We went to the mountains last weekend, and this past Saturday was dedicated to the beach, up north Boston, beyond Cape Ann. Before reaching the beach at the end of the day, we first explored the countryside around. The more we see of New England, the more we like the various landscapes. Even if this becomes sometimes pretty wild #bugs.
Saturday morning. It was hard to wake up: summer is getting pretty serious here, the heat feels heavy. During breakfast, we decide to leave the city for the day. We find a blog post of Boston University presenting day trips from Boston: we spot Ipswich, along the North Shore of Massachusetts. It’s still time to take the 11.30 train. We ride our bikes to the station and take the commuter rail. Round trip ticket costs only 13$ (a good option comparing to the Zipcar we usually take). We can even have our bikes with us in the train, for free. There are other bikers with us, we smile at each other as if we were part of the same community; but honestly, we look like amateurs – no helmet, no cycling pads or special sneakers. Just a straw hat and sunblock. The basics.
A video to get in the mood of this day…
Music: Rad Pitt, Egytian Hip Hop – All the videos are there
We arrive at Ipswich station after 40 minutes of train. Ipswich is one of the oldest city in the country, founded in 1633. We go to the Visitor Center first, where we meet a very nice old lady. She gives us a map of the city and and some ideas to visit places: sun is too hot to go to the beach right now anyway.
We stroll in the city, looking for the oldest houses in the USA. Luckily, there’s a sign in front of the houses, indicating the year they were built. They look like the today houses, wooden and colorful houses, maybe more “rag-bag”. The whole city seems chic and quiet. We go to a pub for lunch. Our imagination has been fed with American TV shows, so we love this pub which looks like we were in a movie. We order a local dish: fried clams. Not the perfect choice for a sunny day… And it’s not really good; but since it’s fried, we can eat it.
We get out of the city, we ride along a big road. Most of the time, bikes don’t fit to them. It’s no surprise, but there’s no place very bike-friendly - even in Boston.
First stop: Appleton Farms, one of the oldest continuously operating farms in the country. There’s a lot of paths to ride on. We wonder where we are, in the middle of the countryside: we don’t see anybody, just cows. We feel completely alone and far away from anything. There’s no noise. Sometimes, we can hear a train in the distance.
We’ve been riding for hours, I’m starting to be tired. One thing keeps me alive: the idea of eating soon apple crisp at Russell Orchards.
It seems totally incredible to be there, in the middle of Massachusetts countryside, with goose walking free around us, and eating a cider donut (a cider donut, a premiere for me!). - And then I tell this story on the blog like if it was my normal life. But let’s face it: that’s my life now.
We come back on our bikes. We cross swamps landscapes. It’s gorgeous, a warm wind tickles our legs. Bugs too. Aouch. Next time, we’ll took anti-bugs spray.
We finally reach Crane Beach: beach as far as I can see, and the Atlantic, but seen from the other side. The beach is crowded by the parking lot. We just have to walk 10 minutes away from it, and it becomes empty.
Manu takes a bath, the temperature water is only 63° F (about 17°C). We try to protect ourselves against greenheads, some kinds of biting flies. What’s this hostile country?!
We leave to take the 9pm train. We arrive exhausted in Boston and ride back for the last time of the day along the Charles River to get to our place.