Early kayak adventure – it has been hot out so we got an early start! Kathy’s sister Gail was up from North Carolina so off we went to Snow Hill and a trip down the Pocomoke, around Goat Island. It was about 3 and 1/3 mile round trip.
We usually enter the Pocomoke from the south ramp but for some reason I decided to park up by the north one. Glad we did! The goats of Goat Island were out.
The water was like glass with very little wind.
Someone has been rubbing against (or eating) this tree.
Lots of lily pads floating about. Tried to avoid and paddle around.
Through the obstacles and onto open water.
Not many photos of Kathy and I together on adventures, other than selfies. Gail took this one.
There were a few of these strung across the river?
Another tree address…
Inside looking out.
Tree swallows not too happy with me.
Side entrance to blind – needs some TLC.
So, i’m all the way down by the duck blind, about a quarter mile away from Kathy and Gail when I hear a whistle. So I paddle back as fast as I can to see if anything is wrong – “No, we just wanted you to see us balance the paddles on our heads!” Ha!!!
Looks to be the old outfall from the sewage plant.
Heading back – seagulls looking for some Thrasher’s French Fries…
It was a really nice morning to go kayaking. Except for one little incident that happened – some jerk in a power boat was going too fast and about over-shot the curve. I was able to get out of his way but he was crazy and called us F’ing idiots!! I waved and told him to have a great day! I believe we had the right of way.
This was a really nice road trip. A little over-cast but nice. The first time we visited BWR a couple years ago, we followed the not too smart, smart phone that directed us to the middle of a swamp and then to Crappo. Another time we traveled to Cambridge and then south to the Refuge. This time we decided to take the scenic back roads. I saw on a map that there were a couple kayak put-in spots so we thought we’d check them out.
We took Rte 50 to Vienna and headed south on Rte 192. On the map was Bestpitch Ferry Rd., showing a launch. What wasn’t on the map was this sign:
When you see a “Bridge Closed” sign, you should heed it! Na! We thought this was the bridge they were talking about. It wasn’t.
Electric wire fishermen.
The road started to get a little hairy and we could see where it had been washed out in places. Then we came upon this.
On the other side of the barrier a wood, one lane bridge. Looks alright to me.
The kayak launch site is across the river, to the left. In the photo below it looks like a launch that has flooded out over the years.
Time to turn around. Bridge blocked, road falling apart and now a fire.
We make it thru the danger and head back to Decoursey Bridge Rd to Bucktown. On the way we came across this little, unafraid of the truck fellow.
Glad we had the detour. Some nice places to visit.
Harriet Tubman Underground Rail Road.
The Brodess Farm is where it was said HT was born. Other accounts say her mother and herself were brought (bought) here after she was born.
There is no trace of the original farm house, although this one is there. Private property, keep out.
Heading down Greenbriar Rd to Maple Dam Rd, we came across this house. It was unmarked but looking at a couple history pamphlets, we found that this was the Nause-Waiwash Longhouse. It was an abandoned church before the Indians took it over. It looks a lot nicer in the brochure.
Moving along towards the refuge, we spot our first of many eagles. (We lost count at 9-10).
This guy was hanging out on the way to the visitor center.
Kathy checking out the displays.
We leave the visitor center and head to the main entrance of the Wildlife Drive. Stopping to eat lunch at the observation deck. On the left of the road there is the Marsh Edge Trail and that was closed due to nesting eagles.
Here are some shots from the refuge.
Leaving the refuge it was time to head to Hoopers Island. Rte 335. Heading down Hoopers Island road we came across this church. Originally the “Tubman Chapel”, it moved across the street. St. Mary Star of the Sea.
First bridge onto the islands is at Tyler Cove, Fishing Creek.
Another historical marker.
And another General Store
Behind here is a cemetery, which brings me to WHY we wanted to visit Hoopers Island. We want to see all this before it is completely submerged. There is a great video on the sinking of this island. You should watch it – High Tide in Dorchester – https://www.bayjournal.com/films
Lots of fishing and sea life down here. Hard to believe it was mostly farms at one tome.
We headed south to the middle island. There are 3 islands, probably more at one time.
Pulled off the side to see what we could see – some sea glass, shells and debris.
Looks like 3 adults and one juvenile. Even with a 300mm lens, they were too far off.
Adult brought food to him.
Our map. the lower island has no access.
Great day and so grateful that Kathy likes going on these eight hour adventures with me. For too long I did all this kind of stuff by myself.
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.
Turned around and headed back along the shore, occasionally heading out into the open water, then back into the cypress.
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.
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.
After about 4 hours out there, back to the launch. It will take quite a while to clean the kayaks off.
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!
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.
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…
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.
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!!
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 friend from many years ago is in town so we asked if she would like to go kayaking with us? Off to Leonard’s Mill Pond we went. Kathy and Lisa strategizing our adventure.
Lisa waiting for us.
As we leave the smaller portion of the pond, where the visitor center is.
Under the bridges of Rte. 13 to the open water of the pond.
Idle canoes and kayaks.
A fork in the road, so to speak. Looking at a map before heading out, the left (north branch) goes to another pond (Williams Mill). That will be our route. The south branch looked like it just fizzles out in the woods.
Waiting to attack.
Heron to the left and unsuspecting kayakers to the right.
At the last minute he flew off.
We’ve never seen this many turtles in one day before.
The small guy jumped on the big guys back and the big turtle started clapping.
This guy has stuff growing on his back.
The north branch splits up into 2 other branches. The right side was guarded by geese. Lisa took this way. Up a ways you can cross thru to the left side. We went back and forth through the trees.
Kathy used the inflatable kayak again today. I was surprised at how tough it is. There are quite a few semi-submerged branches and trees in the water.
Heading through the trees.
The trees and reflections just sort of merge together. Seems like we are just floating in air.
Up ahead, the end or a new beginning?
Three pipes. Can we fit?
No we can not. But we needed to get out to look at what is on the other side.
Park the kayaks and head up the hill to the road (Williams Mill Road).
Williams Mill Pond. With launch area! New adventures await!
Time to head back.
Some sights along the return trip.
A Ducks Unlimited hidden camera.
Back towards open water.
The wind had picked up and it was a lot of work to get back.
Under the highway were a lot of barn swallows. Making it through without incident.
At the launch site.
The map of our trip. It was just over 2-1/2 miles round trip. Great day with a new friend and another new adventure!
It was a nice day and with Kathy’s sister Gail visiting from N.C. we thought it would be nice to take her kayaking and for us to try out one of the new inflatable kayaks we bought. We bought 2 for when our kids or others visit.
Off we go. Kathy used the K1 Inflatable. With the skeg attached, Kathy had some trouble paddling in a straight line. She seemed to have to paddle twice as hard as we did.
Heading past Little Egging Island.
On the other side of that island was a bunch of people. Gail checking them out and doing a great job for her first time kayaking.
Here are their kayaks.
Maybe crabbing or clamming.
Now we head across the open water to Great Egging Island. Gail trying her hand at paddling in reverse.
This horseshoe crab looks to have been here for a while – barnacles growing on it.
Dead trees on the island…
And in the water. Some of these look like old pilings. If you look close at this one, you can see the high rises in Ocean City under the Assateague Island Bridge.
Uh-oh?! What happened to Gail? Pee call??
Nope! Looking for drift wood!
Tried to take a photo of the tuning fork tree but was photo-bombed!
Some sisterly bonding on the high seas!
Drift wood and drift metal.
No clue why this pipe is here.
Heading back. It got a little crowded while we were away. Some Boy Scouts and others crabbing.
Here is our map. Under 3 miles but a good trip. Kathy thinks the inflatable kayak should only be used on still waters and not on open waters, which will be fine. There are a lot of rivers and streams around.
What a great day to take a break from doing ‘stuff’! Loaded the kayaks onto the truck and then headed to Shad Landing at the Pocomoke River State Park. Weatherman was calling for 80+ degrees. We did want to do an Assateague Island trip but the wind gust were to be 10-15mph. For our first time out this season we thought a more peaceful, relaxing trip would be better. Here is our map. Not a long distance trip but a fun one of almost 3 miles and 2-1/2 hours.
There was hardly anyone there. The landing kind of reminded us of Mariner’s Point up in Joppa. Instead of doing the loop west-north then back southeast, we headed off to Rte. 113. Here is Kathy getting everything ready while I park the truck.
From the launch you paddle east, go around the pier and then head southwest. Pass by the lonely canoes on a rack, waiting for adventurers.
We did not see much wildlife, just some signs. Here it looks like a beaver wasn’t paying attention to what had already been gnawed upon.
There were some colorful flowers on shore like these little bells. Kathy knows most of the names for these things. I don’t.
Heading towards the left turn we wanted to make is this marker. Unlike Mariner’s Point, we didn’t have to get out of the way of any crazy boaters that don’t care about wakes.
The whole park seems like a giant swamp. Kathy’s brother Phil had me watch a show about the Pocomoke on Delmarva Life, a TV show down here – Back in the 1930’s-40’s they dredged the river and put the spoils along the shore, unbeknownst to them that the dikes they created stopped mother nature from holding and filtering the water before sending it down stream to the Bay, causing damage to the ecosystem. Right now they are in the process of removing the dikes for nine miles up near Rte. 50, to reverse 80 years of bad planning. Here is what the area should look like.
Lots of cypress.
An odd shaped knee to say the least. Looks like a worn out statue.
So we make our left hand turn and Kathy see’s this sign. It is halfway covered up. She goes in for a closer look and under ‘Canoe Trail’ is an arrow pointing right.
45 minutes later, on our return trip, the water had risen.
The water was high enough to take away the protection of the metal cones that protect the birds from predators. Also, the lily pads had come up, only to be submerged.
We did see a few turtles and one water snake.
Up ahead, Route 113. Water looks a little high but we came this far –
Kathy wanted me to go through first. She don’t like spiders and snakes.
Kathy took a photo of me contemplating which arch to go thru-
Kathy then made it through safe and sound.
Looking back from the other side of Rte. 113.
Time to paddle back. Marina up ahead.
Leaving the park we headed south on 113 to see the river from up above.
Nice, as were all the fields of flowers on the drive home.
So glad we put a bunch of house stuff to the side for a while, to enjoy this wonderful adventure together. It was a very much needed escape.
Beautiful weather and time to go for an evening kayaking trip at Mariner Point Park up in Joppatowne. We were hoping to see a lot of birds, but only saw a few. Lots of boats and noise going on in the park. Here is our path. (The green dot to the black dot is me forgetting to turn off AllTrails when leaving!)
Heck of a time parking anywhere. The lots were full with boat trailers and there was a party going on at the pavillion. I wrote the park service and the county executive last year about this problem and was more or less told – oh well. Into the kayaks and headed out.
Kathy took a bunch of these photos. Only a couple flowers along the shoreline.
Leaving the boat ramp, heading south then a right turn and back north. We actually went further up than the map shows. It also doesn’t show us cutting thru a waterway to the other side. It has us going across land. Lots of sea grass makes paddling a little more work.
Kathy doing the double paddle reflective stroke!
Me trying to avoid eye contact with that heron watching me.
After some paddling in the little waterways (The Gunpowder Rivers/Falls), we headed to open water. Towards the railroad bridge. Watch out for boats!
I always like going under this thing, and hearing the trains go whizzing by overhead.
Kathy should wear a hardhat under here.
Time for some leisurely paddling back to the ramp, waiting for the sun to go down. Up in the trees we see these guys.
Looking close you can see a dragonfly photobomb this pic! Not sure if we scared the eagles off or the dragonfly, but the one eagle almost knocked the other eagle off its perch.
Back in the boat lane, Kathy took a photo of me using her iphone. Strange green glow coming from somewhere.
And another green glow.
The sunset side of the river was dark, yet on the other side it was still fairly light. Caught a glimpse of him up in the trees. As fat as he is, I thought it was a parrot at first.
Kathy enjoying the peacefulness of the sunset. It is hard to get a good shot with a point and shoot camera, especially when boats are going by, causing wakes. Only one boater slowed down as they approached our location.
One thing about my P&S camera, in auto, it compensates for the low light and pretty much does its own thing. Like this water shot.
And this lone osprey shot.
Time to head back. Too many boats at the launch so we pulled up and out at a smaller launch area in the woods. The party was just winding down near the launch site.