Scenes from Cape Cod Pt.III (Sand Dunes)

"It is a wild and rank place, and there is no flattery in it.  Strewn with crabs, horse-shoes, and razor clams, and whatever the sea casts up,- a vast morgue, where famished dogs may range in packs, and crows come daily to glean the pittance which the tide leaves them. The carcasses of men and beasts together lie stately upon its shelf, rotting and bleaching in the sun and waves, and each tide turns them in their beds, and tucks fresh sand under them.  There is naked nature, inhumanly sincere, wasting not thought on man, nibbling at the cliffy shore where gulls wheel amid the spray." Henry David Thoreau from Cape Cod p.217-218

Dennis. After leaving and having our coffee we continued driving south west on Route 6A towards Hyannis.  The day was overcast, with a gray, foreboding presence.  One of the most interesting and mysterious aspects of the cape are its numberless sand dunes. In historic archives it is written that the residents of the cave would plant wild grasses as a way of preserving and preventing the sand dunes from collapsing.  Despite the weather I found that the Cape looked especially alluring in its soft, muted melancholic colors.  I always felt that one of the most beautiful aspects of rain is that all the greens of the grass and vegetation seem to burst with new life and vigor.

Race Point. On our last day we decided to take a trip to the furthest, eastern tip of the cape.  The drive there was spectacular. I wanted to stop the car every five minutes to snap a shot. I was only prevented by my dear Renee. It is said that the cape is part desert, part ocean.  As we were driving we witnessed first hand this strange intermingling of the desert and ocean.  (Notice the towering sand dunes filled with grass) Henry David Thoreau speaks about the intoxicating beauty of the Cape as he reflects,

"Notwithstanding the universal barrneness, and the contiguity of the desert, I never saw an autumnal landscape so beautifully painted as this was." p. 225

Long Nook Beach, Trouo.  After being violently pelted by the sand the first time that we attempted to visit the shore; we fared much better at our second attempt.  I climbed atop the one of the sand dunes so that I could get a better vantage point.  There are many towering sand tunes on the cape that can reach heights of up to 500 feet. As I made my way up the dune this is what I witnessed.  It was a truly breathtaking scene.  Notice the fury of the ocean as is manifested by the breakers.

Long Nook Beach, Trouo.  Henry David Thoreau spoke about the unique role of the green grasses for the preservation of the sand dunes as he stated,

"They dug up the grass in bunches, which were afterward divided into several smaller ones, and set about three feet apart, in rows, so arranged as to break joints and obstruct the passage of the wind." p. 241


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