Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 2, 2010

Cape Cod Camping

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 8:57 pm
Tags: , , ,

After a beautiful camping trip to Cape Cod this weekend, I thought I’d take the opportunity to practice my photo essay assignment that I will eventually be composing for Scott Thomas’s challenge due in September.


My family and a group of close friends visited Shawme Crowell State Forest in Sandwich, MA this past weekend for our annual group camping trip.  Shawme Crowell is part of the extensive Massachusetts state park system.  It offers 285 shaded sites for both tents and campers on 700 acres of pine forest and is conveniently located less than 2 miles from the Cape Cod Canal Recreation Area.  (Do I get my extra credit for including people in this shot, Scott?)



The Cape Cod Canal is a 17.4 mile long waterway which artificially divides the pennisula of Cape Cod from the mainland of Massachusetts.  It saves ships much distance in travel by not having to go completely around the “arm” of Cape Cod, as well as helps them to avoid the hazardous waters off the outer Cape and Nantucket Sound which were responsible for many shipwrecks during the 18th and 19th centuries.  Seven point seven miles of land was cut during the project that began in May 1909 and finished in July 1914.  The canal was originally a toll system, but when it failed to make money for its owners was sold to the U.S. government in 1928.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers improved the waterway, making it deeper, wider and safer, as well as constructed the current bridges that serve as today’s transportation routes to the Cape.


The Bourne and Sagamore Bridges connect Cape Cod to mainland Massachusetts.  The original bridges built before the canal first opened, were draw bridges.  The bridges that we travel today bear the same names as the originals, but were reconstructed when the U.S. government took over ownership of the canal.  The Works Progress Administration approved the construction of the new bridges in 1933 and as much work as possible was hand labor in order to employ as many people as possible.   They opened to traffic in 1935.

I don’t know if this is exactly what Scott is looking for; I had a difficult time showing my places of interest with only one photo each.   

Correctly done photo essay or not, we had a lovely camping trip.  This trip is a tradition with a group of friends that has gone on for more years than I care to count now.  We’ve been to many different campgrounds over the years and have expanded the trip to include our children as each couple’s family grew.  We don’t camp simply either!  We plan out great meals and all share in the work of providing, cooking, serving and cleaning,  and then retire to wonderful nights of telling stories, reminiscing and laughing around the campfire.  It is a tradition we look forward to each year and that I hope will continue for many years to come.


  1. That tradition sounds most wonderful–exactly the sort of thing that we remember our whole lives. Your children are blessed.

    It was interesting to learn about the Canal, too–completely new to me. That last photo of the bridge appeals to me very much. A great many of those old WPA projects have stood the test of time.

    Comment by Gerry — August 2, 2010 @ 9:54 pm | Reply

    • I certainly hope we are creating great memories and lasting bonds. Glad I could teach you a little something!

      Comment by Karma — August 3, 2010 @ 8:34 am | Reply

  2. What a great tradition! I have wonderful memories of camping from when I was a kid. Sadly, we don’t camp as I would be the ring leader and responsible for 100% of the planning and camping is hard work! Not that I shy from hard work but camping is one of my road blocks.

    Great story about the canal and the Cape. Things I did not know!

    Comment by Becky Sue — August 2, 2010 @ 11:38 pm | Reply

    • Thank you! Yes, camping is most definitely a lot of work, but luckily we have many hands to share it. I learned some of the stuff I wrote about for the first time myself this weekend when I went to the visitor’s center.

      Comment by Karma — August 3, 2010 @ 8:35 am | Reply

  3. It sounds like a great (and fun!) tradition.

    I think you did a great job with your photo essay. I always have difficulty choosing just one photo, too.

    Comment by Robin — August 3, 2010 @ 6:55 am | Reply

    • Thank you! These subjects just seemed to need more than one shot.

      Comment by Karma — August 3, 2010 @ 8:36 am | Reply

  4. Looks like a fun vacation! (Although I would trade the tent for a camper or motor home 😉 )

    Comment by thedailyclick — August 3, 2010 @ 7:55 am | Reply

    • Perhaps some day we will move on to campers or something of the like, but for hubby and me, camping is a once-a-year thing so it hasn’t been worth the money to invest in something other than a tent.

      Comment by Karma — August 3, 2010 @ 8:38 am | Reply

  5. Camping is not my thing but you certainly chose the perfect weekend to do it! I’m with DailyClick….I need my creature comforts! 🙂

    Comment by milkayphoto — August 3, 2010 @ 9:54 am | Reply

    • Believe me, we deserved a perfect weather weekend! We have stumbled through far too many rainy camping trips.

      Comment by Karma — August 3, 2010 @ 10:39 am | Reply

  6. First, it is a lovely tradition and I bet those meals are wonderful. Maybe I’ll crash it next year. 🙂

    Second, your captions are great. Descriptive, informative and interesting. I noticed you did use multiple photos and that is okay. I can see the layout of each group being one page with the caption amongst the photos. You could collage them together if you’d like (does Birgitte read your blog?). As long as the photos together tell a story.

    Have fun in Maine!

    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — August 5, 2010 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

    • Well, we certainly always have plenty of food! Saturday night of the trip is the always the fabulous pot luck camping dinner.

      I would like to try that collage idea. Picnik.com is where a lot of people make those, right?

      Thanks Scott!

      Comment by karma — August 5, 2010 @ 8:10 pm | Reply

      • Picnik.com is where I make them. Not sure how Birgitte does hers. BigHugeLabs.com is another place and is hooked in with flickr.

        Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — August 6, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

  7. This is a wonderful post and camping tradition, Karma. Love the way you brought us in with you. The sea pictures appeal to me very much (of course… since I come from the Alps) but I also like a lot your camping experiences and images. Thank you for this lovely journey to Cape Cod. Great pictures and writing.
    Just for your information, when I make collages for flickr I use BigHugeLabs.com. But I also use Picasa or Photoscape.com (I like this one a lot). Easy to use too.

    Comment by isathreadsoflife — August 14, 2010 @ 8:44 am | Reply

  8. It is a very good tradition Karen.
    Using time with friends and sharing experiences gives so much.
    Your children will have it as their best memories for life.
    Thanks for telling.

    Comment by Carsten — August 20, 2010 @ 6:55 pm | Reply

  9. I enjoyed your travel photos from Shawme Crowell State Forest very much, it certainly looks like a nice trip you and your family had here. It reminds of my trip in 1995 with my wife and two (then very small!) girls in Nevada, Utah and Arizona – we also had great pleasure of the state parks there 🙂

    Comment by truels — September 6, 2010 @ 6:50 am | Reply

    • I’m glad you liked them Truels! It seems you’ve been to more of my country’s state parks than I have! One of these years I really need to expand my travel beyond the northeastern United States.

      Comment by Karma — September 6, 2010 @ 8:25 am | Reply

  10. […] A Day Trip for the Family and a Lesson for Me! Filed under: Recipes — Karma @ 5:47 pm Tags: Cape Cod, cormorant, dogs, photography Hubby had the thought a few weeks ago to pack up the kids and the dogs on Saturday the 11th for a family day trip.  With his schedule, weekend days off only turn up about every 6 weeks, so little family days need to be planned ahead of time.  He also thought it would be nice for me to get my mind off of some thoughts that have been occupying my mind this week (I’ve shared these thoughts with a few of you; I should get my answer tomorrow.)  It is a rare day indeed that all four of us can spend the day together, so we grabbed a few supplies, leashed the dogs and headed back down to the Cape Cod Canal Visitor’s Center, which I told you about in this post. […]

    Pingback by A Day Trip for the Family and a Lesson for Me! « Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog — September 12, 2010 @ 5:50 pm | Reply

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