Sunday, May 22, 2011

What we do for fun


After 10 days of rain, we just wanted to be outside.  After more than 20 years in Boston, we wondered what we could do that was at all new.  But Paul always delivers.  deer4

Deer Island is a spit of land in the inner Atlantic where Boston and the Bay Colony have traditionally kept what they felt was untouchable.  It is officially one of the Boston Harbor Islands, and therefore National Park Land, but not of the camping and fishing variety.  Definitely of the hiking, jogging, biking, marveling at the scenery variety.


When it has been raining for 10 days, and 50 degrees, then dawns as a clear-sky hot blue day over 70.  Then you discover that even if you are casting a shadow in the parking lot of Charleston Chew, don’t say, “I guess I won’t need my jacket,” as if that is ridiculous.

deer2As we drove closer to coast, Paul said, “I don’t care for that…. smog?” and pointed in front of us.  Indeed, a brownish haze hung thick ahead, and seemed to originate from a place so specific we thought something was on fire.  But nothing was burning.  As we headed onto the isthmus that the Big Hurricane brought, making Deer Island no longer an island, we were plunged into London style fog.

So the “Dramatic views of the Boston skyline and Harbor Islands” and “Specatular [sic] closeups of airport landings and takeoffs” were lost to us.  Instead, everything took on the eeriness of a potential sighting of Jack the Ripper.  People and dogs would suddenly appear out of the deer3nothingness like ghosts, birds would hang in midair as if pasted there, and the invisible closeup landings and takeoffs suggested the Blitz. 

Then there was the creepy, Alien set of the treatment plant itself, which is odd enough looking in the light of day, but in silhouette against nothingness was truly otherworldly.


Yes, sort of like that, only you couldn’t even photograph this. 

Later,  online, we tried to make sense of it on Google Earth, using the topography we had made up on the spot, “Is that Tatooine, or was that nearer to the Contact turbine?”  I’m not convinced we were even on Earth.


We walked the seawall until it was too stinky to move on, which takes much longer than you would expect, and yes, you will know exactly when it happens.  I now present the giggly ironic poop-humor of touring the city’s wastewater treatment compound.

  • There are port-a-potties.  But there are not hand sanitizers
  • You have to clean-up after your dog.
  • The Deer Island Scavenger Hunt
  • It includes the item “Find and name 5 unnatural items you see on the beach.”  
  • Constant use of the term “breathtaking.”

We will have to visit another day, when we can see, and photograph, and get a little sunburn, instead of just wet.   Because we had no pictures, I have borrowed the work of more talented and equipped others.


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