Sunday, December 28, 2014


While on a family Christmas visit to Cape Cod, Carol and I hiked an established path through the dunes of Provincetown to a geocache called "Dune." The walk through this spectacular sandy landscape and out to the Atlantic beach was recommended by a store customer. It was one of the best treks we've ever done on the Cape.

This interpretive sign marked the beginning of the path a short distance in from Route 6.

After an initial short but steep climb over a dune, Carol takes a reading on her GPS. The cache is that-a-way.

It was a gorgeous day to wander through the dunes.

An oasis?

There were some significant ups and downs, by Cape Cod standards - about 300 ft. of elevation gain for the 2+ mile round trip.

A vast barren landscape.

Into the breach, with the ocean in sight ahead.

Some pitch pine woods ahead, behind the final dune barrier.

There were pools of water in some of the low spots. A P'town native who came by picked some cranberries in one of the boggy areas.

Vegetation has stabilized the sand in this sheltered low area. Visitors are strongly urged to stay on the established paths and not stray onto the vegetation or fragile dune slopes.

Meandering through the stunted pitch pines.

A peek at the top of the Provincetown Monument.

A little cold water left by recent heavy rains won't deter this geocacher.

A bent-over oak marks the approach to the Dune cache.

Dune buggy tracks on a sand road.

Approaching the outermost dune barrier.

The path was pockmarked with mini-postholes in the sand.

The monument now mostly in view.

This way!

A narrow cut provides access to the beach.

To the shore of the mighty Atlantic. There was lots of bird activity on the water - eiders, a variety of gulls, and a tiny diving Dovekie, a pelagic bird perhaps blown in close to shore by the recent storm. We also saw a couple of seals.

The Great Beach, stretching for miles to the east and south.

More dune buggy tracks.

After a nice long break on the beach, where we found a nice quahog shell, we headed back through late afternoon sun.

A sculpted bowl of sand.

King of the hill.

After our hike we drove into P'town, which was hopping on this beautiful, warm-for-December day. We found another geocache here at the wharf by Provincetown Harbor.

Before heading back to our family gathering in Eastham, we walked up to the base of the Provincetown Monument and grabbed another geocache. Three more caches on the drive back concluded a rewarding afternoon on the Outer Cape!

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