the national landmark red clay cliffs, is open to the public. The Wampanoag tribe charges a $15 parking fee in the summer, but if you can walk a short distance, the wide sands and surf are yours -- even without a bathing suit.
Up on the cliffs, the historic Gay Head Lighthouse, recently transferred out of federal ownership to the Martha's Vineyard Museum, was opened to visitors this summer. This was the first time in my many visits that I was allowed to climb the metal circular stairs to the level of the revolving light. Proximity to the great lens is awe-inspiring. Once upon a time, a light house keeper had to check on it every few hours. We have better generators these days.
The lighthouse is endangered. The cliffs are eroding. If it is to survive, it must be moved in the next few years before too much land crumbles. Fundraising goes on apace.