It was our fourth glittering summer morning on Cape Cod and I was brewing up a pot of coffee from Beanstock Roasters, whose headquarters was located about a mile up the bike path from our campground. We were almost out of beans and I was considering pedaling over to the roastery to reload. Then I heard a loud THWACKING noise coming from the rear of our camper. Max and Theo were already up so I quickly filled a mug and headed outside to see what kind of trouble they were up to.
They were playing nicely with their action figures on the picnic table. Then I saw them. A rowdy group of 9 or 10 year old boys, all decked out in Red Sox t-shirts, playing kickball in the road on Beach Street. They were using my bright yellow kayak as third base. Thus the THWACKING noise. As they ran past my trusty skiff they were giving it a good belly slap so that everyone knew they had touched base before heading home. There was a small part of me that wanted to yell at them and their parents. But there was a larger part of me that just didn’t give a flying hoot. I was in my blissed-out, Zen-like, road-trip induced, camphappy place.
My RV was parked at a near-perfect little gem of a campground, and my family was enjoying perfect summer weather on Cape Cod. Our new favorite place. My heart was filled with good will towards these young denizens of Red Sox Nation. After alI, I was on their home turf. Eating their chowder, kayaking in their bay, riding on their bike paths. I considered lending them my new camp chair for second base, but instead took a sip of my dark roast and watched the next inning of their game.
We ended up adoring Atlantic Oaks R.V. Park for several key reasons:
1. The management and crew were delightful. While we were setting up a crew member named Dick, from Idaho, pulled up to our site and told us to ask if we needed anything. That warm and welcoming tone continued throughout our week at Atlantic Oaks.
2. The office, lounge, and game-room were comfortable and meticulously clean. I spent a productive evening writing in the lounge while a father and son played checkers nearby. It was a perfect space to get some work done or spend quality time with the kids on a rainy evening. More campgrounds need lounges just like this one.
3. The price was excellent. Under fifty bucks a night for a full-hook up site? In one of the sweetest towns on Cape Cod? Sign me up for next summer, and the summer after that, and the summer after that. Seriously.
3. The location of this campground was just off-the-hook awesome. It was close to the National Seashore, the Cape Cod Bay, great seafood restaurants, a drive-thru theatre, a world class coffee roaster, and several of the Cape Cod Baseball League teams.
4. But Atlantic’s Oaks best feature is its direct entrance onto the Cape Cod Bike Trail–which is the second loveliest bike trail that I have ever traveled on. It glides through tunnels and over bridges, past quiet ponds, noisy miniature golf courses and sinfully delicious seafood shacks.
It also connects, almost directly, to the National Seashore Bike Trail. Which is the loveliest bike trail I have ever traveled on. It curves up and down for a fast ride through a magical little forest filled with birds and rabbits and even the occasional red fox. And once you cruise past a stunning view of Nauset Bay and Nauset Marsh the trail deposits you almost directly onto Coast Guard Beach in the legendary Cape Cod National Seashore. These beaches are as beautiful and romantic as you have imagined them to be. Maybe more so.
We left Cape Cod feeling like we had barely scratched the surface of its beauty. But we left knowing we would return, and return to Atlantic Oaks. It made the perfect base camp for our Cape adventure. When we get back home from this long New England road trip I am going to check my calendar for next year and book our site. But next year I’ll provide all of the bases. And ask if my sons and I can play. In the meantime, I’ll practice my kayak THWACK.