Sunday, September 4, 2011

White Stripes -- "The Hardest Button to Button" (2003)

We named him "Baby"
He had a toothache
He started crying
It sounded like an earthquake
It didn't last long
Because I stopped it
I grabbed a rag doll
Stuck some little pins in it

The first railroad line to Cape Cod, which terminated in Sandwich, was opened to traffic in 1848.  Over the next 25 years, service was extended all the way to Provincetown at the very tip of the Cape.  In 1887, a six-mile spur from Harwich to Chatham (located at the "elbow" of Cape Cod) opened.

The railroad bridge over Cape Cod Canal
Passenger rail service to Provincetown and Chatham ended in 1937, and eventually the 22 miles of right-of-way from Dennis to Wellfleet was turned into a paved hiker/biker trail.  Later the spur line to Chatham was added to the trail. 

Every summer, I ride the entire trail (including the Chatham spur) in four roughly equal segments -- this year, my four rides were about 16, 18, 21, and 17 miles, respectively. 

On my first ride this year, I started at mile 8 in Harwich, rode west to where the rail trail begins in Dennis and then back to Harwich.

The trail is now marked every tenth of a mile, which makes navigation much easier:

One of the highlights of that first day's ride was the Cape Cod Inflatable Park, which is located near the beginning of the trail, adjacent to a big flea market. 

There are oodles of moon bounces there:

The shark slide is a big attraction:

But my personal favorite is the dragon slide:

The patrons of this park are not necessarily from the most sophisticated and prosperous socieconomic strata of American society:

"The Hardest Button to Button" is about a child adjusting to the birth of a baby brother.  I don't know about you, but using voodoo to shut up a crying baby sounds pretty dysfunctional to me.  I doubt that any of the families I saw at the inflatables park had resorted to voodoo, but some of them looked like they would get an A+ grade for dysfunctionality.

Another highlight of my ride was being able to observe the local wildlife up close -- you don't get this kind of opportunity in the big city very often:

The final highlight of my day one ride was my visit to El Guapo's Taqueria in Brewster, where I like to reload on carbs with a big-ass burrito, Ye Olde Cape Cod style:

Big-ass burrito
Here's the last thing that burrito ever saw:

Big-ass mouth
The music video for "The Hardest Button to Button" is something else.  Click here to  read an article about the video, which took a full three days to shoot.  

Here's a very interesting orchestral version of this song from the 2006 album, Aluminium:

Click here if you'd like to buy the song from Amazon:

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