Back on the road (for the weekend)

I’m a little late with this post but after a couple of weeks sitting about in a house with a roof and no wheels we got restless and decided to hit the road again. We struck out north for Cape Anne on a bright Friday afternoon, mixing in with a river of commuters flowing toward the weekend. Cape Anne is only about forty five minutes from Boston and it was great to be back behind Harvey’s wheel powering along the highway. We’d missed this easy rhythm of the road and even a short journey was enough to bring back memories of our summer in Harv.

There is really only one campsite on this promontory: the Cape Anne Camp Site. Its hilly and wooded and the sites are secluded. Its nicely old fashioned with a terrific lady on the front desk offering no-nonsense advice (“leave a cloth on the table to mark your spot – I’ll get you one”) and a brilliant recommendation for supper. “Lobsta Land” was clearly named to drive away those with foodist pretensions and looks fairly unappealing from the outside too but inside it feels fresh and light with a view over the sea marshes and the menu is a modern take on all the usual New England favourites. It was a treat.


We woke up in the woods the next morning with shafts of sunlight through the trees. It amazing how quickly you leave the real world behind when you are in your GMC in the woods with a beach down the road. Wingaersheek beach is really beautiful with the finest white sand, big round boulders to play on and a long stretch of shallows for running very fast in if you are seven. Or even if you aren’t.

We had intended to spend an hour, which turned into the morning, and then with a brief intervention of cheese and pickle sandwiches, the whole day. I looked like a stop light by the end of it and was somewhat crispy around the edges.

Jim and Nancy in Manchester-by-the-sea had invited us round for supper and given us GMC space in their driveway so we tore ourselves away from the sea and the sand and the hermit crabs to drive to Manchester. There was fine dining, there was ping pong and much hilarity and a smashing bunch of people who we will make sure we see again. We had a peaceful night in the driveway…

The next day we struck out for Russell Orchard which we had imagined as some kind of bucolic, victorian throwback with be-smocked haywains offering us wooden trugs full of blushing apples. Well there were apples. It was a huge commercial venture and, it has to be said, rather a fine one with everything apple-related that you could imagine.We decided against the wagon-ride and stocked up on various apple-related goods as well as some rather good fresh donuts made in one of those brilliant conveyor deep-fryers (which I have always coveted). Then to another beach – Crane Beach – on Jim’s recommendation. It was very different, with rolling dunes and big, wild breakers. Tom was in it up to his waist straight away until a lady warned us about dangerous riptides caused by the hurricane many miles offshore overnight.


It was a good way to end our weekend and we left Harv a little sandier than he was. We came home with salt in our hair and alarmingly red cheeks but feeling relaxed and happy and wishing that this could have been the start of another epic road trip…

Categories: Magic Bus

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