No Direction Home

This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Independence Day

July 5, 2019


Kathy and Carolyn


Independence Day

Celebrating the Fourth of July holiday is always something special, wherever we happen to be. But there is something extra that seems to happen along the East Coast in that the people there take it just a little more seriously. Perhaps it is the history of the place and the part they played in the formation of this great nation. It all began here, literally as the Pilgrims themselves landed in nearby Plymouth and settled the area all around there. Kathy’s father’s property was long ago part of the original settler’s property.


Whatever the case, the residents of this area do it up right, they celebrate Independence Day on the night of July 3rd, because as they like to tell it, Paul Revere’s ride actually arrived in the area a day before most of the nation heard the news. I am pretty sure that is a local myth, but it makes for a good story and the people here, both residents and tourists who flock to the beach each year do it up right.


In the past, there have been humongous bonfires all up and down the beach, they have been mostly eradicated at least in the Marshfield/ Humarock area due to fears of starting fires in town, Smaller fire pits still line the beach and the fires start just at sunset and continue late into the night. What the real draw is the amazing fireworks displays that stretch for miles and miles up and down the beach. 

Chris and Kathy

The sheer number, size and output of the collected groups, means that there are literally thousands of people up and down the beach, each seemingly trying to outdo the other with the amount and quality of their fireworks displays. This means that for hours on end, fireworks are mostly continually being set off up and down the miles and miles of beach and that the scope of the display dwarfs that of most typical small towns, including the show that we are used to seeing in Key West.


Kathy, Jim, Chris and I settled in at the beach across from Jim’s house to watch all the craziness. It was a beautiful evening and the fireworks display was really incredible. The only downside is that our poor dog Jack is terrified of fireworks and with the house being so close to the beach, the loudness and frequency of the explosions had him petrified. We tried to sound proof a room for him, gave him a place to hide and turned up the radio to hopefully compensate, but he was still a quivering mess when we got home, poor thing.


On the actual day of July Fourth, Kathy and I joined our friend Carolyn in what has become another Humarock holiday tradition, a float down the South River on an inflatable floatie. This is about the fourth or fifth year that literally hundreds of people and their inflatable floats cruised down the river as part of a massive flotilla  It started small as an official event that grew quickly into such a massive thing that the town refused to allow the organizers to plan or promote anything official out of safety concerns.



The town killjoys could not stop it though, because while they might have been successful in the formation of an official event, they could do nothing about the hundreds and hundreds of individuals and small groups who showed up in spite of their efforts and keep the tradition alive. The town was forced to give in and actually flooded the river with boats filled with local police, the harbormaster and others, who rather than try to stop the event, handed out free lifejackets to children and others who wanted one and basically kept a sharp eye out to keep everyone safe.


It was a terrific and fun afternoon floating down the river. Kathy and I had large inflatable flamingos shipped to her dad’s place in anticipation of the event. We joined the myriad of all manner of inflatable floaties of all shapes and sizes. Some were incredible in that could seat up to twenty people in massive inflatable creatures but most were like ours, designed for one or two people.

Kathy’s friend Pam was on the water as well, on her paddle board and she kept all of us (especially me) free of getting stuck along the shore or docks that lined the river as the wind would take my large flamingo and push me towards the shore more often than not.


Tuesday, July 09, 2019

North River Wildlife Sanctuary

July 4, 2019


North River Wildlife Sanctuary

Nestled along Route 3 about two miles from Kathy’s father’s home is the North River Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is named for the state-designated Scenic River that winds along its northern boundary, and is owned and operated by Mass Audubon. One of three South Shore wildlife sanctuaries ( the others being the Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary and the North Hill Marsh), run by Mass Audubon, North River features trails that run through fields, oak forest, and the salt marsh,

Kathy and Chris 

The sanctuary attracts a wide variety of birds and seals are often visible from the riverside platform. Considering that Kathy’s father’s land features pretty much the same sort of natural setting, you may wonder why I wanted to visit the North River property. If you guessed gift shop on site, you would be correct, as I am a sucker for well-run gift shops, especially those run by deserving Environmental organizations.


Kathy, her brother Chris and I spent the better part of an afternoon visiting the gift shop and also hiking along the trails through the fields, marsh and forested area of the sanctuary. There was a bunch of cool wildlife to be seen, starting with the huge Osprey nest located on a raised platform in the middle of a field that allowed for great views of the nesting pair of Osprey as they flew about building or at least maintaining the nest.


One of the birds would carry large branches from the nearby forested area to the nest and it was really cool to watch. We also saw a variety of chipmunks, squirrels and a bunch perhaps 8 or 9, large wild turkeys. It was a really fun and interesting experience. The River loop trail circles the large open field where the osprey nest was,   we also had the opportunity to see eastern bluebirds, hunting red-tailed hawks soaring overhead, and a wide variety of butterflies feeding on native flowers. 


A wooden boardwalk led from the trail to the banks of the North River where a cool viewing platform gave a wonderful panorama of the river and all the activity going on there, it was really beautiful. But as awesome and amazing as the area was, it still doesn’t really come close to the beautiful nature that surrounds Kathy’s father’s house. 



His house is located right along the marsh that gives Marshfield its name and all around the house is a wooded area that is home to all manner of woodland creatures including deer, raccoon, skunk, opossum, squirrel and chipmunks. There are also literally hundreds of birds at any given moment all around. Trails lead through the woods to the nearby marsh, and then down to the South River where there is a dock that we used as a base for swimming in the river.


If you follow the river down and cross it a few hundred yards downstream, you find yourself at a beautiful private beach on the Atlantic Ocean, making it all in all a perfect place for a summer getaway. Kathy, Jack and I went down to swim in the River almost daily while we were there, often joined by her brother or father as well.