Amazing Walking Trails on Cape Cod

Amazing Walking Trails on Cape Cod

5 hidden gems on the Cape.
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Cape Cod is a common vacation destination for both people from Massachusetts and outside of it. I have been lucky enough to live on this peninsula for the past sixteen years. Over these sixteen years I have found some beautiful areas that make me fall in love with Cape Cod over and over again. Here are five places that you should visit while on Cape.

1.The Giving Tree Gallery - Sandwich

As you drive along route 6A, you pass more art galleries and shops than you can keep track of. As you pass Scorton Creek, you do not give the Giving Tree sign a second look. Behind that small gallery is a beautiful trail that goes through the marsh. There is a rope bridge through the marsh and sea grass. The walk consists of beautiful pieces of artwork and inspirational quotes on stones. This is a short walk, but it is beautiful no matter what the season. On your way out, you can stop in the art gallery!

2. The Knob - Falmouth

The Knob is easily the best place to view a phenomenal sunset. This trail goes directly through the Quissett Harbor in Falmouth and is rooted in history. The foliage on this strip was used to hide ships from the British during the War of 1812. The Knob runs alongside a sandy, beach area and leads up to a beautiful view. You can look over Buzzards Bay and the Quissett Harbor. After the walk along the harbor, you can have a picnic dinner while the sun sets over the harbor.

3. The White Cedar Swamp Trail - Wellfleet

This trail is a part of the National Seashore and it is a beautiful place to hike or walk a dog. It consists of a long boardwalk through the white cedars. This beautiful area was once home to The U.S Army’s Camp Wellfleet. Camp Wellfleet was utilized for training during World War II. This walk is a beautiful walk through one of one of the Cape’s beautiful ecosystems. Also, there is a beautiful area with benches above the dunes that overlooks the beautiful National Seashore. This area is perfect for walks during the summer because you do not have to worry about the heat due to the surplus of shade.

4. Fort Hill and Red Maple Swamp - Eastham

Fort Hill is another beautiful area with trails. This area is also considered a part of the National Seashore. Fort Hill consists of numerous trails that go through beautiful fields that are full of plants and flowers. The Fort Hill trails also connect the the Red Maple Swamp trails. Like the White Cedar Swamp Trails, there is a boardwalk that goes over the swamp and trails. This a beautiful area to see foliage during the fall. As you walk through the Fort Hill trails, you will come across beautiful views of the ocean. Another feature of Fort Hill is the Penniman House. This is the house of a whaler from the late 1800s, Edward Penniman. Tours are offered of the property and a big attraction is the large whale jawbone. It is said that if you stand under the bone and make a wish, it will come true!

5. Talbotts Point - Sandwich

Talbotts Point is a popular destination for dog walkers, joggers, and just about anyone looking for a beautiful walk. These trails lie behind Scorton Creek and The Game Farm. Once you get down the dirt road to the parking lot, you have the option to hang out by the creek. It is common to see people jumping off the bridge into the creek on a hot day, swimming, crabbing or kayaking. If it’s not swimming weather, a walk through the trails is always an option! These trails go through the woods and past beautiful fields. It will also bring you over two stone bridges. This area is beautiful during the fall and it is the perfect place to get an amazing shot of the foliage or cranberry harvest at the neighboring pond.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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To The Senior Graduating High School In A Month

"What feels like the end, is often the beginning."
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It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes. Just a little over a year ago, I was the senior that had a month left. One month left in the hometown that I grew up in. One month left with the friends that I didn’t want to leave. One month left in the place that I had called “my school” for the past four years. You are probably thinking the same things I thought whenever it came down to only 30 days left. You’re probably scared, nervous, worried, or anxious. Maybe you’re like me and are dying to get out of high school, ready to start a new chapter. Or maybe you aren’t so ready yet. Maybe you’re wishing for a little more time.

As scary as it is, this month you have left will fly by. You’ll blink and you’ll be standing in your cap and gown, waiting for your name to be called to receive your diploma. You’ll look back on your last four years at your school and wonder why time went by so fast. It’ll be bittersweet. However, trust me when I say that you have so much to look forward to. You are about to begin taking the steps to build your future. You are going to grow and learn so much more than any high school class could teach you. You are going to meet amazing people and accomplish amazing things. So, as scared as you might be, I encourage you to take that first step out of your comfort zone and face this world head on. Chase your dreams and work towards your goals. You are smart. You are brave. You are capable of achieving amazing things. All your life, the lessons you have learned have prepared you for this point in your life. You are more than ready.

There are times when you will feel alone, scared, or confused. There are times when it won’t always be easy. But those are the times when you will shine the most because I know you will work through whatever problems you may face. Don’t think of the bad times as a terrible thing. Use them all as learning experiences. As author Joshua Marine once said, “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

You might think that this is the end. However, it’s not. This is only the beginning. Trust me when I say that the adventures and opportunities you are about to face are nothing compared to high school. Whether you are going to college, going to work, or something else, this is the beginning of your journey called life. It will be exciting, it will be terrifying, but it will all be worth it.

So, as you walk out of your high school for the very last time, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Relax. You’ll always have the memories to look back on from high school. But your time is now, it begins today. Embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1152445/images/o-HIGH-SCHOOL-GRADUATION-facebook.jpg

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Be White Feminists

I am white. I am a feminist. But I try very hard to avoid being a "white feminist."

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Preamble 1: I'm not sure if you're aware, but it's a humid, grey April afternoon and being a woman comes with extra challenges, to which I definitely did not agree but they were probably in some fine print that I skimmed. Bummer. Anyway, feminism! Feminism's place in 2019 is contested but I am coming from a place of having heard many of the sides; given that, it would be lovely if you would hear my side.

Preamble 2: Before I get into this topic, I want to acknowledge the place of privilege from which I come. Look at my fully Irish name, I am white. Believing in social, economic, and political gender equality, I am a feminist. But I try very hard to avoid being a "white feminist". As a student at Texas A&M;, a university that sometimes strays into homogeneity in both thought and demographic, I've been noticing a pattern in many conversations concerning gender equality. The pattern is that of white feminism.

White feminism is a Western-styled picking and choosing of feminism that entails a set of beliefs tolerating the ignorance of issues that mostly impact women of color.

Contrast this philosophy with intersectional feminism, which recognizes multiple identities and experiences within us, while promoting more united gender equality. Without intersectionality, our essence cannot stand against oppression and stand for equality without acknowledgment of the nuances of different historical struggles. As women, we face difficulties, but not all women face the same oppressions and marginalizations – and that cannot be overlooked in narratives.

As far as gendered-based violence goes, the Justice Department estimates that one in five women and one in seventy-one men will experience rape in the US. However, here's where the necessary nuances come in.

Women and men of color are more likely to experience this form of violence than white women or men. Women and men who are LGBTQ+are more likely to experience this form of violence than straight women or men. Lower income women and men are more likely to experience this form of violence than women or men in the highest income brackets.

So, yes, one in five women and one in seventy-one men are rape victims. But quoting that statistic without disambiguating the data can mislead readers or listeners of the ways that different identities amalgamate into this final number. Essentially, disproportional oppressions exist. All people are at risk for gendered violence, specifically rape, in America, but some people are more at risk.

If you need more of an explanation, think of the following analogy. White feminism is to intersectional feminism what #AllLivesMatter is to #BlackLivesMatter. Everyday Feminism contends, "the former's attempt at inclusiveness can actually erase the latter's acknowledgment of a unique issue that disproportionately affects a specific group of people".

If you ever find yourself guilty of white feminism, (I've been there!) know that we are all evolving. As long as you are open to education, we are all on the same side.

Here are three vital steps you can take to make your feminism intersectional!

1. Reflect on yourself. 

Reflect on your long-held beliefs based on your perspective alone could not apply to someone else. Reflect on your privileged experiences and acknowledge them for what they are.

2. Think about others. 

Once you've figured your internal state out from step one, you ought to look at the experiences of others with the same level of validity as your own. Ethically, feminism focuses on equality. Yes, that means stopping sexism, but it also expands to mean stopping complicated systemic oppressions that affect more than just white women. That said, white feminists are not the enemy in the fight for equality, rather, they are underinformed.

3. Don’t be afraid to grow. 

Say you were wrong. There's less shame in it than you think. In fact, I genuinely wish our culture was more forgiving of people who made an honest mistake in their past, but their hearts were/are in the right place.

Allow yourself to move onwards and upwards. We are all works-in-progress. We are all striving for better versions of ourselves. Intention is everything and your intention should be to always learn.

Intersectional feminism is challenging, like all educations. If you're doing it right, it should force you to think and even make you feel a little bit uncomfortable. After all, while feminism is here to help, it is not here for your (or my) comfort.

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