Cape Cod 6/11/13-6/15/13

The Cohen’s have headed back to Denver and we have a mid morning departure from Artillery Ridge after fixing the air conditioning problem.  I have found that driving our little motor home on curvy single lane back roads has less appeal than I originally anticipated.  So if there is an Interstate Highway that will get us where we are going I tend to migrate toward that route.

Navigating is not always easy.  Bev’s job is keeping us on the right route.  She has a variety of navigation programs on the Ipad to help.  Most of the times they are helpful.  However, sometimes the road signs take precedent.  As we approached Harrisburg the plan is to take I-15 to I-81 to I-84 east to Cape Cod.  The goal is always to avoid large cities.  As we approached the intersection I noted “The signs say bear left to I-81.”

“I don’t care what they say -stay right!”

In a few moments we found ourselves on I-78 headed for New York City.  I guess we should have followed the road sign suggestions.  Turning this little rascal around is not as easy as hopping the interstate median in your SUV as you might back home.  You have to hope you can make the turns on the surface streets to get back on the Interstate.  This time we got lucky and in a few minutes we were on I-81 headed north.

When we reached I-84 the hour was getting late.  We looked for an RV park but as we got further into the northeast they became fewer and farther between.  Sadly, so did the rest areas and truck stops.  The closest RV park was 20 mi. off the highway.  I was tired and it didn’t look like we had much choice.  But at the exit we saw “Roady’s Truck Stop”  It was still early enough in the day that it had not filled up so we just settled in amongst the 18 wheelers.

I realized this would be our first night dry camping.  There was a cool rain and we didn’t need the air conditioners so the lack of shore power should not be a problem.  As we got organized I was watching the battery drain.  Even with everything shut down I could not get it below 20amps.  Even though I have 8 house batteries they would not last forever under this load.  I realized it had to be the “house hold refrigerator.”  As an experiment I shut it off.  It seemed to only save 3-4 amps. I decided to study this further later.  In the mean time I would run the generator a little to help out and charge the batteries.

The next morning we were off for the Cape.  We crossed the Hudson River over the Newburgh-Beacon bridge.  We paid our first toll of the trip.  It would not be our last.  It was the roughest surface of the trip.  The bridge can see up to 65,000 vehicles a day. I thought they could take some of those tolls and repave the bridge.

Bev had never seen Cape Cod before.  Our friends, Dick and Jean Morello (also our neighbors at Outdoor Resorts) live there in the summer.  They had invited us to stop by if we got close and this seemed like a good opportunity.  They suggested Atlantic Oaks RV park in Eastham.  Many of the older roads just were not designed for modern sized traffic.  As we crossed the bridge to the Cape there were two small east bound lanes.  It didn’t take long to realize there was actually room for one RV using both lanes.  That was an easy decision.

40 miles later we reached Atlantic Oaks.  Their approach allowed us to have our tow car off the highway but not much more.  Access was controlled by a key card.  The gates were narrow but we squeezed through.  I immediately recognized this as a “mature vegetation” park.  The trees, mostly oak, were huge.  The site was originally developed in the 1930′s.  That gave the trees an 80 yr. start.  While the sites were completely covered they were kept trimmed back enough to allow reasonable access.  The sites were also fairly level.

My only complaint was the $4 per night per dog charge.  We had never seen this before and there was no reason for it.  Then I noticed the sign for the $1.50 per cup of coffee in the office and realized nothing was going to be free here.

Dick and Jean Morello are two warm and generous people who happen to own the lot next to ours in Outdoor Resorts.  That evening Jean came by to guide us to their home.  Thirty years before they had purchased this 1 acre parcel with a beautiful home on the bay side shore of the cape.  It was a summer place then as they raised their 6 children closer to Boston.  But as the kids grew up and flew off Dick and Jean made the Cape their full time home.

Jean was a nurse and had been the COO at the local hospital.  Now she teaches nursing.  Dick runs his own plumbing company.  They do this in the summer and spend the winters in Indio next to us.  In addition to his plumbing skills Dick is a great chef.  His dinners were legendary at Outdoor Resorts.  On our first night in Cape Cod he had prepared a great meal for us.

The Nauset light was the historic attraction of this part of the Cape.  Dick and Jean gave us a tour by car and I later rode my bike up from our camp for a couple of photos.



History is what helps you remember places and there was plenty of history around here.


Jean’s hobby is quilting.  I had no idea how complex quilting could be.  She showed me the “patches” she was creating from her computerized embroidery machine.  The detail was remarkable.  Each color has to be individually added.  She had even embroidered a couple of personalized towels for Bev and myself.  Complete with a Cape Cod lobster and our initials.

Their beautiful Cape home boasts an elaborate garden.  Jean mentioned that one of the two challenges of the Cape was the poison ivy and the ticks.  We had met the latter.



Attractive foliage.  But “leaves of three let them be…”   The dogs didn’t get the memo.  Neither did Bev’s leg.

One day Dick suggested we dine at their club.  He quietly mentioned it was the Hyannis Yacht Club.  He suggested we might see some of the Kennedy’s, Lodge’s, or Cabot’s.   Dick didn’t have a boat so I thought he was joking.  But I did dig out a sport coat from somewhere in thee closet just in case he was serious.  It turned out he was.


The fancy folk were not there but tradition still runs deep.  At the exact moment of sunset the lights were turned down,  everyone rose and stood in silence as the colors were formally lowered.  This exact scene had been repeated every night for almost 60 years.

Jean mentioned that the local super market was having a “lobster sale’ on Fri.  Bev declared she would get the lobsters if Dick and Jean would show her how to prepare them and eat them.  While she had eaten lobster before this would be her first experience with one still in the shell.

On Fri. afternoon we found the lobster sale.



Note the prices on the wall.

At dinner Jean gave Bev lessons on lobster consumption.



Dick prepared a “side dish” of clam linguini.   It was Father’s Day weekend.  Their kids and grand kids were gathering.  It was time for us to move on.  We bid our gracious hosts good bye as we prepared for an early departure the following morning.


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