April 09, 2008

The Rock Walk

[By Crabby]

A Little Obsessed

Do any of you have a particular walk or hike that you love so much that you'd move over 3,000 miles just to get to enjoy it whenever you wanted?

Well, I don't either, I swear. There are LOTS of reasons we moved to P-town, not just for the Rock Walk. (And "the Rock Walk" is just our name for it, I have no idea what the locals call it).

But for me the Rock Walk is one of those rare experiences, like a massage or a cup of coffee in the morning, that I pretty much always enjoy. It's not exercise, because exercise is a pain in the ass, and this is fun. We've been coming here for years, yet I never seem to get tired of it, no matter how many times I've gone back and forth over the same damn rocks. Each time feels unique, with variations in tides and weather and seasons and wildlife and such.

Still, I worry that now that we're going to be here at least half the year, I'll just do it too many dang times and wear it out. Should I consider rationing it? Just once a week or something? But then I have coffee every morning and I haven't worn that out yet...

This is a terrible time of year to take a picture of the rock walk, because the sea-grass (or whatever that stuff that pokes out of the water is) is a dowdy brown color. The walk is much prettier when the grass is lush and green, or even better, when it's dressed in autumn reds and golds.

It also doesn't help that I'm crap at taking pictures. Hey Hilary, could you please pop on over to Provincetown and give me a hand here?

As Close as I get to Meditation

Oddly enough, doing the Rock Walk involves walking on rocks. They are mostly big wide flat rocks, but there is enough un-evenness to require a certain sort of subtle attention, most of which is not even conscious. A few jumps, a little scrambling here and there--there's just enough maneuvering to keep a good part of the body and brain pleasantly engaged. If one is prone to trances, it is a great little trance-inducer.

(However, I have a particularly obstinate brain that can keep up the mind-chatter even on the Rock Walk. But I believe it's quieter chatter).

The scenery gets more beautiful the further out you get (better pictures this summer, I promise) but all along the way there are birds and shells and pretty ripples in the sand and weird washed-up things to check out. And if there is anything more calming than the sound of the tides gurgling and whooshing through the rocks, I sure as hell don't know what it is.

At The End

I usually just turn around and go back. Round trip from town, it's about 90 minutes, and, well, there are no bathrooms out there and given my morning coffee consumption I'm usually pretty ready to head for home. But for those with bigger bladders or who don't mind peeing behind a rock or in the water, there are uncrowded beaches to frolic on and a lighthouse to go take a look at.

(Also, as we discovered one summer afternoon a few years ago, there's apparently other fun to be had. An unusually long walk took us by a remote section of beach where the boys in the dunes were not very inhibited! Fortunately, if you've got little ones in tow, they'll tucker out long before you'd happen by this rather X-rated display of natural wildlife. And it wasn't just nude sunbathing, either, if ya know what I mean. The activity was strangely un-furtive though, we got a cheerful wave from a couple of guys as we passed by on our hike).

Does anyone else have a walk that you just love, or that has unusual scenery of any sort? Cranky Fitness would love to hear about it!

And Note: Do not adjust your computers--I will not be this mellow and boring indefinitely. Crabbiness will soon reappear... in fact, faced with a mountain of moving boxes to deal with, I can feel some coming along nicely already!


  1. The Rock Walk sounds peaceful and lovely. I wouldn't worry about wearing it out. If you're taking the time to notice things about it, then you'll find something new each time.
    Loved the pics, Crabby.

  2. I have a similar walk...though I wish I could say it was as rural as yours! Mine is just around the park near my house. It's a large park, about 2km around. I could do it every day and probably will once I'm working at home. Somehow I don't get bored. Like you said, it's not exercise - for me, it's a place to go and clear my head. Plus there are always cute dogs to observe and the duck pond with turtles. And the library is on the way so I can always pop in and browse the books, another relaxing diversion.

  3. You're making me wistful for the Cape, girlfriend!

    Around here, I'm more likely to get attached to running routes than walks, although I don't really have any favorite runs in my new locale.

    One of the neighborhoods I lived in years ago was a couple blocks from a cute little park with a pond which was near a rich neighborhood full of old oaks with branches that met overhead. I loved getting off work early and going for a little stroll, often ending up at a little cafe where I would buy strawberries to eat at the park.

    My walk across campus to and from work these days is nice, but doesn't hold a candle to my old park-and-neighborhood stroll or your rock walk!

  4. So, it really was the lure of the sea! Does this mean you're a Rock Crab?
    It looks fabulous! The Bag Lady is jealous because it makes her strolls in the pasture pale by comparison. On the other hand, the Bag Lady can't swim, so if she ever fell off the Rock Walk, she'd be in trouble! If she falls down out in the pasture, she just gets dirty.

  5. Beautiful pictures! I grew up in the PNW, but live in the flatlands now. Oh how I miss walking/hiking through the woods! But every July, I go home and hike, hike, hike!

  6. I wouldn't worry about wearing it out. When I was in Raleigh, two of the places I lived were a couple of blocks from the Greenway. I walked the same walk almost every day for two and a half years and it never got less wonderful.

    Now I've got three favorite walks, but I have to get in a car to get to them. (Can't wait to move. One box at a time.)

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  7. The "rock wall" is technically a breakwall, but if you want to blend in with us locals, call it a jette (pronounced like "jet-tea"). Another great walking route on the Cape (a little ways from you though) is the walking/biking trails at For Hill in Eastham. The Cape is so beautiful, you'll want to photograph everything!

  8. I think I need to find one.

    I live in such a pretty place ---- it's just a drive to find a nice walk and I so rarely do it.


  9. The Rock walk looks beautiful.
    I know I love to walk the seawall in Stanley Park whenever I'm lucky enough to be in Vancouver...as it is, the Meewasin Trail along the river where I live is wonderful to walk and run...I don't get tired of it.

  10. Wow, that's pretty!
    When I was growing up, we lived in a house on Boston Harbor (right across from the airport. What? Speak up, I cahn't heah ya!). I LOVED to walk on the beach behind the house, and even had my special rock to sit on and contemplate the universe.

    Now we live near a man-made lake, and I like to sit on a bench and watch the ducks. Or watch my kids try to jump in the water, which is not QUITE as relaxing...

  11. Thanks you guys, I love hearing about the awesome peaceful places you've found to go for a stroll!

    I could sure use a nice peaceful walk right about now... we thought we got rid of a lot of stuff before we moved, but apparently we should have gotten rid of a hell of a lot more. New place is substantially smaller than old place... keep finding boxes full of stuff and muttering WTF? What did we bring THIS for?

    Will stop whining soon I promise... deep breaths, deep breaths.

  12. I like to walk past the abandoned lots that will probably soon be condos. Slightly less magical, but it works for me.

  13. That walk looks wonderful Crabby. I haven't found one near where I live yet. But any walk out of the city is great.

  14. sometimes I worry that, by going to Disneyworld one too many times as a kid, I've been ruined. But then I close my eyes and think of It's a Small World and instantly want to go again. I think the rock Walk can be like that for you - you won't get burnt out. It sounds and looks gorgeous, peaceful...and in desperate need of some crabbiness. :-)

  15. What gorgeous photos! It sounds like an absolutely fantastic walk. I can't think of one that I've ever enjoyed quite so consistently, though I love being in any sort of woodland/forest area...

    Stay mellow, Crabby, but don't lose that snarky touch which we all love. ;-)


  16. The pictures are so pretty.

    Going to school in Ithaca, there are tons of gorges and stuff to walk around in. Haven't found one that's better than the others, but they're all pretty.

  17. Those pictures are really fantastic. I want to do the rock walk!

    And No, don't ration it! I never lived near mountains and now I live on the side of one. Although the novelty has kind of worn off, I still love it every single day. And use it as much as I can. It never gets old, it just evolves.

  18. I'll walk anywhere.

    No, don't ration it. This is the best you've sounded in weeks. Not that you ever sound bad, just a little. . .crabby sometimes, okay?

  19. Hiking the red rocks in Sedona. Every time I go I start plotting how to move there and trying to figure out the next time I can go back.

  20. In California it's a jetty or a breakwater as noted above, but we spell it different here. They are a ton of fun to walk on if the seagulls haven't been busy. ;)They are good for staying focused as you noticed, we have some that are not quite so even, so one could trip and break a leg! Santa Barbara has a very civilized one that you can walk way out around the harbor.

    I'd say it's like coffee, I hardly ever get tired of my coffee. Enjoy it! Life is too short to put off stuff we enjoy, or ration it too severely.

    I hate moving, the only (dis) advantage is getting rid of even more stuff I can just live without. In the US we think we are our things, it's kind of silly really, all that ego investment, so good for you for saying WTF! Donate, yard sale, keep the new house unstuffed and simplify your life, it will feel great! If you're not sure, put it in storage for a year, then go look and you'll say, Oh. Wow. Wondered where that went. Guess I don't really need it anymore. Letting go gets to feeling like freedom. For me it's like losing weight out of my life.

  21. Jade, thanks for the tips! Can't wait to check out the Fort Hill hikes as an alternative to the Jet-Tea.

    And I sure hope the Rock Walk ends up being like Sedona or the mountains or Stanley Park the Santa Barbara jetty (or Disneyworld!) and that I never burn out on it.

    Thanks everybody!

  22. Seems to me that you're doing just fine with your own photography skills there, Crabby, but any time you want to host a Canadian city mouse, I'd love to bring my camera to the coast. I love Massachusetts (and Maine) and have spent a fair bit of time there pre camera days. Any new spot though, is a great place to walk and shoot. We're hoping to check out a new spot this afternoon, so maybe I'll have some new pics soon.. hopefully. Thanks so much for the shout-out. You're the sweetest crab I know. :)

  23. Don't hold back on that walk, Crabby. You'll never tire of it. I have a couple of walks around here and they freshen and rejuvenate me every time. Doesn't matter that I've done them thousands of times.

    It looks a fabulous place.

  24. That was so beautiful. I can see why you love it so. On the Hana side of Maui it feels almost untouched by modern man and it is so incredibly beautiful and peaceful. I sware I feel like the closest I can get to God there. I'd fly there right now if I could.

  25. Gorgeous!! (And you do your pictures a disservice - they are quite lovely.) It made me feel peaceful just looking at them and reading your description and, trust me, I REALLY need some peace in my life today:) *deep breath* Oooohhhhhmmmmmmm

  26. nice. it inspires me to go and seek similar paths in my small hometown that is situated alongside a long river..maybe?..


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