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.
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.
After months of retiring, selling our homes, moving, working on the new house…we finally were able to take a vacation. Kathy’s sister let us stay at her place on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina. Thanks Gail and John for a much needed break.
On the drive down we stopped for a rest at the Dismal Swamp Canal. Place has an interesting history. Google it. We also stopped on our way home.
While there, the hydraulic bridge was being moved for a couple of boats to go through. Boats have the right of way.
Molly needed a rest area too!
Whatever happened to this guy?
Onto Indian Beach. Some favorite shots.
Portuguese Man-o-War Jellyfish
Night time, sun sets.
One night we went for a bike ride.
Emoticons – Emoceans.
Headed over to Beaufort for a boat ride to Shackleford Island.
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!
Whenever I ride my bike, a variety of songs pop into my head – “I ride my bike, I roller skate don’t drive no car” (Brand New Key by Melanie). But we needed to drive my truck to get to ride our bikes!
Then pops in: “I’ve got a bike. You can ride it if you like It’s got a basket, a bell that rings and Things to make it look good I’d give it to you if I could, but I borrowed it.” (Bike by Pink Floyd) But we took the basket off of Kathy’s and she hasn’t got a bell yet.
So I guess we will just settle on “Bicycle, bicycle, bicycle, I want to ride my bicycle” (Bicycle Race by Queen). We headed to Chincoteague for our first outing together. I use to ride my bike around Montebello Lake when I was working. This is my first time out this year. Kathy’s co-workers gave her money to buy a bike when she retired. She picked out a cruiser.
The Wildlife Loop is a 3.2 mile adventure. We went around twice. Kathy looking for the eagles. Saw the nest. None of the eagle babies survived this year.
Next stop is the Swan Cove Trail, which is 1 mile round trip.
Nice path that takes you to the ocean.
Park the bikes…
…and walk over the dunes to this.
An old stump with seashell ornaments.
Back on the bikes to continue the loop. Saw lots of egrets, ducks and red wing blackbirds.
Another pit stop along the way. An observation platform. No bikes allowed.
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.
Road Trip to Cambridge to visit the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center which is about 8 miles out of Cambridge. This property was donated by the National Park Service.
A lot of visual displays and history.
From there we headed to downtown Cambridge, to the Harriet Tubman Museum.
And of course the Viral Internet mural (3 year old reaching out to the 3D artwork).
Inside a guy was filming one of the volunteers in an oral history presentation. We watched a video of Tubman’s life. Very informative.
I liked the fearless shirt.
Another mural outside depicting life in Cambridge.
Burnt out Western Auto
In the alley across the street.
The inside of the building the graffiti is written on.
Headed to the river to find a place to eat. Crab dealer and processor. Kathy framing out a photo for me. Crab meat shot up in price – $30/lb.
Decided to eat here. The crab soup was terrible! More like cabbage and warm water soup. Kathy’s cream of crab was good. Rest of meal good.
Sitting outside to eat. a beautiful day.
Stopped traffic and raised the bridge for this little boat.
A great day in Cambridge! If you ever get down here, do yourself a favor and visit the museums and UGRR concerning Tubman. Lots of history people just aren’t aware of. Also, we did this trip on the day that the Treasury Secretary decided not to put Tubman on the $20 bill.
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.
The one thing I really love about the Eastern Shore is the abundance of new adventures that await Kathy and I. Today we headed to Deal Island. Lots to see here. Starting with a Wildlife Management Area.
We took a gravel road, passing marshes, seeing a gazillion dragon flies. They were feeding on all the mosquitoes. Looking out over the marsh.
We parked and headed across the marsh on foot. This may be duck hunters paradise.
So flat down here. There are water elevation levels throughout the island. Most read at 4″ above sea level.
A boat ramp in the middle of nowhere.
Molly lost track of where Kathy was so she headed into the water…
There she is!
A sandy path.
A place to rest and to meditate/contemplate.
Egg shells and a hole?
Molly needing a break.
And a little attention.
We leave the wildlife area and drive towards the end of Deal Island Road. A group of little communities along the way. Dames Quarters, Chance, Wenona. A couple historical markers.
Where Kathy’s family spent their summers.
Next was Deal Island Marina and beach. Molly has had enough of the water.
Best beach/trail sign ever.
A little windy but some kayakers were out.
Seafood processing – soft crab area?
Tons of oyster shells.
Heading down the road we came upon this church. Someone is trying to restore it. Google maps shows where restoration had once started but it seems to have stopped. The John Wesley Restoration Project.
Not too much further to the end. Another marina of sorts. Crab bushels waiting.
Many abandoned work houses. The water men and their businesses are dying off.
It looks like this bank has been converted into someone’s home.