It’s morning in Edgartown Harbor. Rags of clouds float lazily against a backdrop of milky blue. And it’s warm too. The chill of the other day has left the area. There are no working boats here, and so the water is as yet undisturbed. It seems that even the boaters who have somewhere to go, stay for a while longer, in order to enjoy this lovely harbor scene. It feels so good to be alive.

A still morning.

Right after breakfast we excitedly head ashore to Chappaquiddick Island. I check with the Harbormaster and confirm that it’s okay to leave our dinghy on the sandy beach near the ferry landing.

Salty on the sand. The little dock nearby is for loading and unloading only. Ten minute tie up.

The ferry landing.

Chappaquiddick, or Chappy, as the natives call it, is very different from the big island. It’s like going through a time portal and stepping out into an era before big development. I’m willing to bet that the residents fight hard to keep it that way.

Stark beauty.

Paved road!

After less than a mile, the smooth paved road we ride on gives way to loose dirt and gravel. Difficult to bike on. We have to find the hardest part, usually the very edge nearest the grass.

Dirt road. The residents seem to enjoy speeding down these roads creating great clouds of dusty grit.

We ride all the way to the Wasque Reservation, and gladly pay a fee for the privilege of visiting this magnificent conservation area.

Pronounced “way-skwee”.

On the beach, four-wheel-drive vehicles drive up to their favorite spots to fish, swim, or sunbathe. We leave our bikes and shoes behind to spend an enjoyable couple of hours taking in the sunshine, meeting friendly people, and walking hand in hand in the soft sand. Just two lovers strolling barefoot and without a care in the world. God! It’s so beautiful. The water is pleasingly warm and as blue as melted popsicles; the air soft and amiable; a remote paradise off a remote paradise. Is this really still Massachusetts?

Wasque Beach dunes.

Fishing for False Tuna.

On the ride back, we can’t resist checking out the only store on Chappie. Apparently it’s also a junkyard for cars, bikes, tractors, boats, etc.

The store.

The tiny store is not well stocked, but seems to have one or two of each item that you would find in a typical convenience store. We buy a couple of bottles of water. The friendly young man behind the counter gives us a brief history of the store and introduces us to his little sister who refuses to be photographed. I honor the request.

Chappy store cashier.

There is plenty more to see and explore on Chappaquiddick, maybe on another trip, but for now, we’ve run out of time and energy. Well, I have anyway. Time to drag my tired butt back to Ginger Lee and pop open a cold one. My younger and more energetic wife is now two city blocks ahead of me and still pedaling strong. I let the distance increase until she is out of sight behind the next rise, so that I may further enjoy my time here, and sear the beauty that is Chappie forever in my memory.




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