The rain caught up with us again just after breakfast yesterday. We had planned on taking a hike through the Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary again, but instead we decided to hang out in the Nature Center there with our sketch pads and draw the critters at the bird feeders right outside the big picture windows. The kids had a really nice time hanging out and even made a few friends with other kids who were inside waiting out the rain.

When it became clear that waiting out the rain would take hours, we piled into the car and headed north towards P-Town to shop away the showers. The first stop was at the Atlantic Spice Company in Truro. This place is heaven for the home cook. I go here once a year to stock up on herbs and spices for the homestead, buying herbs de provence, chili powder, and that sort of thing in by the pound for prices that no supermarket can touch. I came out with two bags full of kitchen supplies, and now the car smells like a foreign bazaar.

From there we drove slowly up Route 6A towards P-Town to gawk at the cottages rimming the Bay. I found a public beach parking lot that was empty (this was not a great beach day), and so we parked and let the kids have a few moments to explore the bayside shoreline since the rain had let up for a while. I found a stone with a hole worn in the middle!

Here I am with my treasure.

Here I am with my treasure.

P-Town was much more sedate than it had been last week. We were able to comfortably browse around for a while, keeping an eye on the Doppler radar via the Weather Channel ap on my iPhone. When the rain started up again, we knew it was the start of something big, so we headed into our favorite P-Town eatery, Karoo Kafe, to wait it out, which took about an hour. It was a serious and violent thunderstorm, but the wonderful South African meal made the time pass pleasantly.

When the storm had finally moved on, we left the town center and took a tour of the Provincelands through the high dunes. Our first stop was the parking lot at Herring Cove Beach, where we sat for a while skimming the entrance to Cape Cod Bay for any sign of whales. Then we headed up to Race Point Beach, where there were also no whales, but there were a few seals playing in the surf, one only about 15 yards from shore. This was the best look at a wild seal that I have ever had, which was a thrill.

That's myself and my Things with our feet in the cold surf.

That's myself and my Things with our feet in the cold surf.

Our final stop was the Provincelands Visitor Center, which has a lookout on the roof offering views of the expansive dunes and the Atlantic Ocean. Here, finally, I did see a whale-or at least the massive tower of spray made by a whale as it breached. That was a big thrill for me! I’ve seen more of these whales then some experts (I spent two summers working as a videographer on the whale watching boats), but I still get a thrill when I spy one.

All told, we had a pretty good time yesterday considering the uncooperative weather. Once the rains had moved on the beaches were empty and clean, which is how I like them.

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