Our Backyard

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“ … if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”

Dorothy Gale

Our trip has gotten off to a great start! First stop was in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Bob and I have lived in Connecticut our entire lives. With family members in all of the New England states, we’ve traveled all over the region as children and adults. But neither of us has ever visited this part of Massachusetts. Just like Dorothy, we always go looking in far away places when we haven’t really enjoyed what’s in our back yards. This is a beautiful part of New England! If you haven’t visited the area, make sure you do!

We began by getting together with our friend Maureen who moved from Connecticut to this area a couple of years ago. She has an awesome little Cape Cod style cottage within walking distance of a quaint little downtown. She can walk to shops, banks, the library and one of the best bakeries ever! After eating the superb pastries, she can hop on her bike and pick up the rail trail. This would be the ideal location for us, except for the winter, snow, cold, ice, sleet, etc.

Maureen and me!

Our campground, Cape Ann Camp Sites, was not the best we’ve been to, but not the worst. It’s an older facility and could use a little updating. Larger RV’s like our class A were relegated to a handful of spaces as soon as you pull in. The largest part of the campground was up a steep hill with narrow, curvy roads where only smaller campers could venture. The lower sites were all grass, and after 3 solid days of rain it was very soft. We were 12” off level in the first space assigned to us. The staff was wonderful and moved us to a different site which was only about 5” off level. But, we made it work, and we did have a water view. What this campground had going for it was proximity … it was an easy trip to Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, etc. We got some great fresh fish and ate lobster rolls, so what more can you ask for??

Walking around Gloucester.

We went on a great whale watch with Maureen, and that was a highlight of this stop. I’ve been on whale watches off Cape Cod, and the whale watches from Gloucester go to the same location … Stellwagon Bank, a protected feeding area for fish. All the whale watch companies talk to each other, so they guarantee that you’ll see whales. We used Cape Ann Whale Watch and were particularly impressed by the staff of marine biology majors who had paid internships with this company to study whales. Kudos to them for not making it all about the money!

Humpback whale’s tail.

I was surprised to have a conversation with someone who had never seen the movie A Perfect Storm. If you haven’t seen that one, you must. It takes place in Gloucester and is about the fishermen who risk everything to go out and catch your dinner. A little melodramatic, and Diane Lane (who I love as an actress) does the worst Boston accent in any movie ever, but it’s still one that every New Englander should see.

Fisherman’s monument, Gloucester.
Monument to the fishermen’s wives.

After a few days in Gloucester, it was time to move on! This was a perfect start to the trip … great company, great food, and fun touring. With a heat wave coming, there’s no better time to keep heading north to Maine!

Motif #1, Rockport, Massachusetts.

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