The tip of Cape Cod has miles of windblown dunes, ocean on three sides, and Provincetown. The village, P’town for short, sits on a deep harbor, has the hodge-podge of streets and gray shingled houses of an old whaling port, and is known for its long tradition of welcoming artists, writers, hippies (when there were hippies), and gays. Its natural harbor likely attracted Viking explorers and was the first landfall for the Pilgrims, who eventually moved on to Plymouth and its rock.
We started our day in Provincetown at Herring Cove, watching the water, the gulls, bicyclists, and trying to avoid watching an uncomfortable-looking girl posing for photos in a bathing suit on a windy, cold morning that had everyone else (except us—hardy Alaskans) bundled in several layers of clothes.
We then ventured into Provincetown, dwarfing the cars and pedestrians in our red Tundra, a pick-up that seems to grow increasingly gargantuan on the narrow streets here in the East. We navigated the tiny streets in search of a parking space, while I grew increasingly nervous that we would never be able to extract ourselves. Finally, thanks to directions from a policeman, we found a parking lot large enough to accommodate a truck.
By then it was mid-morning and already tourists were clogging the streets. I cannot imagine what it is like on a summer weekend. P’town is filled with the usual shops, restaurants, and galleries that you find in any seaside tourist town, but with an added profusion of rainbow flags. And, in contrast with most tourist places, it is almost cultishly dog-friendly.
We joined the parade of dog lovers, following behind Zoe on her leash as she charmed every dog and person who looked her way. Although we carried water and a dish for her, it wasn’t necessary. All along the sidewalk, businesses set out bowls of drinking water for the doggy pedestrians. Zoe’s favorite was at the Governor Bradford Inn, because it had ice cubes. She stopped there twice.
Of course, Zoe was able to join us for lunch at a dog-friendly restaurant, where I had fresh local mussels—perfectly cooked with white wine, tomatoes, tarragon, and some chili for heat. After lunch, we rambled around some more and headed to the docks.
And then, happiness—we went sailing. I love to sail with a passion but have not been in a very long time. Provincetown, lovely doggy place that it is, even has dog-friendly sailing. So, Zoe added another mode of transportation to her already extensive resume. The captain and crew, Rory and Sue, were wonderful and Zoe had company in the resident pup, Minnie.
We went home tired and happy. A salty dog and her crew.