Saturday, July 14, 2012

Early Morning on the South Shore

Since all of my recent posts have been in black and white, I've decided it's time to add a little color back into my blog before posting "Boston Cycling Life, Number 20".  Fortunately, I took an amazing 40-mile ride last weekend...

...full of seaside colors and scenery.

I shot the above pictures from Nantasket Beach, which is a hilly 15-mile ride from my home.  I was out on the road at 5:15 am, so the sun was still rising above the ocean when I arrived.

Nantasket Beach is part of the town of Hull, which sits on a peninsula extending far out into Massachusetts Bay.  The beach looks directly into the North Atlantic, so at times the waves can be really huge, especially in the fall and winter.  But on this 75-degree summer morning all was calm.

On the way to Nantasket Beach, I passed by lots of fellow cyclists who waved hello (there's a kind of solidarity among us 5:00 a.m. riders) and these guys:

Wild turkeys!  That was actually the third flock I saw on this trip.  I rode by some deer too, but they ran away before I could get my camera out.  Those turkeys weren't in much of a hurry though. They just gobbled at me bit and then haughtily waddled off in the opposite direction.

Pedaling east beyond Nantasket Beach, I made my way onto one of the most beautiful roads in Massachusetts: Cohasset's Jerusalem Road, which winds along rocky shores and little inlet beaches.

If you look closely at each of those photos, you can see a very faint vertical speck on the horizon.  That's the legendary Minot's Ledge Light.  Here it is in a close-up view:

The granite lighthouse sits on top of a treacherous submerged rock ledge that is renowned locally for having caused countless shipwrecks.  In fact, it was on this very beach...

...that Henry David Thoreau stood and observed the shipwreck he would later describe in his classic book Cape Cod.  For more information about the story of this incredible lighthouse, check out "New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide".

Riding back inland took me through the quaint little village of Cohasset itself...

...with its classic New England town hall...

...and village green.

If the church looks familiar to you, that's probably because Cohasset was the location for the 1987 film The Witches of Eastwick, starring Susan Sarandon, Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Cher.  The church itself features prominently in the movie, as do other locations throughout the seaside town.

As you can see from the steeple clock -- which was only about 5 minutes fast -- it was nearly 7 a.m. as I reached Cohasset's town green.  So I decided that was a good time to head back home, beating the rush of Sunday morning beach-going cars.  I retraced my route through the South Shore towns of Hingham, Weymouth, Braintree, and Quincy, and then treated myself to a large iced coffee at my local Dunkin' Donuts, celebrating a truly spectacular morning ride.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

20 Days of Boston Cycling Life, Number 19

Cycling life in a port city, an ever-changing seascape

For an overview of 20 Days of Boston Cycling Life, click here.