Cape Lookout

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While at Indian Beach, North Carolina, we decided to visit the Cape Lookout National Park. To get there we needed to catch the ferry from Harkers Island. They have a nice visitors center there. A few blocks away is/was a museum, Core Sound Waterfowl Museum. It is still closed from the storm of a year ago.

Visitor Center, anchor from ship that sank in 1902
Beach artifacts

it was about a 4-1/2 mile ferry ride, making one stop at Shackleford Banks. People like to stop there and look at the 100+ wild horses on the island. Kathy and I visited the western end of this island back in June. Nice trip. Didn’t see any horses though.

Pelicans doing pelican stuff.
One of the shy horses

Arrived at our destination and stopped at the Keepers House first.

We missed being able to climb up to the top by about a month.

Black diamonds face north and south. White, east and west.. So, not only does the light shine 24/7, you can also get your bearings by the diamonds.
Random black and white

Instead of taking the boardwalk to the ocean, we took a service road.

The ocean. Too many people before us so the pickings were slim for seashells.

So, Kathy decides instead of us walking back up the beach, we should cut across to the bay side. “Are you sure?” “Yes” Ok!

Sand first…
…and then all marsh.

Not just a marsh but also a bunch of inlets of rushing water. I didn’t know we were doing this kind of hike or I would have worn my water shoes and not my Tevas!

Spooked this guy
The lighthouse looks far away
Looking back from where we came from. It was actually a nice hike.
Finally to the beach
Unknown structure
Getting closer
And so we rest
Back to the dock
Random camera colorization of image. It does this sometimes.
The ferry coming to drop off people and pick us up.
The map of our trip

Although I was only at the beach for about 4 days, it was so nice to get away! Ha! Get away from what??!! Kathy and I always go to the beach! A wonderful trip. Thanks Gail and John.

Fishing Off Tangier Sound

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Whoa! Who the heck gets up at 4:30am to go fishing!? Apparently I do now! But before I tell you about this great day of fishing, let me give you a little back story…

The last time I ate fish was April 20, 1993. That was the day my daughter Jules was born. Best day of my life and I thought it was going to be my last. Hungry and tired after a long day, with both her mother and Jules resting, I went to the cafeteria and ordered fish. I never eat fish in hospital cafeterias, but I did that night. After a few bites I started choking on a bone, got up and ran to the nurses station and struggling to say, “Fish! Bone! Choking!” Well, she got the gist of it, reached over to a used dinner tray on a cart and handed me a piece of someone’s dinner roll and said, “Here, eat this!” And I did and the bone slid down my throat. I swore off eating fish that night and haven’t had any since, until a couple weeks ago. A friend of Kathy’s had some trigger fish and her and Kathy’s family persuaded me to try some. Did so and I really enjoyed it. So now I am headed to be the great fisherman of the Eastern Shore!! Ha!!

Back to the story at hand – Up early and headed to Deal Island, Wenona for a fishing excursion. Started in the dark.

Our Boat The Lady Katy

The moon setting and the sun coming up over Fairmount.

1st cast of the day (Kathy photo)

I forget who tried to catch this huge skate – Gail? Well, he took everything when he was cut loose.

Gail did good, catching quite a few trout. but Kathy out did us all with her 19-1/2″ Rockfish.

Kathy, a rock and a Captain

I didn’t do too bad. The Captain kept coming over to give me some pointers (Damn City people!) He told me, “You’re doing pretty good – almost.” WTH! No, actually the Captain was very helpful. He kept re-baiting our lines and then removing the fish for us. Half the time he would unhook the fish and throw it back over the side. “Hey, I wanted him…” He was trying to make sure we had good sized fish for our limit.

Me and my trout

After a few hours out there, somewhere between Crisfield and Smith Island, it was time to head back.

Our catch for the day: 1 rock fish, a few Trout and 3 Spots. We caught a bunch of Spots and most of those were used for bait. Also caught a couple Oyster Toad fish and Croakers, which do make a croaking noise.

Time for cleaning.

Kathy’s mom asked what I was doing? I was supervising!

Great day with great family!

Trap Pond State Park 9/11/2019

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First off, I would like to thank the team @KayakingDelmarva for writing and documenting their trips/adventures to places I had no idea about. Because of them, Kathy and I have been able to follow their paths on our own adventures. Thank you!

I had previously written about Trap Pond a while ago when we were looking for a new place to hike, but because it was $8 to enter, we passed. Seems crazy to pay to go hiking. Kayaking and use of a boat launch is worth it though.

In the above photo is a yellow sign to the left:

The water was nasty looking and we did everything in our power not to touch it!

We followed the shore, passing the camping sites, into the first creek.

Dead end
Floating root system of lily-pads

Turned around and headed back along the shore, occasionally heading out into the open water, then back into the cypress.

Lots of turtles

Kathy took some nice pics of the flowers and nature, adorning her kayak.

And of course me photo-bombing her pics!

We then headed into another creek. A sign says this is Terrapin Branch. On Google maps it is noted as Thompson Branch. Lots of signs pointing you in the right direction.

Only became aware of this guy because of all the noise he was making.

Water still green back here

Various nests (or spy cameras?). Also odd markings on trees. Looks like scrapings from falling trees maybe?

Uh-oh! End of the road? A fallen tree in the way. There were a lot of trees down but for the most part, people had cut them out of the way.

My kayak will fit under, but I won’t.

So, I tried backing up and going full speed, to get my kayak to leap over it! No luck – just bounced off!

Time to turn around and go back.

He saw us first.
Turtle very still – “Please don’t look at me!”
“Are you looking at me?”
Cypress reflections

After about 4 hours out there, back to the launch. It will take quite a while to clean the kayaks off.

Nice pond to say the least!

Our path. Not really sure of the ending point only because I had no GPS signal. Very nice day. Thanks God for another great one!

Chincoteague 9-3-2019

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Kathy and I figured we would get at least a couple days of biking and hiking in before the weather took a turn for the worse (Hurricane Dorian). Chincoteague is always a favorite spot. First we biked over to the Bivalve Trail on the bay side.

Playing in storm drain
Kathy’s sister Gail’s bike. Kathy likes this one better.
Snails in high tide
Don’t tread on me.
Upside down in the grass. Grass cuts your legs up!
Reading Naturalist on the Nanticoke. Full chapter on these guys
Kathy’s photo of the Roy Orbison bug.
This was all dry last week.

Then we headed over to the ocean.

The female carries a male, digs a shallow hole for her eggs then tosses the male onto the eggs to do his thing. Then they go their separate ways. This group didn’t make it.
??
A bunch of trees with sea shell ornaments.

Packed up and headed through town to see if we could find a decoy carver’s shop. No luck but found this old house – Sign on left says: Capt. Timothy Hill House. Islands oldest home. 1800. Another sign says privately owned, visitors welcome.

Great day for the bike and beach.

Handsell

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Headed out this morning to go to a Delmarva artifacts display in Cambridge, at the Dorchester Heritage Museum. Some guy spent a lifetime collecting Indian arrowheads and other tools. 6,000 or so of them. Between Salisbury and Cambridge is Vienna, on the Nanticoke River. There are a couple places I would really like to kayak in that area, so I detoured off onto Rte. 331 in hopes of finding a boat launch somewhere on that side of the river. Kathy and I try to stay away from large open areas of water. We prefer the small creeks and rivers. To follow the river I turned off 331 and onto Indiantown Road. Soon I crossed over the creek I was looking for. It is called Chicone and there was nowhere to park or launch by this little bridge. I continued on and came across this sign…

As good as place as any to turn around. Looked over and saw this building…

There was a car parked there so I thought I would check it out. Met a man named John Lewis, from Baltimore. (He works at Baltimore Magazine – small world!) He is on the Board of Trustees to preserve and restore this building. He filled me in on a lot of information and instead of me getting it all wrong trying to remember what he said, check out the history here: http://www.restorehandsell.org We had a very interesting talk. Here are some more photos of the structure.

As I said, I was actually looking for a place to launch a couple of kayaks and mentioned that to John. He pointed to the woods and told me to head that way. So I did. Had to cross thru an RC Airplane field. They like to buzz the plane right overhead and cut the engine off so you have to look up to see if you are about to get whacked! (Whacked! Man, I thought I left that lingo back in Baltimore!)

Thought these were beehives, but not so sure.

And then the water. Small area and will probably be easier to get to in the fall.

Headed back and had this view. Beautiful day.

There is an Indian Lodge on the property.

These two photographs are from the National Historic Register. What it looked like before restoration work started.

After quite a while there I headed to the artifacts show. It was ok. I wished the objects would have been labelled, but still some nice pieces.

Heritage Museum
Owners initials I guess.

Left Cambridge and headed to Trappe, to the Unicorn Bookstore. Great old book store. Below is the bridge over the Choptank River. The smaller bridge in front was a drawbridge, now a fishing pier. How many people remember getting held up for what seemed like hours when heading to Ocean City and the drawbridge was up!

Just a cute doggie photo of Molly cause people like to look at doggie photos more than history photos!!

Thanks for looking! Sorry Kathy didn’t make this trip with me…

Snow Hill – Kayaking, Goat and Future Adventure

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Kathy and I had previously gone kayaking on the Pocomoke at Snow Hill’s southwest side, below Rte 12. This day we headed to the northeast side, at the Pocomoke River Canoe Company. I called beforehand to see if they had a public launch and they do. It is more of a floating dock, of which I have never jumped in my kayak from before. I did ok – I didn’t fall in. (Usually I walk in from a ramp). The employees there are very nice and helpful.

Here is our path. It was about 3-1/4 miles round trip.

Some highlights:

Here comes the rain!

After a couple hours of kayaking and the rain forcing an early exit (Stupid weathermen were calling for rain after 4pm. We were there at about 10am), we decided to grab something to eat at a place called Down Under on Rte 12. Great cranberry/walnut chicken salad for me. Kathy got a cheese steak sub which she enjoyed. Instead of sitting in the parking lot, we headed back into Snow Hill, Byrd Park, to eat. Finally saw the Goat of Goat Island!

The canoe guys gave us a brochure listing other launches. On the way home we stopped at one, to check it out. This one is on Red House Road and is very small.

Thanks God for another day filled with adventures!!

Bike, Beach and Drive-by

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Another day trip to Chincoteague. We rode around the wildlife loop and instead of taking the Swan Cove Trail we headed to the service road. This is about a 7 mile road. The road wasn’t bad but the mosquitoes were terrible!

Lots of dead trees.

Headed to the beach via the OSV – Over Sand Vehicles entrance.

This wasn’t a bad road either.

Parked our bikes. Ran into a volunteer ranger and we asked about all the dead birds on Chincoteague Road bridge. 100s of them. She said they were fledgling seagulls, just learning to fly. They come up out of the marshes and because they are young, they can barely get the height they need to get over the bridge. Not to worry she said…there are a lot of them. Ugh!

Lots of birds and other life on the beach.

Ghost crab

Beach and ocean as far as you can see.

Aura around Kathy’s reflection.

Survey marker

Can never have too many seashells from the seashore!

Heading back, need to watch out for the 4 wheelers.

Took a different route home. Usually we take Chincoteague Road (Rte 175) to Rte 679, which turns into Rte 12 in Maryland. We turned on Rte 798 and went past Wallops NASA. Back to 679, turned at Captain’s Cove. This is on the Virginia side and put us in Greenbackville.

Next dinner date!

Left there and headed north to George Island Landing Road.

No windows or doors, but I have 3 boats.
This beach was all shells…
Years of piles upon piles
Everywhere are signs, blocking the scenery…
Might do, but doubt it
Nice launch and not crowded.
Old oyster house
Waiting for the ships to come in
New structure among the ruins.
Lots of shells
I’m looking through you..

Great day trip!

Algonquin on the Pocomoke

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Not too far from the house so we thought it would be a good day for a bike ride. Wrong! This trail is not made for leisure cyclists like us.

We should have heeded the ‘Mountain Bike’ icon and said – Nope!

It would have been a nice ride if not for the sand traps and branches in the path. Not well kept. And rocky.

A pond of some sorts. Not sure why it is red. Kathy suggested because of the reeds around the pond had red flowers on them that fell into the water…

I think she touched the water with her magic shoes…

First time seeing something like this – visitor counter.

Only went a mile and turned back. Did not like this trail at all.

Headed over to Milburn Landing to check the boat launch. Water moving quite fast. Headed home.

Still a very nice day to be out and about.

Chincoteague Bike/Hike

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Kathy and I cannot get enough of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. We did another bike ride through, with a small hike thrown in. As can be seen below, this was our path. According to the brochure, shown at the end of this blog, we only did about 8.3 miles, but with Google Maps we went over 9.7 miles. Either way, it was nice.

When we left the house on this adventure, our intent was to only do the Wildlife Loop and part of the Service Road, but we ended up leaving the Wildlife Loop on Black Duck Trail and headed towards the Woodland Trail. On that trail is a great trail – The Bivalve Trail. Afterwards we went back to the Wildlife Loop and the Swan Cove Trail and eventually the ocean.

Pumping-restoring the marsh
Black Duck Trail
Pony Pens
Woodland Trail
Road less traveled on left
Wishes in waiting
Off-road biking
End of road – off bikes and hike
Looking left
Looking right
What is that?
Getting close
After conferring with a couple of people, Merrill and Phil,
This is a reflector for Wallops Island (NASA)
NASA in distance

Views along this path…

The Fiddler
Who am I?
Long ago puffer
Contemplation
Abandoned

Back to the bikes and onto the Woodland Trail

Pony Pens
Ponies
Swan Cove Trail to ocean
Marshes drying up
Map Paths

Another wonderful adventure! Thanks God

Assateague Revisited

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Return trip to Assateague State Park for some more kayaking. Paddled a little over 2-1/2 miles and were out there for a few hours. Nice day with a slight breeze, enough to keep the bugs off. We put in at the Old Ferry Landing. A few people there. By the time we returned, there were a lot more people. We pretty much went to a couple isolated waterways, opting not to head out on open water to the islands. Mostly hugged the shoreline.

Headed south-east which was a dead end.

Turned and headed north east, passing by the landing, towards the nature trail. Came across this.

Got close to check it out, then climb up on it.

It dead ends. Must have washed up here during a storm.

Taking a picture of Kathy taking my picture.

It was harder getting up and down that thing than it looks. Once I was able to crawl back into my kayak, we headed into a cove.

Then backed out to head to another.

Wind picked up so Kathy made a sail.

Could not find this in my bird book. May be immature and not be fully colored.

Back into another little waterway and as far as we could go.

Although we could only go so far, it was really nice and peaceful back here.

Parked the kayaks to chill in the water some.

Kathy’s pic of me trying to take a photo of a bi-plane flying overhead. Red Baron.

Kathy’s pic. My hands shake to much to get a good shot that far away.

Not only does Kathy do a good Ralph Macchio, she also picks up other people’s trash along the beach.

After some walking around looking at crabs and various shellfish, back into the kayaks for another cove.

Another dead end.

A shortcut on the return.

Lots of people. I think the ranger was giving crabbing lessons.

Nice day on the water and we then run into a traffic jam leaving the park.

Kathy’s photos of the ponies.

A very nice kayak adventure!