Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Why Go to a Wellfleet Beach?

Bookings for summer have finally taken off, with a new reservation almost every day. I have heard there are seventeen weddings in Wellfleet/Truro, which will bring many travelers to our area to discover its beauty. Hopefully these new guests will want to return and explore the Outer Cape when it is less crowded, in spring, fall, or winter.

Summer visitors often have a problem understanding the trip to the beach in other seasons. Sunbathing is their goal, with the added bonus of salty air and sand between the toes. They are in vacation-mode and simply seek relaxation.

Before the tourism industry, Wellfleet residents did not venture onto the "backshore" much at all. These days lots of locals will drive to the beach in the off-season, usually around noon. They sit in a pick-up and watch the ocean from a distance, say, while eating a sandwich. These folks may get out of their vehicle to stretch their legs, but the visual effect alone is the goal. They miss seeing what erosion has done to the dune. (Check out these round objects, one a boulder, and the other an iron deposit.)

Sven and I use the beach for exercise and renewal. We walk at low tide, and prefer walking in the off-season, when the parking lot is almost deserted. This excursion is a way of communing with nature. The Atlantic never looks the same, but always reminds me how insignificant individual humans are in the scheme of things.

Often I find my eye drawn away from the spectacle of the ocean towards the dune. People say I have an artist's sensibility, but I think anyone could see the beauty if only they bothered to look. Just take a gander at these images captured last week ...
How about you? Why do you enjoy going to the beach?