Week 8: Womp, Womp
When we last left off, we were at Scusset Beach near Cape Cod, Massachusetts, complaining about Plymouth Rock. Well, the following week, we headed to Wompatuck, another state park just south of Boston. Wompatuck is an interesting place – it used to be an World War II munitions factory and storage area, but most of the buildings were since torn down, and a forest arose in its place.
Wompatuck today is heavily wooded, but there are echoes of its former life scattered throughout the park: heavy gates in front of roads to nowhere, an abandoned train transfer station, and the occasional fire hydrant in the middle of the woods. In places, even the campground itself was abandoned – we found many neglected campsites and bathhouses being slowly overtaken by the forest.
Perhaps it was built too large, or perhaps it has something to do with what we just discovered while writing this post – Wompatuck is an active Superfund site with potentially unexploded ordnance in the soil. That would have been good information to known before we went exploring! Nonetheless, the park was quite beautiful in some places, and hopefully disarmed.
Though the park was lovely, what we will remember most from Wompatuck are the bunkers. Made of heavy concrete and built into the hills, there were bunkers sprinkled throughout the park and all along the hiking trails. Always, the concrete exterior was covered with graffiti, sometimes quite artistically, sometimes much less so. Given the number of empty beer bottles and condom wrappers at these sites, one might charitably call these bunkers “multi-use.”
The exception to the graffiti-clad bunkers was Bunker N-9, which is locked and painted a pristine eggshell white by local Boy Scouts. The accompanying plaque suggests the bunker used to hold anti-submarine nuclear depth charges, which… first of all, the concept is preposterous (we actually first learned about these at the Groton Sub Museum), and second of all, Wompatuck seems pretty freaking close to Boston to be holding nuclear weapons. Oh well – no harm, no foul?
Also, we found a beer bottle Christmas tree thing someone apparently set up in the woods, which is one great reason to only hike during the daytime.
After a few hikes, Wompatuck State Park was starting to feel a little bombed out, so we headed to a nearby park called World’s End. Located in Hingham, Massachusetts, World’s End is right on the water and features beautiful views of the Boston skyline. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, who famously designed Central Park. Fun fact: once you start paying attention, you will see that FLO (as he preferred to be known) also apparently designed every other damn park on the East Coast, and possibly the world.
Either way, the park was pretty, and also it was very, very hot. Friends, don’t start your road trip adventures in the middle of summer.
While we were staying at Wompatuck, Jake flew to New Orleans for a bachelor party. There are only two shareable photos from that particular event – a real-life bar wench serving absinthe, and an interesting real estate marketing pitch. We’ll “officially” be in New Orleans soon, though, so more pictures will certainly be forthcoming.
Happily, Heather was able to make friends with a dragonfly while Jake was gone. She also reupholstered our couch, which will feature in our RV video tour as soon as we get around to making it. (Given our current pace of updates, that should be no later than 2018.)
Just kidding! We never actually got to see downtown Boston, although we’ve both been there before. We did visit some friends in the area, and we did curse at the crazy Masshole driving, but we had to scrap our scheduled sightseeing to do something much more fun: visit the DMV.
You may recall that we recently purchased a new car. Well, it wasn’t the fastest process, starting with insurance: we were rejected by our existing insurance company (which insures the RV) because they could not “verify our identity.” Apparently not an issue before! We ended up getting different insurance, but because we bought the car in Rhode Island and are New York residents, we had to drive 3.5 hours across the state of Massachusetts to register the car in New York.
OK, fine. It’s not like we have jobs we have to go to. However, once we got to the New York DMV, we found out that the dealership had not actually given us any of the paperwork we needed, or even properly transferred the title! So we had to drive back to the dealership in Rhode Island, drive half an hour away, discover they still hadn’t given us the proper paperwork, return to the dealership, and then drive back to Wompatuck. And the next day, instead of sightseeing in Boston and dinner with our friends, we had to drive another 3.5 hours to New York State and back, bringing the grand total to something like 15 hours of driving across Massachusetts in two days.
If that explanation confused you, which it probably did since it even confuses us, here’s the short version: it took forever. And if we sound bitter at the dealership, it’s only because we hate them.
What’s next: Currently, we are in Charleston, South Carolina, enjoying some Southern hospitality (and air conditioning) and celebrating Heather’s birthday! Next up: Savannah, Georgia.
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