Cape Cod Writing Retreat

I’ve just come back from a four-day writing retreat on Cape Cod, in the town of Sandwich, just over the Cape Cod Canal which marks the boundary of the Cape from the mainland of Massachusetts. Allysen set me up at a great B&B in Sandwich (the 1830 Quince Tree House), and I reveled in having time to myself, time to spend near the water, time to write, time to rollerblade along the bike path that runs most of the length of the canal. It was fabulous! Even in such a short time, I started to get more traction on the book. 

Here are some pix I took with my cellphone camera, most of them shot from the bike path while I was skating.

Foot traffic on the path, near the beginning in Sandwich.
In the distance to the south, you can just see the Sagamore Bridge.

Having passed the Sagamore Bridge,
now looking back north toward it.
A little farther on, looking south toward the Bourne Bridge,
and the RR bridge in the distance

The bike path begins near a long jetty that extends into Massachusetts Bay from northern end of the canal. I could have spent a week just watching the boats go through the canal (though I never did catch any of the commercial ships that are supposed to account for half the traffic). Not far along the coast are the beaches, and the salt marshes just inland of the dunes.

Sandwich salt marsh

Another highlight was taking a scenic ride on the Cape Cod Central RR, along the canal and past the cranberry bogs. It was a foggy evening, but that just made the canal eerie and beautiful in a different way. (For more money and an advance reservation, you can have an elegant dinner or a family-style supper on the train. That’s definitely on my to-do list with Allysen.)

The Sagamore Bridge, in the evening fog.

The last evening I was there, I got it into my head to skate the length of the bike path (6.5 miles) and take a picture of the train going over the beautiful 1930’s lift bridge at the south end of the canal. I succeeded, though the picture didn’t come out very well, so here’s a shot of the train passing along the canal, right next to the bike path.  And another of the RR bridge against the setting sun. Once I saw the train cross the bridge, and the sun setting behind the bridge, I realized that I’d just watched the sun go down, and I had six and a half miles of skating between me and my car! Flank speed! I just made it before the light failed.

Cape Cod Central RR dinner train, rumbling along the canal. 
The RR bridge at sunset, in the lowered position. 

Finally, I got to enjoy my favorite beer, Cape Cod IPA—and (somewhat to excess) my favorite foods, fresh fish and chips, scallops, and shrimp.

I’m ready to go back!

0 Responses

  1. Trisha
    | Reply

    I don't mind admitting I'm very jealous of that writing retreat!

  2. Scott
    | Reply

    Didn't anyone tell you you're too old to skate?

    Good for you!

  3. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    Me? Too old? Never!

  4. Amr
    | Reply

    Very nice, I took my wife and son on the Cape Cod Railroad for Mother's Day two years ago, so a few of those pictures looked familiar.

    If you don't mind my asking, was this a workshop or is this just a self-imposed writing retreat? 🙂 I'd love to find a nearby workshop to retreat to, and Viable Paradise is a long way away for me.

  5. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    Just my own writing retreat.

    As for workshops, Craig Gardner and I will probably be running our Ultimate SF workshop again in the fall, in the Boston area. (Don't know if that's your area or not.)

  6. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    *Still* your area, I mean! You tried to join us last year, yes–and we had to cancel?

  7. Amr
    | Reply

    Thanks Jeff, I've been keeping an eye for updates on, I'd been signed up for it last year, hope we get enough registrants this year!

  8. Amr
    | Reply

    Yup, I just saw you recognized the name, in your last post. I'm still in the area, not going anywhere, still working hard every single day on my writing. 🙂

  9. Deirdra Eden-Coppel
    | Reply

    You have a fabulous blog! I want to award you the Best of Sci/Fi Blog Award for all the hard work you do!

    Go to and pick up your award.

  10. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    Thanks, Deirdra!

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