Headed down to Ocean City, Md. the other day. It was cold and windy but a nice day to be out. We parked at the Inlet Parking Lot after checking to see if Thrasher’s Fries was open. They were not. Off in the distance we saw some sort of ship way down near Assateague.
The ship started to head back towards the Inlet Channel – some rough seas
Suddenly he headed towards the beach adjacent to the fishing pier.
Did a u-turn and we thought he was going to hit the beach.
He straightened himself (or herself) out and then headed into the channel.
Where the seagulls and I could get a good look.
The cars lined up for lunch and the gulls waiting for some Thrashers. Disappointed.
Back in the car with a view one way…
Then the other.
Here is a stock photo of the ship and some info.
The split hull dredger Murden is currently very busy working in and around Ocean City Inlet as part of the Assateague Island Restoration project, conducted in partnership with the Assateague Island National Seashore, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Baltimore District said in its latest announcement. This project involves dredging sand from in and around the Ocean City Inlet navigation channel and beneficially placing it south of the inlet just offshore of Assateague Island. The work is being done to mitigate the impacts on sediment transport and erosion caused by the the inlet and associated jetties. According to USACE, this work generally takes place twice a year. The Murden arrived at Ocean City Inlet at the end of May (2019) and is expected to continue working in the area until mid-June. The USACE’s shallow draft dredger is based out of the the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Wilmington District in North Carolina.
Wasn’t sure we would make it to Baltimore this year, to decorate our favorite building in our favorite park – Cromwell Valley Park. But we did! Heading across the field towards the Greenhouse Path (Not sure when they started calling it that), up in the distance we see the little house. Many years ago it was a bath house for the family that use to live near here.
Wondering how many more years our little house will weather the storms. I wish there was a way myself or any of the park volunteers could restore it.
And here I am, decorating.
Our finished Christmas gift to the park.
Time to make a Christmas wish…
We walk the trail to the woods and then head through to the old balancing reservoir shaft.
On to the Sycamore Trail
This is new. Built in 2019 by a Scout for his Eagle Scout Badge.
Hike towards Mine Bank Run. Can still tell this run continues to overflow it’s banks. Stopped to check out what I call the Bubbling Pond. They call it Marble Spring. It bubbles up from lime underground mixing with the water. Not much bubbling today.
From Mine Bank to the Lime Kiln Trail. I am still amazed at how these were rebuilt.
View from the top looking towards Long Island Farm.
The sky was spectacular this evening. This is at the park.
This one was taken from the Eastern Shore at the Bay Bridge. We pulled off of Rte. 50 to eat and look at the water and ships.
Kathy took this one from the car, heading towards Vienna.
Another great road trip to North Carolina. Kathy already there for a week before I headed down to pick her up. I was to stay a week also but the weather took a turn for the worse and we came back a couple days early.
It was very foggy when I left Salisbury, Md. to head south. The fog did not dissipate until well after Edenton. I missed the windmill farm, but Kathy got a photo of it.
One of my favorite stops is at the Dismal Swamp. About 1/2 way there.
Arrived at Indian Beach, N.C. and we took a walk. Shrimp boat.
The seagulls here are unlike the ones in Maryland that will hover over you waiting for food.
A Royal Tern
The next day John came down to take us out on their boat. That was very nice of him. With all this Covid stuff going on, we hardly see each other.
Heading under the Atlantic Bridge Causeway.
Easing past Sugarloaf Island, headed towards the N.C. Port. Docked there for the time being is the USS 50 (LSD-50), Carter Hall. Landing Ship Dock.
Here she is a little while later pulling out of port.
Not far from her is this interesting vessel – Go Ms Tree. Formerly named Mr. Steven. GO Ms. Tree – often shortened to Ms. Tree – is a fast, highly maneuverable vessel that was chartered by SpaceX in 2017 to support their fairing recovery program. The ship has been heavily modified by SpaceX so that it now has a large net structure designed to catch fairing halves as they descend. The name ‘Ms. Tree’ is a pun of the word ‘Mystery’. (from SpaceX website)
Pass this area of the port and ran smack dab into a fog bank.
Made it through there and we all, except John, got off onto Shackleford Banks.
My shot of Kathy and Gail, from up on a dune.
Kathy stepped on a couple Hermit Crabs.
Left Shackleford and headed over to Beaufort. You need to swing around Rachel Carson Island. Shrimp boats everywhere.
Sea Tow is like AAA of the water.
The CaryAli. Wow! A steel and aluminum ship. Built by Alloy Yachts in 2013. For just $25m she can be yours.
Looking through the Watercraft Center at a ship painted on a wall…
Went up Taylor Creek for a bit, looking at all the boats and quaint little houses. Turned around and headed to Pivers Island Road.
We made it under the bridge but then the water started getting shallow so we headed back to the Beaufort Channel and then towards Bogue Sound. Passing NOAA on the way. There are a lot of colleges and government research centers down here.
I guess it makes a good kayak launch?
After John and Gail left, to go back home, Kathy and I went over to Swansboro to find a nice place to watch the sunset. Saturday night and the town was packed! So we left and the sun was heading west fast, so I pulled over at Dudley’s Marina on Rte. 24 and Kathy took a photo of me taking a photo of the pelican sunset.
The ‘New Norm’ I hope not for too much longer. The next day we went back to Swansboro to look around
Domestic Muscovy Duck.
Another shrimp boat. Shrimp burgers from the food truck were huge, along with their oyster burgers and soft crab sandwiches.
Love the water – when it isn’t freezing. Or knocking me on my butt!
Our next adventure was to Cape Lookout Lighthouse, via a tour boat, where everyone was practicing social distancing, for the most part.
We cut over to the beach, hoping to find some 1/2 way decent shells. No luck.
Even some of the better shells were being fought over. This guy wasn’t giving up his shell find.
We leave the ocean side of the isle and head over to Wreck Point. Trudging through the dunes and marsh.
Balancing the Light.
Heading back towards the lighthouse.
Checking out under the dock…
Boardwalk to the lighthouse area.
This guy was going close to shore and other boats blasting his horn and making all kinds of noises.
On the way back, on Shackleford Island. Scratching an itch with his food.
Another day, another adventure. Off to the side of the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium is a nice little hiking trail. About 1.2 miles.
We thought this coloration was the tree itself (Holly)
But it is lichen. Nice info signs along the trail.
One side of the trail is a marsh. The other side is the Bogue Sound.
Sign in front says End of Trail. Sign behind it says Last Marsh Overlook Ahead?
Well that is a mouthful to say! Pronunciation is Pro-ton-o-tar-y, which by itself is a Chief Clerk in a court of law, which is apropos to what I have been going through the past couple of months (another story, another time). But with the warbler attachment, it is just that – a warbler. A trail full of them. This was a 2.3 mile hike.
For whatever reason, All Trails stopped recording our trip so I used their default map, adding an extra red line at the bottom left of the trail because we walked the road back. Not much parking. You need to park on the grass along the road. The guy that lives in the house to the left of the entrance trail was cutting the grass. He does a good job maintaining it. It is turkey hunting season and he wanted to know if we seen any? Glad this property belongs to the Nature Conservancy – No Hunting! I hate ducking bullets!
Some of the plants we saw
The path goes from Creek Rd. to Nassawango Creek. A nice trail with some boardwalks. No steep hills to climb. Molly did well and there were only 3 other people on the trail. We were spaced out accordingly.
It is part of a cypress swamp and the ‘knees’ always remind me of faceless people.
Signage along the trail.
More stuff along the way…
This was interesting. One of the bottles had AA written on it and I thought how weird is that? I looked it up and and it is an Ancient Age Bourbon Bottle. I immediately saw Alcoholics Anonymous!
Well, Molly says enough of this. Although it has been a wonderful, peaceful hike, it is time to feed me! Thanks God for a wonderful hike with minimum people out there.
Quite a few of these photos were taken by Kathy. Thanks Kathy!
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.
A Facebook group I follow shares information concerning Chincoteague and the surrounding areas. The other day the topic of ‘sea glass’ came up. Kathy and I very rarely find any sea glass while walking the beaches of Assateague. A couple people suggested that the best place to find any is at Saxis Island, which is about 20 miles west of Chincoteague, facing the Pocomoke Sound. So off we went.
On Route 13, right at the Maryland-Virginia border we came across this while getting gas.
As the plaque states, it is a 1/6th scale of the Union Merrimac aka the C.S.S. Virginia.
Before going into Saxis itself, a person on the Chincoteague page suggested turning onto Mathews Rd., following that to the end where a beach is. We found this fixer-upper at the turn-off. $39,000 for a 2 bedroom waterfront lot. I looked inside and there is a 240v breaker box.
If I still drank, these unopened beers would have been in my car.
At the end of Matthews Rd we found the beach. A small beach and of course it was high tide.
Molly has no respect for signs like these – when she has to go, she goes.
Walked thru the seagrass to get to another section of the beach. Found a few pieces of sea glass.
After roaming around here a bit we headed to Dennis Drive. On the right are some homes, on the left is a huge mound. Looks like a covered over landfill.
Reaching the beach there are three discharge pipes that appear to be coming from the mound. The one behind Kathy is above water. In front of her partially submerged and off in the distance, fully submerged.
They kind of remind me of the outfalls at Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant.
We did find a bunch of glass but as to whether or not it is real sea glass is debatable. Kathy brought up an interesting point – if the mound was at one time a landfill and being from the Eastern Shore, she told me that years ago people would just ride to the ends of streets like these and dump their household trash. So, possibly after a county cleanup of the area and getting people to stop dumping, the glass we found may be no more than someones trash. (But isn’t that what all sea glass is??)
Museum was closed. No one to ask there.
Headed to the end of Saxis Rd. to see what was there. This was interesting. Cement and sea shells.
They say Martha’s is a great place to eat.
Not too sure about this place.
Love these little libraries.
Took a different route back to 13 and found this school.
Since we were out and about, we thought we would revisit Greenbackville to look for oyster shells.
Shells everywhere. Molly not too happy to walk on them.
From there to George’s Island Landing.
Parker Bay Rd. is the one we took to the oyster house last time. Not today though.
Nice day to be alive and in God’s Country. Thanks God.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
Then we headed over to the ocean.
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.
Nice day out Sunday so we headed out to go hiking. Our first stop was Trap Pond State Park in Laurel Delaware. They wanted $8 to get in?? They wouldn’t accept our Maryland State Pass nor our National Park Pass. And you would think it being Memorial weekend veterans could get in free! Nope! Not that we didn’t have the money – it was the principal. Maryland has lots of parks we can go to so we headed down Rte 13 to Leonards Mill Park. Their Website says they have a hiking trail – they don’t! It’s more of a visitor information center and park.
Kathy went in to get some info brochures.
I checked out the view.
We knew there is a boat launch in here somewhere, so we looked for that. Nice little bridge. some kids fishing down stream.
Sluice gates need adjusting.
Found the boat ramp. Get in here and head under the bridge to a larger pond. Looking forward to that.
The visitor center folks said we could hike at a park on Naylor Mill Road. So we headed there next. It is called the Henry Parker Sports Complex. Lots of mens slow pitch softball going on here. It has a trail, but it looks more like a mountain bike course.
The trail(s) [multiple switch-backs] were not marked for hiking with hash marks. We just headed towards the opposite area of the ball fields. Below the hill where Kathy is, is Leonard Pond Run. Couldn’t really get to it.
There were a lot of frogs on the trail.
More of the bike course.
Short hike but enjoying nature. Old growth trees.
The layers just peal away and fall to the ground.
Back to the car and Molly now has her own Yeti Tumbler. Spoiled dog!
Lesson for today – investigate where it is you are going before you go! Still a great day to be out. Thanks God.