Cape Cod Boondocking, Whale Watching and JFK Memorial

July 15-21, 2019 — Peak summer vacation and travel season is definitely in full swing during this third week of July. As full-time travelers with great flexibility, we attempt to avoid high tourist areas during this peak season as much as possible, especially on the weekends. 

Avoiding congested areas is a great plan but it doesn’t always work that way. This week was a great example of that as we visited Cape Cod, Massachusetts arriving on a Thursday and leaving on a bustling Sunday afternoon.

Cape Cod wasn’t on our initial radar to visit as we knew it would be both very crowded and likely difficult to find reasonably priced overnight parking. Upon doing a search on the Boondockers Welcome website we shockingly found a host located in the center of the peninsula that was available and had just enough room on their property to squeeze in our RV and tow car. Score! There was no way we could possibly turn down that opportunity without some regret so off we went. 

During our time on Cape Cod we didn’t have near the issues with heavy traffic and delays as we thought. We were able to find parking everywhere we went and had no issues booking a whale watching excursion on a Saturday. The beaches were busy but still had room for many more. We also saw vacancy signs at many of the hotels and inns we passed by. 

The weather may have been somewhat of a deterrent keeping Cape Cod less populous than expected on a peak summer weekend as temperatures soared into the mid 90’s. During our visit to Provincetown on July 20th, the official high hit 92° while a thermometer in the downtown area read 97°. With the average high being 77° on this date, the 90’s were both unusual and mighty uncomfortable. 

Even with the warm weather we had a wonderful time visiting the area and are very glad that we made the choice to go. Follow along below for a pictorial of a summary of our time in both Cape Cod and central Massachusetts. 

All nights this week were free stays with three nights at the home of friends and four nights at two different Boondockers Welcome host sites. 

Mile Driven - RV
Miles Driven - Car

We enjoyed a day sightseeing with our friends Ron and Barbara as they showed us many highlights of central Massachusetts including this amazing view of the Connecticut River from the summit at Skinner State Park in Hadley, MA.

Meeting new friends while on the road is so amazing, especially ones that share many of the same values and wanderlust ideologies as we do. We had a great time with Ron and Barbara and highly appreciate their hospitality and generosity in inviting us to join them for a few days. We look forward to meeting up again in the future. Happy travels!

Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg is located in Webster, Massachusetts. What a name! It’s tough to spell and even harder to pronounce but is a nice lake to visit on a warm New England day. With 45 letters (15 g’s!) and 14 syllables, it holds the record of having the longest name of any place in all of the United States. If you happen to have an Amazon Alexa device, ask her what the name of the lake in Webster, Massachusetts is! 🙂

Once again we are thankful for having a small motorhome and tow car as we were able to fit (just barely!) in this wonderful spot at a Boondockers Welcome host site on Cape Cod. 

The CG 36500 lifeboat is known for its involvement in the February 1952 SS Pendleton rescue of 32 of 33 crewmen trapped in the stern section of the tanker after it had broken in half in a storm off Chatham, Massachusetts. The rescue is considered one of the most daring in the history of the United States Coast Guard. The story is told in the 2009 book and 2016 motion picture titled “The Finest Hours”. 

Great white shark sightings in the waters off Cape Cod are increasing. There are many theories behind this with one being the rapidly growing seal population which is a favorite meal of the sharks. Be shark smart signs were posted on every beach we visited while on the peninsula. 

The Cape Cod National Seashore. Forty miles of shoreline along the Atlantic-facing coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Ahhh….

Our first full day in Cape Cod started with a visit to a local tire shop as we woke to flat. Fortunately, we carry a portable air compressor to air up the tire enough to limp to the nearest tire shop. Unfortunately, our tire (only six weeks old!) was not able to be repaired and we had to purchase a new one. Cape & Islands Tire in Eastham, Massachusetts offered terrific service and reasonable prices and had us back on the road in forty-five minutes. 

In addition to the National Seashore, Cape Cod also has many private and public beaches to spend warm summer days at. The South Cape Beach State Park on the south side of the peninsula facing Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard, offers fishing, swimming and walking trails. 

Cape Cod is the place to be for hydrangeas. It is the signature flower of the area and they are grown in mass everywhere you look. So Beautiful!!

Even the geese on Cape Cod enjoy beach days. Here they are at Veterans Park Beach overlooking Lewis Bay in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts where John F. Kennedy often sailed throughout his life. A memorial in his honor is located within the park. 

Many lighthouses are located on the Cape Cod peninsula including the Chatham Lighthouse near the “elbow” in Chatham, Massachusetts. 

We enjoyed a whale watching boat trip aboard the Dolphin VIII from Provincetown aka “P-town”, a seaside city at the very northern tip of Cape Cod. During the four-hour boat trip we were able to see dozens of huge whales along with spectacular views of beaches, lighthouses and of the very tip of Cape Cod. It was a great trip which we highly recommend to everyone visiting the area. 

Visiting Cape Cod is wonderful, but don’t be in a big hurry to get anywhere during the busy summer season. There are only two automobile roads with bridges that cross the Cape Cod Canal which divides Cape Cod from the mainland of Massachusetts and both can become very congested. The photo below was taken on an especially busy Sunday just after noon and shows the huge amount of traffic backed up on Highway 6 just east of the canal crossing. 

What a terrific week! We loved our time in both Cape Cod and central Massachusetts. Stay tuned for next week as we turn back west and visit Rhode Island and Connecticut for the first time in the RV. See you then!

Thank you for hanging out at Off Our Rocker RV.

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2 thoughts on “Cape Cod Boondocking, Whale Watching and JFK Memorial”

  1. Ron and Barbara

    Hey guys,
    glad you were able to visit with us. We had an awesome time together and you have certainly motivated us to get on the road as soon as possible
    You are always welcome here.
    You definitely lucked out finding a place at the Cape to experience summer at its best, traffic and all.
    Looking forward to hearing about your further adventures

    Ron and Barbara

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