After leaving Amesbury, I want to head over to the coast to see the ocean, and then head up the New Hampshire coast to Portsmouth before driving back down to Newburyport for dinner. As this was a last minute trip, I didn’t think all the logistics through before I made it. Here I was on the first warm Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, and I was headed toward the most popular beaches north of Boston. I soon realized what I had gotten into by the time I hit the center of Salisbury.
Salisbury is the most northerly municipality in Massachusetts, and while there are a few towns east of it on Cape Ann, it’s the most northeasterly town in the Commonwealth. I’d gotten to the extremes!
Route 113 goes into Salisbury from Amesbury with an exit off of I-95, and it’s full of strip malls and chain stores. It ends at Route 1 in Salisbury Center, and there were a lot of cars trying to get to or from the beach. I was headed over the the shore (Route 1A) and traffic was pretty heavy. The last time I was at Salisbury Beach was during a summer evening about three years ago when 5 guys and 2 women went as a bachelorette party to go play skee ball and other games at the arcade (that’s the type of friends that I have!) This time it was in full summer mode with lots of people and not a lot of parking. After taking a quick picture, I figured I would continue north and stop somewhere were the parking was better.
I drove a bit further north toward the New Hampshire border, and there were signs for many access points to the beach, so I got out to view the beach. There were lots of people there enjoying the beach, but the one thing that surprised me was the emergency warning sign on the way into the beach. I had forgotten that the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant just just over the boarder in Seabrook, New Hampshire, and that if something happened there, it would be chaos to get out of the area. There are very few roads, and I know how difficult it was for me to drive there on this day.
The beach was beautiful, as was the weather, and I decided to move on and travel up the coast to Portsmouth before heading back to Newburyport for dinner. I got caught in a lot of traffic in Hampton Beach, but the rest of the trip was really beautfiul. I had never been on the NH seacoast, and it’s very pretty (and rugged!)
So, where have you found a paradox of beauty and danger?