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Friday, September 18, 2009

The Road Almost Taken

The sign read: “Private Property. Gate closes at 5:00 p.m.” so we of course, walked through, past the new-shingled Victorian situated above the sea, down the rutted road that lifts and descends between the churning ocean and the windswept marsh. A friend who grew up here once told me that she remembers walking the entire length as a child, to the bluff that I have only seen from the water, where a sprawling cape sits at the top of an expansive lawn--and to the Adam’s Estate, connected to decedents of John Quincy--a monstrous and weathered colonial stacked with first and second-floor front porches.

The road leading to The Glades is checkered like a game board with squared-off summer cottages built on barren lots, but inside the first gate, trees hold arthritic arms out from their sides and salt-stunted bushes droop over the crumbling asphalt. It’s a place you would expect to encounter deer and hawks--perhaps seals sunning on the rocks rising up from the shore. We walked through an open spit of land, the sea foaming on one side, a river of eel grass pouring toward the harbor on the other, until we reached a second, wrought iron gate: "Stop. No Trespassing."

One side of the entrance was open, but in spite of the smile and wave the woman exiting in a blue Mercedes offered us, we hadn’t the nerve. On the way back, I took this shot. A picture taken illegally somehow says it best.

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