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Weekend Getaway from NYC to Cape Cod

In July, my friend Jennifer and I decided to drive from Manhattan to Cape Cod so that she could capture the dunes and the Japanese black pines in pastel and I could explore a part of New England I'd never seen. The only hitch was, we were determined to leave the next day and didn't have a single reservation, whereas the rest of the East Coast had booked rooms back in January. Frantic calls to my travel agent miraculously produced lodgings and a Chrysler Imperial (a luxury vehicle, I kept assuring Jennifer). We crammed the car with half our worldly belongings-- cameras, film, beach umbrellas, sunscreens, serial-killer mysteries, canisters of cookies, pastels, watercolors, drawing paper, and canvas drop cloths. Our friends brought us maps and guidebooks, then watched in amazement as we drove off, a couple of middle-aged, middle-class dharma bums.

We drove all the way to the end of that sandy peninsula, searching for great clam chowder, saltwater taffy, and pristine stretches of beach. Here, some of our journal entries on what we found-- and enough drawings to justify Jennifer's heap of art supplies. —Madison Cox

Friday This morning the fog burned off early, and we walked far out on the Brewster tidal flats. Both Jennifer and I are originally from California, and the vastness of the beach under the receding tide was something we never saw when we were growing up. Every few feet there were small pools of water filled with micro-environments of crabs, shellfish, and sea worms, and one can walk for miles through forests of seaweed, all flattened by the absence of water. —M.C.

Saturday Occasionally, when I'm drawing something, a fog rolls in and that thing is no longer there. So I find myself putting things in and taking them out, putting them in and taking them out. There's an intensity to working outdoors; you have to work very quickly because everything is in constant motion. You're drawing a boat in the water, and it's moving away, and you have to keep up with it. The landscape changes every second. And the better you get at seeing things, the more they change. —J.B.

Sunday Jennifer produced a record seven drawings today. While she worked, I'd either read my book or divert traffic; passersby seemed dumbfounded by the woman dressed in pastel-smudged J. Crew, squinting at the landscape beyond, and I prevented a few nasty accidents. When crowds got overwhelming, we'd toss everything into the car and race off to another beautiful location. —M.C.

Sunday Jennifer produced a record seven drawings today. While she worked, I'd either read my book or divert traffic; passersby seemed dumbfounded by the woman dressed in pastel-smudged J. Crew, squinting at the landscape beyond, and I prevented a few nasty accidents. When crowds got overwhelming, we'd toss everything into the car and race off to another beautiful location.—M.C.

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