Cape Cod is a magical place. You can live here your entire life and only scratch the surface of the beaches to explore. The dunes are vast and largely protected. This particular day in mid June was bittersweet. We were out on Race Point in Provincetown - the very outer edge on the tip of the Cape. It began full of promise, high expectations, and the celebrations of a 30th Birthday. We loaded up the two Jeeps with provisions for a full day on the beach and a night at the light keepers house (booked months ago). We're talking coolers of food and water for two days, ice, firewood, a grill, tables, chairs, clothing and more. We passed the ORV (Over Sand Vehicle) inspections, purchased a pass, aired down the tires, ventured through the clearly marked dune trails, and set up our spot on the beach overlooking the vast Atlantic Ocean.
At 12 noon Natural Resources came by to let us know a Piping Plover nest had hatched and we had to evacuate the beach! In a state of disbelief and confusion, along with the rest of the beach goers from fisherman to families, we all packed up. Feeling lucky though, our crew headed for the lighthouse to check in early and hit the beach on foot. We were also turned away from our accommodations for the evening, even though we were parking our Jeeps and leaving them off for the next 24+ hours. We offered to drive back to the parking lot and take the standard ATV shuttle (typical for those staying at the lighthouse) back in, but something somewhere along the way went wrong and this was also forbidden. (Natural Resources blamed the lighthouse, the lighthouse workers blamed them, finger pointing all over the dunes!!) Major disappointment set in.
Piping Plovers are no longer an endangered species and I believe that one tiny nest hatching a couple miles away should not be allowed to disrupt respectful humans living life. On a happy note, I'll leave you with the uninterrupted beauty of Race Point dunes and with the good intentions of returning someday to fulfill the experience.