Lower Cape Lighthouse Foray

Local loop on Cape Cod
Sun June 24
(~218 miles)

Char was ready to get out for a 2-up day ride so we reviewed our options. The predicted deluge had never occurred on Saturday and we might avoid it yet another day if we rode in the right direction. Cape Cod seemed to be a good choice with low chance of actual precipitation but cooler temps and overcast skies to keep the beach-goers in check. I had to remove my new aux tank for this to happen, of course, but it was easy peazy using the wingnuts and then just two bolts to remove the under-seat brackets. The elbow fitting under the tank does barely touch the seat and there was a dribble of fuel there. I tightened the fitting some more after pulling the tank and will need to monitor it later.

We breezed down I-495 and MA-25 to the Cape in late morning, no traffic to speak of. After crossing the Bourne Bridge, we headed south toward Falmouth and left MA-28 for smaller roads in the village of Pocasset. Out on another peninsula, we got as close as we could to Wings Neck Lighthouse, which is now – you guessed it – privately owned.

We continued south on back roads and tried to capture a glimpse of the offshore Cleveland Ledge Light. It was a long shot to begin with, especially with some fog on the water, and there was no open view that we could find anyway. This one would probably have to be a no-go for the tour.

We continued on to Woods Hole. The Pie in the Sky coffee joint was hopping, so we found a place to park further downtown and decided to get some sandwiches from Woods Hole Market.

This is a great little general store/deli and there was no line just before noon when we arrived. After paying for our food, we headed out back where they have waterfront seating. We chose the second floor deck, which commanded a nice view of the protected Eel Pond. The sandwiches were good and the cookie to die for.

After a relaxing lunch, we continued out of Woods Hole and pulled over for a quick stop at the beautiful Nobska Point Lighthouse.

I ride the Cape infrequently and forget how unbearable it is riding on MA-28 through Falmouth. I hadn’t routed onto back roads so we had to put up with the traffic and lights for several miles until finally turning off in Marston Mills. We went through Osterville and hugged the shore over to Hyannis Harbor, where we were guided down yet another private side street to get a view of the former Hyannis Lighthouse. The lantern room was removed at one point and later replaced with a gazebo-like structure by it’s owners. A bit odd-looking, to be sure.

We circled eastward around Lewis Bay and through West Yarmouth toward Great Island and Point Gammon Lighthouse. We were rebuffed before reaching the island by a secure gatehouse and barrier, fortified with signs warning of security cameras in use, etc. OK, moving right along then.

The Bass River Lighthouse was much more accommodating, being incorporated into a large inn and restaurant on the shore in West Dennis. The friendly valets asked if we were checking in, but were happy to let us just get a photo.

We continued east through Harwich and into Chatham, making our way down to a small side-street ending in a makeshift beach/boat launch. Across the inlet, we had a distant but decent view (with zoom lens) of Stage Harbor Lighthouse, sans lantern room.

Just a mile or so away, we arrived at the bluffs on the very elbow of Cape Cod to take in Chatham Lighthouse. This was a pretty busy parking lot, with folks taking in the views of the water. Having a motorcycle worked in our favor, getting a small corner of the lot to get the necessary photos. This light station has a pretty interesting story, having once consisted of two beacons. Then it was completely rebuilt further inland away from the original location to escape the erosion of the bluffs. Apparently, the older tower was allowed to simply collapse down onto the beach.

MA-134 provided an efficient uick way to cross the Cape north up to Route 6A, always a nice way to make a slow exit back to the mainland. Sandy Neck Lighthouse was another long shot, being located way out on a sandy peninsula with no paved public roads.

We finished out our run on 6A before rejoining US-6 across the Sagamore Bridge and on to home.

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