the beach and the parking lot:

And, as at the end of many hikes, my little red car was a most welcome sight:

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