I stuck to the coast through Massachusetts. I decided to take Highway 6 straight out to the end of Cape Cod and then drive the more scenic 6A back.
The Cape Cod National Seashore (site / wiki) Visitor Center was playing a video on the history of whaling on the cape. The video claimed that the black and white footage shown (1916) was the only video recording of an actual whale hunt before the practice became illegal in the early 20th century.
The whalers went about their work with mechanical familiarity. The spear boat was launched, and the right whale was chased, speared, gaffed, and brought along side the main ship and secured. During processing oil was bailed from the whales head with a bucket, and the bones were boiled free of flesh and blubber before being ladled out of a massive vat. The ship in the video, The Viola, was lost at sea two weeks later. None of her crew survived.
Sailing around Cape Cod was necessary for Boston to trade with New York. Ship wrecks were so common that outposts were built along the shoreline to keep watch for ships in distress. These outposts developed their own rescue methods, and eventually the Cape Cod Life Saving Service was incorporated into the National Coast Guard Service. In 1914 a canal was built through the shoulder of the curled arm of Cape Cod, and the need for constantly manned outposts was lost.
I wheeled back through the harbor towns along 6A and continued north stoping in Plymouth to see the National Monument to the Forefathers (impressive) and Plymouth Rock (underwhelming).
I made it into Boston around 6pm, and my old roommate from the Watson House in Costa Mesa, CA took me in on late notice.
The Red Sox were playing the Blue Jays that night (5/5/15), and Lenae and I made it to Fenway Park midway through the second inning. My buddy Mike described Fenway as feeling almost like a minor league stadium because of its size, and I have to agree. The green monster in left field is only 310 feet from home plate.
I’m not surprised Red Sox fans have a reputation of being a tight knit bunch – there’s no other way it could work.
Nine innings and two hometown home runs later we shuffled into the nearest light rail station and waited for the T (Boston’s public transportation system).
To everyones insincere surprise a scuffle broke out while we were waiting in line, the aggressor of which was exactly the vacant eyed angry guy you’re imagining. He turned against the flow of foot traffic and stood with a slack jawed head tilt directed at someone I couldn’t see. He was a good sized dude, but his tough guy face was struggling to emote through his drunkenness. If his portrait was taken out of context, I’d have guessed he was staring at a menu deciding if the nachos were going to be enough for him.
I only stayed in Boston one night. I had expected to stay longer, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m worn out with the East Coast urban life. Traffic, toll roads, parking, and people. The openness of Maine drew me away. Boston looked like a cool place to explore, but I’ll have to see about visiting in-depth another time.