When the vacation rain holds up, it’s for the dogs

Our spot, Ellie B. (Photo by Karen Miller Bialczak)

Our spot, Ellie B. (Photo by Karen Miller Bialczak)

When you wake up not in Syracuse and the grounds around the cottage are soaking wet and the sky is gray and more rain is coming down every now and then, you sit on the couch with your dear with Karen and Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle and you figure out what Cape Cod has on this peculiar shaped land that’s good to go.

And you are again thankful that Julie and Lisa let their dogs on the couch.

Ah, yes, the dog lake.

We’ve brought jackets. Ellie B’s going to get wet there anyway.

We’ll drive to Nickerson State Park. Last year, the owner of village boutique Diggety Dog told us officials allow dog owners to walk their pets freely around its perimeter. It’s in Orleans, only 15 miles or so from the cottage.

Inside the gates, the man tells us no charge. Last year we came on a weekend, we recall, and had to pony up five bucks. Score!

Filling the potholes.

Filling the potholes.

The dog lake is actually called Cliff Pond, located at Fishermans Landing, a couple twisty miles up the main park road and marked by a big sign.

Then it’s a short drive down a bumpy, crushed stone path.

Yesterday, a young worker driving an orange caterpillar-like vehicle had hot tar/stone combo and was attempting to fill some of the holes.

When we got to the edge of the lake to park, two other vehicles were on the hard dirt. We saw a man and woman with two little yappy dogs. But as soon as we got out of the car with Ellie B, they got in their pickup truck and left.

There was no other sign of activity.

Karen and Ellie both like the lake.

Karen and Ellie both like the lake.

Karen took Ellie B’s longer leash, kicked off her shoes, and commandeered the lake walking.

It's a peaceful place in our world.

It’s a peaceful place in our world.

Ellie and Karen both enjoy the water more than I do.

It was not raining a bit, I realized as I watched my wife and our dog walk. Our jackets have remained in the car.

I'll walk Ellie on the shore.

I’ll walk Ellie on the shore.

There is a reason the word Fisherman’s is attached to this spot.

I wondered if Ellie B would get on the boat if given the chance. With Karen, that is. I don’t want to get on a boat like this one. I get on ships.

There are paved walking paths in this state park, too.

There are paved walking paths in this state park, too.

With the sun now winning the battle with the clouds, we decided to wander on another, paved path, which took us though some woods.

Ellie B liked this setting, too.

And she seemed happy that breakfast, lunch and dinner were all eaten at the cottage on dog lake day.

Has your dog given you a good story when you’ve brought your pet to outdoor water? What parks are pet-friendly for visits where you live? What activities have you come with for rainy or cloudy vacation days?

46 thoughts on “When the vacation rain holds up, it’s for the dogs

  1. I love parks like that with lake beaches and small dirt roads winding between the trees. Great post Mark – you, Karen and Ellie look so relaxed.

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    • This is what vacations are for, Paul. I was kind of waiting for the guy with the orange caterpillar to go racing off and drive it into the lake. No, wait, that was you and your buddies with the golf cart into the pond in Ontario! πŸ™‚

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      • Bwahaha! Very funny Mark! I gotta tell you this story – I come by the pond driving naturally. When I was a young lad I lived in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. There are a series of connecting lakes that run through the town eventually terminating in Lake Banook – where a river runs down to the ocean. Paddling was a big deal in town and there were a number of canoe clubs that competed vigorously. The clubs were at the junction of Lake Banook and the river to the ocean. Every spring this would silt up and had to be cleared out. They used a bulldozer and some of my first memories are of watching as a bulldozer drove on the lake bottom in the shallows with just the exhaust stack, air intake and the chest and head of the driver sticking out of the water. Ha! I’m sure with a few adjustments any bulldozer could do this but it amazed the heck out of me – imagine driving a bulldozer in your swim suit. Anyway, this doesn’t work with golf carts. Not sure what I’ll try next. Ha!

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      • I like the image of a submerged bulldozer clearing out the muck. I’ll take it further, with the ‘dozer driver wearing a snorkel. How about that, Paul? Nova Scotia lake bottom snorkel ‘dozing. Put it on Canadian sports ESPN.

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  2. We have dog beaches here which are nice. Also a lot of lakes which welcome dogs, though the swans may chase them away. I love your shirt! Why don’t you like to walk in the water? Great photos! πŸ˜€

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  3. So glad you had a good sunny day today, Mark, Karen and Ellie B.! The huge homes can sometimes be toured in places, I love the “Cliff Walk” in Providence, R.I. and of course, my ancestry’s homes in Rockport, Mass. on Cape Ann. Cape Cod sounds like a more ‘fancy’ place to be, but your cottage looks so homey and the area so peaceful. Awww! Make every moment last twice as long!

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  4. I am so enjoying these photographs! I would be in the water, despite the rain! I am so glad that Karen and Ellie B. got their feet wet! Vacations are so wonderful, hoping you have some brighter days, but all went well after all! Smiles, Robin

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  5. You are making the most of June and certainly making me feel guilty for not walking our dogs enough. I did give them leftover fajita beef this morning, but that probably is not the same as a dip in a lake. Our nearby dog park has very few trees; it’s like a desert with a couple benches and a manmade pond in the middle. Your pics look much more inviting.

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  6. This is WONDERFUL, Mark! Cape Cod is our home away from home! My brother-in-law has a house in Orleans and we go a couple of times/year. This year we go in July. Are you staying in Chatham? My son LOVES Cliff Pond. He goes there to fish all the time. Darn it, I wish we were there now so we could meet. It looks like you are having a nice time in spite of the not so great weather. You never know on the Cape. Let me know if you would like some recommendations for places to eat, although it looks like you have found some great spots. πŸ™‚

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    • Wow, Maria, that is some coincidence. No, we are not staying in Chatham. We are a few villages further east, where we discovered The Oyster Company, where we will be going this evening to the Ocean House. Darn. I wish our timing had worked out so we all could meet. Someday? We have rented this same cottage four years straight now, always this time in June to beat the true summer crowds.

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  7. it looks beautiful there, sun or not, a good discovery for sure. as for rainy days on vacation, we do indoor things, like games and then cooking and love to walk by the sea when it’s stormy )

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    • Karen and I both brought books, her e-style and me paper. She cooked lunch and dinner yesterday, too, for us. We didn’t go to the sea, but that is an idea, too. Today we are going to Provincetown, Beth!

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      • reading is a wonderful rainy day activity too, and lucky you to have your meals cooked for you. enjoy your time in provincetown, quite a different pace and so fun, and then you’ll be happy to get back to your calm and quiet cottage and village )

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  8. Looks like a fantastic day! When unable to get some sunshine, I always enjoyed the smaller towns all around the cape, lots of quaint little shops to see. The first time I took my dog Casey to the beach, I had her on the extra long leash. However, it wasn’t long enough once she hit that water! She just wanted to swim further out…swim, swim, swim. I wish I could take her more often, but she’s not a very social dog and it can get bothersome with other dogs. Enjoy your time guys!

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    • Ellie B does not swim like your Casey. She goes out as far as the leash stretches and then she paws at the bottom, splash splash splash. It is funny to watch.

      Actually, we picked a weekday to go there because we wanted to cut down on the other-dog factor. Ellie B is good, but you never know with the other dogs. And with some small breeds, Ellie B is not so good.

      We do like the little villages and quaint shops, too. Thanks, Kim.

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