Cape Cod was made for Spring or maybe Spring was made for Cape Cod; either way, to borrow a phrase from Forrest Gump, they go together like peas and carrots.
It’s a beautiful spring day as I set out from Falmouth on the Shining Sea Bike Path and pedal my way to Woods Hole. This should be the way I start every morning year round but alas I hail from a small town full of small minds where pickup trucks and cars rule the road and leave little to no room for a walker much less a bicycle. And yes, it gets way cold in the winter where I’m from too; sort of saps the joy out of bike riding when your eyelids threaten to freeze shut. When I think of such things as I make my way down the bike path, it makes me appreciate the warmth from the sun and the well maintained path that gets a lot of use from bikers, rollerbladers and walkers; every community should have at least one of these.
As I reach Woods Hole, I follow the aroma of freshly baked bread, eggs and coffee to one of my favorite spots on all of Cape Cod; The Pie in the Sky Bakery. Once I get my egg and bacon popover and coffee, I find a place to sit and watch the invariably fascinating spectacle of Woods Hole humanity pass through the place. Scientists, professors, ferry operators, shop owners and tourists make for quite an entertaining mix. As usual, everyone seems to be in a pretty good mood. I’ve been here many times over the years and I’ve yet to leave without having had a nice chat with a complete stranger and sure enough, a lady from Iowa introduces herself and we talk about our mutual love of all things Cape Cod.
I make my way out to Nobska Lighthouse for a lingering view of the Nantucket Sound. As I look toward Martha’s Vineyard, I’m amazed at the boat traffic traveling to and from the island and the many sailboats who’s owners are taking advantage of a nice just windy enough spring day. I remind myself to think of this view if I should need a pick me up in the future.
I bike back in to Woods Hole and to The Woods Hole Aquarium. This smallish aquarium is very popular with kids but I find it to be a great place to visit and check up on the marine life there. Admission is free and even if you don’t go inside you can get a nice look at the Harbor Seals in their very own seawater pool pad.
I go back up to the other end of the village and check out The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s visitor center. They have a short film on the discovery of The Titanic and the center is full of information about the world’s oceans and what WHOI is doing to explore and protect them.
If it’s lunchtime it must also be fish and chips time. I make my way back down Water Street to The Captain Kidd for a nice lunch and another great vantage point to take in the splendor of Woods Hole and its residents. The restaurant it literally on Eel Pond where many local sailors keep their sailboats docked. As I enjoy my fish, a few boats make their way to Nantucket Sound once they maneuver through the narrow confines underneath the drawbridge that’s raised to allow open water access. It seems appropriate that downtown auto and pedestrian traffic is halted for a while given this small village’s dependence on the ocean.