Return From America

My wife and I recently returned from a brief visit to “America,” as Nantucketers refer to the mainland. After four wintry months on this spit of land thirty miles out at sea we were invited to spend a couple of nights with close friends from Nantucket at their rental home in Hyannis on Cape Cod, a two hour ferry ride away.

After a rocky ocean crossing during which I “lost my lunch,” [an experience shared by Thoreau upon his visit here and which he called “paying tribute to the sea”] we proceeded to thoroughly enjoy our stay off island. In addition to watching television and playing Scrabble with our friends, we also indulged our latent desires for food chains, including a relaxing chai latte at Starbucks and a hearty steak supper at Outback.

But one of the most enjoyable parts of our trip came when our friends loaned us their vehicle for the day, which gave us the opportunity to explore Cape Cod’s back roads, including one called “Old King’s Highway,” a meandering scenic road through several picturesque New England villages complete with general stores.

The one pictured above, the Old Village Store, is located in the town of West Barnstable and has been in continuous operation as a general store since before the Civil War. It was even featured, along with the adjacent railroad depot, in the period movie called The Lightkeepers, which was filmed on Cape Cod and featured Richard Dreyfus and Blythe Danner. It transported us back in time even as it served as a waystation on our journey.