Sand Dollars

Where Cape Cod’s Summer Really Starts

Written by Cape Cod Wave

BOURNE – Where and when exactly does Cape Cod’s summer officially begin?

Well, at 5 p.m. on the rainy Friday of Memorial Day weekend,  just this side of the Bourne Bridge, at the Gulf gas station, Kevin Gillis of Dover, MA, was pumping gas and talking about fishing. “I’ve got to get on my boat,” he said.

He had weaved his way through and around traffic, using what could be top secret backroads. He did it on this rainy afternoon just to get to the Cape for the opening the season. And why? “It’s just the Cape,” he said. “It’s the best spot in the world. I lose all my stress when I come down here.”

Yeah, that’s right. Get over the bridge, pull into a gas station, and lose all your stress. It should be a regional slogan. Maybe there was more than a magical gas station at work, but the folks that pulled into this gas station on the opening Friday of Cape Cod’s summer season, talked about things like fishing.

They used the word “vacation” a lot.

Start your engines. Stephen Hart of West Tisbury starts summer at the Bourne Bridge Gulf station.

Start your engines! Stephen Hart of West Tisbury starts summer at the Bourne Bridge Gulf station.

Cape Cod, where gas stations are fun. Okay, it’s still a work in progress. In fact, a good number of people stopping at the gas station were residents of the Cape, or in a couple of cases, Martha’s Vineyard. Despite a parochial everyone-wants-to-come-here approach, it turned out that some of those needing gas were actually leaving the Cape for the day.

Stephen Hart of West Tisbury on the Vineyard, was driving to the Berkshires to play music Hart, a custom woodworker and a musician, said he expected a good summer for the Cape and Islands. “The economy is picking up and people are making money, so they are spending money. And people who can afford a vacation will always go on vacation.”

But why travel in the rain to come to the Cape in a traffic jam. Peter Collins of Falmouth looked out at the cars while he pumped his gas and he said, “I think it’s simply because it’s someplace that isn’t home. It doesn’t really matter where you go on vacation, as long as you’re not home.”

Non-Cape residents, however, said it did matter where they went on vacation. They all seemed to like the Cape.


— Brian Tarcy


About the author

Cape Cod Wave

Cape Cod Wave is an online magazine covering the character and culture of Cape Cod. We feature long-form journalism, slices of Cape Cod life, scenic slide shows, and music videos of local bands playing original music.

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