Welcome back to the coast of Massachusetts.
We are on a stretch that is unprotected by barrier islands - unless there is a breakwater or natural harbor the mainland bears the full force of the ocean.
I came down with some kind of bug last week - it seemed to start in an ear and then got into my tonsils and gut. I didn't feel it was fair to pass it along to anyone, so I stayed away from people the last few days.
Two of the days were spent holed up in the van, sweating and shaking for the most part. But the worst has passed and we are on our way again.
Once past Marblehead there is a long stretch of relatively straight shoreline marked by huge stacks of boulders.
It can be quite appealing to the eye.
There is a heavy seaweed here, and when the waves are rough they tear up clumps and throw them ashore.
The island just offshore in the photo below has a house on it.
Precarious looking spot. Here is a shack for ya.
I have always loved good stone work.
If you watch close, there are lots of little nooks and crannies to sit awhile.
Want your babies to be "hip?" This is your spot.
We are heading further south than we will on the main trip - Provincetown Cape Cod is 40 miles south of here, but rather than taking the ferry across we are driving the coast.
Swampscott is another old town - settled in the 1620's. It has a population of 14,000. The name came from the local Indians and means "Red Rock."
As we have headed south from the top of Maine, this is really the first place we have large found natural sand beaches.
A nice thing in these communities is they have kept the waterfront open to be shared by the public.
They get a lot of use - even on a blustery day there were lots of folks exercising or playing with their dogs.
Neither of these two looked too enthusiastic.
When stonework and concrete are mixed with natural rock it makes for some neat shapes.
Shore hugging islands are the norm.
Boston can be seen through the telephoto on the horizon.
Its right where they said it would be on the map.
I tried to get a story or two going in Boston, but between the rudeness of the locals and not feeling well myself it seemed best to just stick to the course.
And I mean rudeness literally. Somewhere about Gloucester is an imaginary line where people's attitudes in public completely change. Driving cars is handled like a WWF event - whoever shoves and pushes the hardest "wins." If you let someone in front of you the folks behind you honk and yell. If you don't let them in they give you the finger.
Self storage facility outside Boston
It isn't just traffic. People here are so fearful that they refuse to acknowledge each other in public, and they seem so used to it that they seem to expect gruffness. One fellow told me about visiting South Carolina in his twenties. People kept saying "hi" to him - and it made him nervous. He couldn't figure out what they wanted. The notion of social graces with strangers was completely foreign to him.
A few churches along the way caught my eye. This one is build onto a granite cliff - I couldn't find an angle to do it justice.
The slate work on the steeple caught my eye.
Behind it was a large contemplation gardens - almost Asian in its look.
This was an odd looking one - sort if a tudor style Greek Orthodox.
The sign said Episcopal though.
I liked the shadows of the lattice on the old lantern.
Next we will be exploring Cape Cod as we continue down the coast of New England.
That brings us to today's "Faces in the Crowd" - a couple of young ladies dancing on the beach.
And today's parting shot - taken in a local variety store.
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