Race Point Light and Highland Light

January 29, 2021

Race Point light and Highland LightHave you ever been to Race Point Light? Located among the sand dunes at the tip of Cape Cod , it is worth the two mile hike. Highland Light is halfway up the Cape is another worthwhile stop at Cape Cod National Seashore. These framed art prints are going to Ann in Oakland, California and Carrie in Randolph, MA

Race Point Light in Provincetown, Massachusetts was named for the challenging cross currents that are so prevalent at the edge of Cape Cod. A two-mile walk on the soft sand from the parking lot to the lighthouse gave me a true taste of the Cape. As I strolled along the beach, a curious seal accompanied me bobbing up and down in the water just past the crashing waves. It was ninety degrees, and my walk soon turned into an arduous hike. I was tempted to cut through the preserve of native beach grass to save the unintended exercise, but then noticed something intriguing at my feet. When the wind blows the culms of beach grass in a circular motion, it creates a unique ring pattern in the sand. It was nature’s way of saying, “take the long way and go around.” Finally, I arrived at the beautifully restored Race Point Light. After a couple pints of cold water from the generous keepers, I proceeded to sketch and photograph this truly stunning place. The volunteer keepers felt a little sorry for this road worn artist and gave me a ride back to my car.

Highland Light, on the Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts, has changed significantly since Edward Hopper painted the lighthouse in 1930. Several surrounding buildings no longer exist. The lighthouse was moved back 450 feet in 1996 due to coastal erosion. But to me, Highland Light has a certain permanency, a presence that provokes a little introspection. As Cape Cod’s first lighthouse, and at one time the most powerful in New England, Highland Light has witnessed many shipwrecks and to countless averted ones. As I walked across the golf course that hazy afternoon I thought of how Thoreau described this light as a “neat building, in apple pie order.” The occasional gold ball would soar overhead as I prudently searched for a promising angle to photograph. Suddenly, I heard a woman’s shrieking scream. Within a few seconds came the laughter of others as she had just made a hole in one!

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