I hadn’t been to Cape Cod for probably close to 20 years and was high on my list of places that I needed to get to this Summer here in New England with my camera. A weekend at the end of June opened up last minute for me and luckily another photographer friend of mine was free as well to join me on the trip. We left early on Saturday morning to make the drive up from Connecticut knowing that traffic over the bridge only gets worse as the day progresses and also to get in as much shooting possible. Our first stop was the town of Chatham, where we’d also be staying for the night, and the historic Godfrey Windmill at Chase Park that was built in 1797. We then made our way over to Chatham Lighthouse and the neighboring beach across the street. The contrast between the bright blue sky and the bright white sandy beach made for quite the views looking out towards the ocean in amazing 80 degree weather! Continuing the beach trend the next few stops were Rock Harbor Beach, with the famous line of young pine trees sunken into the mud to mark the waterway for boaters & Indian Neck Beach, with such amazing rocky red clay shoreline formations. Our final destinations of the day would be in the Provincetown area at the northern tip of the Cape, with some of the most beautiful landscape the area has to offer.
Getting to Provincetown in the afternoon allowed us to explore and shoot bit before headin to our main target for sunset, the Dune Shacks of Peaked Hill Bars Historic District. This area comprises 1.950 acres of the Cape Cod National Seashore and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. The current shacks here at the dunes were built in the 1920’s as part of an artist colony that included such famous inhabitants as Jack Kerouac, E.E. Cummings, Jackson Pollock & Eugene O’ Neil. They would spend time in these primitive shacks without any electricity or running water for lengths of time in solitude as they wrote, painted and got away from it all. As we took the hike out through these massive sand dunes it felt like you were in a desolate desert somewhere out in the Southwest part of the country, but right on the shoreline in New England. Once we got to the top of the dune overlook and could see the ocean it was one of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen. The sun set perfectly in our view dipping below the horizon and creating an incredible sky filled with yellows, oranges, pinks & reds. Being the only ones out there made it even more special to experience this magical place and capture it with our cameras. With the moon rising relatively early in the evening we didn’t have much time to try for some astrophotography shots so we had to work quick and get setup for them. Luckily the conditions cooperated enough to get an amazing shot of the Milky Way directly over one of this tiny shacks, with the faint glow of Provincetown in the background on the horizon. The whole experience this night was definitely in the Top 5 for me of all time adventures and one that I can’t wait to try for again next year.
Sunrise was a dud the next morning due to incoming clouds so we decided to catch up on a little sleep before heading to downtown Chatham to walk around. Such a beautiful town with picturesque New England houses and charm, that I couldn’t help snapping away as we explored Main Street as well a number of side roads. With the hydrangea in full bloom it made for some amazing foreground to these stunning homes and I took full advantage. Before making our way towards the bridge and beginning our drive back to Connecticut we popped over to check out Nauset Light, the lighthouse made famous on every bag of Cape Cod potato chips. For sure won’t be another 20 years until my next visit to Cape Cod!