It’s been a fun and educational day. We’ve been in Plymouth. Where the first American settlers landed. Notwithstanding that they landed in Cape Cod first, were predated by thirteen years by a community in Jamestown, weren’t called Columbus, weren’t native Indian Americans and weren’t Vikings, all of whom parked up in the USA earlier.
But we loved the place. In its defence, it is the longest continuous habitation of a single location in the country. And there’s Plymouth Rock. A lump of rock that might have been touched by the 102 Pilgrims themselves in 1620. Before half of them were killed off by the first cold winter and disease. Then again, the genuine nature of the rock is tenuous.
While I have my tongue in my cheek a little, it is quite a classy place. There is real history there and although the Mayflower replica is, alas, away for a $12m refit. A short walking tour impressed.
After a visit to the town’s amusing “British Shop”, where the owner used the phrase “smashing”, we drove off to our final accommodation on Cape Cod. A stop off at a national park site where Chris taught me all about Horseshoe Crabs, and on we drove.
At this stage, not for the first time, I drove past a sign that clearly stated “DO NOT PASS”. I giggled to myself, picturing what would have happened if I’d slammed the brakes on and stopped in front of the sign. Steadfastly refusing to proceed. Not passing, as clearly instructed.
Theres another common red and white sign too. “END ROAD WORK” it proclaims. As if it’s the work of some sort of campaign group objecting to the common and often long stretches of road repairs in New England. It seems it actually only signifies the end of a section of roadworks rather than a demand to cease all roadworks forthwith.
While I’m probably somebody who can be classed as an experienced overseas driver, I remain nervous on foreign roads. The fear of not knowing a local rule or missing/misunderstanding an unusual sign is always a concern.
But if twenty drivers in front have gone beyond a “DO NOT PASS” sign I’m happy to take a leap of faith that it’s a no overtaking message. Rather than a grind to a screeching halt message designed to block traffic indefinitely.