Because my friend Rach is a science nerd, and because she's led camps and participated in research and is apparently a sponge for knowledge, she was able to give me a very comprehensive tour of the island of Nantucket. On the afternoon that I arrived, the sun was trying to shine through the clouds and the weather wasn't terrible, so we dropped my bags off at the house (more on that later), and headed out to see some sights.
It's kind of hard to tell in the pictures that I took - looking back at them it seems like the entire landscape is brown, gray and occasionally blue - but as we were driving around, it felt like every direction I looked, something different was taking place.
This is the view toward town, from the site of the "Oldest House" - the longest inhabited home (now owned by the Nantucket Historical Society)
And, here is the Oldest House. I guess they give tours in the summer, but I had to make due with peeking in the windows.
Here are some of the homes? Hotels? Places to stay on the island. I had a hard time telling buildings apart, as the majority of them are finished in those cedar shingles.
I was anxious to get down to the beach, but this was too pretty not to snap.
We walked along the beach on the west side of the island. There, the water was pretty still and the sand was littered with shells. Rachel gave me a guide to the shells of the island and I filled my pockets with a few (I should probably bleach those soon... my carry on bag probably smells pretty bad). Next, she drove me to the eastern facing side of the island, where the beach was soft sand and the waves were very choppy. It was also considerably colder. I found it amazing that such a short distance could yield such different climates.
Rachel explained to me that the island is always changing. It was created by the glaciers and is essentially a big pile of sand and rock. She said that a couple of years ago, two homes on this beach were washed away after a big storm.
To round out my tour of the island, we headed out to Siasconset so that I could see the pretty homes and beaches there.
Pretty, beach facing homes that may or may not still be there in a couple of years.
"Evil cliff" that is threatening homes in previous image (interesting politics).
We stopped off to see the Sankaty Lighthouse before heading back to the house to get ready for dinner.