The devil made 'em do it...

Trip Start Jul 22, 2012
Trip End Oct 13, 2012

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What I did
Plymouth, Salem, beaches

Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Sunday, August 19, 2012

The morning dawned clear and bright, perfect for a brisk walk along the Cape Cod Canal. Large herons and cranes competed with cormorants, seagulls and ravens for places to bask in the early morning sun. A few lonely fishermen were not having any luck. The walkway was busy with lots of walkers, joggers and cyclists…all very friendly! This is the first place I have walked where more people greeted me before I could say “good morning” to them.

After breakfast we headed for Plymouth to view the famous rock. It sits under a neo-classical portico right on the shorefront in Plymouth. Apparently the idea that the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock is something of an fictional tale told by a descendent of the first settlers, but there it is, nonetheless, immortalized for all to see in a very pretty bayside park. There is also a replica of the Mayflower tied to the dock nearby. It is amazing to see the size of the vessels that brought immigrants to this country. They are so small and then you realize that not only were there people on board, but also livestock and provisions!

From Plymouth we sped quickly through Boston (we have both spent time in the city) to Salem, Massachusetts. Salem is the site of many of the infamous witch trials of 1692. The whole horrid episode started when some young girls went into hysterics, supposedly hallucinating, having fits, etc., modern theories abound that they were accidentally poisoned by a grain fungus, or, they just made it all up in a case of adolescent mischief. The local doctor couldn’t diagnose an illness so he declared that they were “bewitched”. The girls started naming local citizens as the ones who had cast spells upon them. Over 150 people were tried as witches, over a dozen were hung, three died in jail and one man was “pressed” to death during interrogation. The poor wretch wouldn’t confess to being a witch, because to do so would mean the forfeiture of his property and the ruination of his family. So the powers that be decided to torture him into confession by placing stones on his chest until he confessed….he was finally crushed, never giving them the satisfaction of a confession. The “Witch Museum” draws several parralels between the witch trials and other cases of mass hysteria, McCarthyism and communism, interning Americans of Japanese descent in WWII, etc., etc.

From Salem we drove to Salisbury, the furthest town north on the Massachusetts coast before New Hampshire. Unfortunately the state beach park campground was completely full . We opted for a small rv park in town.which was crowded, but quiet. Salisbury is a large beach resort with all of the attendant commercialization, mini golf, ice cream parlors, loud bars etc., just off of a beautiful ocean beach. The next day we are off for Maine!
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