One of the many beaches on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, soon to be much more crowded as tourists flock to the area for the summer. (Travis Bubenik/KRTS)
Marfa Public Radio and WCAI in Woods Hole, Massachusetts have embarked on a first-of-its-kind public radio experiment. WCAI All Things Considered host Steve Junker is swapping places with KRTS Morning Edition host Travis Bubenik for three weeks.
We’re exploring what our similarly-isolated communities have in common – even thousands of miles away from each other – in an effort to broaden the conversation around some close-to-home issues. Read more about the experiment here.
Driving into the small coastal village of Woods Hole at midnight, it’s hard to even realize the Atlantic Ocean is so close by.
Thick patches of tall trees line the windy highway in and scatter throughout the town. With the temperatures still in the 40’s at night, it feels more like rural Colorado than a place known for fishing, sandy beaches and expensive summer getaways.
Sunday morning I set out to find that great anthesis to the desert: clear blue waves crashing against the shore.
Even for someone who spent a lot of time on the Texas coast, this kind of coast is exotic. A cold breeze blows in off the water. (I barely even knew you could be on a beach and be cold at the same time!)
Plenty of tourists stream into Marfa and the Big Bend region in the busy seasons of course, but it’s apparently nothing like what happens here in the summer. The cape’s been drawing thousands of tourists – many of them wealthy and powerful – for decades. Martha’s Vineyard, a presidential getaway, is just across the water from Woods Hole.
I’m here just before the tourist season explodes, and the streets seem calm and quaint. But locals tell me – often with a groan – that in just a few weeks, long lines of traffic on the main road in and out will be a common headache. The small local coffee shop will soon see lines out the door, around the clock.