Heritage Plantation Tour

May 30th, 2004

What a day we had on the Cape. The weather was a perfect 10. We arrived at the Friendly’s parking lot in Middleboro, the starting point for the Heritage /Cape Cod cruise trip, right on time to find a dozen other Miatas already there with their tops down. We even had a member of the Mid State Miata club of New York join us. The couple were attending a graduation in the area and they had noticed our trip and decided to join us. While we waited to get our instructions for the day some got coffee and one person took advantage of the venue and had an early ice cream. Our trip directions came complete with a bag of Cape Cod potato chips attached to get us in the mood.

We zoomed through some great back roads of southern Mass avoiding the all the holiday traffic to the Sagamore Bridge. Once over the bridge we were met by the infamous black Audit TT. Could it be racer X?…No it was just Ray. We arrived at the Heritage Plantation just before noontime and obtained the best parking spot in the place. We parked in a grass field under the shade of a huge oak tree. It was very serene. Since the Plantation was not open until noon this gave us a chance to enjoy our picnic lunches that we had brought with us. Some of the group broke out chairs and blankets and ate beside the Miatas on the field while others strolled up to picnic tables that were available under the trees.

After lunch it was time to tour the Plantation. This was our first time here and there was so much to see. Our first stop was The Old East Mill which was built in Orleans, Massachusetts in 1800. This windmill has quite a history, having passed through several owners, and survived two moves. It served the Orleans community for 93 years before finally being brought piece by piece to Sandwich and to the grounds of Heritage Museums & Gardens. The Heritage gardens were vast and set in a wonderful natural setting. From the paved and unpaved paths you could view rhododendrons, azaleas, lily- of-the-valley, hostas of all varieties and many more plants. Most of the rhodys were in full bloom and there was an area dedicated to the museums prized Dexter rhododendrons. We also got a chance to see the carousel building. This housed a real working 1912 Coney Island-style carousel. We just had to give it a try. I think there were as many adults as there were children on the ride! Our self guided tour ended at the Auto museum. The first car we saw in the museum was a pristine 1966 Mustang convertible. This was being auctioned by the museum to raise money. Of course we purchased a ticket and we hope to be driving back there in October to pick up the new addition to our stable. The auto museum was a wonderful round building with exposed beams and held a small potpourri of classic and historic cars.

At a designated time we met back at the cars for some more cruising. We left the museum heading for the club ice cream run. We caravanned through more twists and turns heading towards the Falmouth shore. Once on the shore we were all mesmerized by the beautiful coastline ride. It was a bit windy for the boats but perfect for the Miatas. We stopped in downtown Falmouth at Ben & Bills (what happened to Jerry?). As always, the ice cream was delicious. At this point most of the group said their goodbyes and headed home. Six Miatas continued on to squeeze out as much of the sunshine as possible. After touring some more of the Cape we ended at Shaw’s Seafood restaurant near the Bourne bridge for dinner.

I would like to thank our hosts Bill & Marlene Walker for an outstanding day. Their attention to detail was notable from the bag of chips to advanced ticket purchases at the Plantation. It made for an enjoyable event.

Jim & Deb

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