On Friday the 13th, while at the gym, I asked one of the trainers what was the gym going to do about the current situation – Corona-virus? He said it was the main office’s call. I told him it was a pain in the ass for Kathy and I to wipe off our equipment, not only after we use it (which we have always done) but also before, because so many idiots do not wipe theirs down. Sunday night we decided we would not be going back to the gym. Monday afternoon the Governor announced all gyms to be closed. So now we hike and luckily there are a lot of places here on the Eastern Shore to go to having very little contact with people.
First hike Monday was the Salisbury Park which includes the Zoo. Short hike of 1.8 miles but a very brisk one.
Wednesday was a hike at Chincoteague. We usually ride our bikes there but opted to hike. This hike was about 3-1/2 miles at the Woodland Loop, Bi-valve trail and then along the bay.
Glad to be able to hike and I wish all to be well.
In my last blog, First Hike 2020, I spoke of looking for the Paul Leifer Trail at Furnace Town and how we thought the only access was from the gift shop, which closed in October. Well I sent an email to Furnace Town asking about access to the trail and they told us to go through the gate and then head to the trail, so we did.
Through the gate and head to the right, where you will see the Iron Furnace. Go to the left and there is an information board with a map and cautions that the boardwalks are very slippery.
Some interesting signage and some not so interesting!
The boardwalks were not only very slick, some were falling apart.
Molly didn’t mind and she did a lot better on this hike.
Some of the sights along our hike. It was very quiet here.
Heading back out after about 1-1/2 hour hike. A couple shots in the ‘town’.
Our hike, via All trails: Under a mile but very adventurous!
But the best sign was this one…
Life is full of next bends!! Thanks God for pointing the way to each and every bend, not that I am always paying attention to where you are pointing…
I hope our first hike of 2020 is not indicative of the rest of our hikes this year. This was a very non-descript hike – just a short path through the woods near Furnace Town. We were hoping to do the Paul Leifer Trail but you need to go through the Furnace Town gift shop/museum to access it. That closed on October 31st!
To access the trail we hiked, we headed down Millville Rd to an opening in the woods. The trail was marked with these little signs. Quite a few scattered every 20 yards or so.
We saw some water down the hill, away from the trail so we headed for it.
Part of the Cypress swamp.
This was probably the first hike that Molly struggled to keep up. She will be 15 soon and has not been feeling well. When I first started hiking with Kathy and Molly about 4-1/2 years ago, Molly could do 6-8 miles without any problem. Now, not so much. We end up carrying her for a good portion.
Up over the hill was this.
A little green on a drab day.
So the trail heads into the woods, just this side of the canal and then back up to Millville Rd and puts you on the road for a bit.
On the map below, to the east of the yellow line is where we should have been but couldn’t. But that is ok. Any day you can get a hike in, short or long, picturesque or drab, flat or hilly, rain or shine – it is all good. We can’t think of a better way to start the new year!!
It was a beautiful day Saturday, December 28, 2019 and there is nothing better than taking a hike on a beautiful day. If we had known it was going to be as warm as it was, maybe we could have went kayaking instead! Next time. We have a lot of favorite hikes that we do, but sometimes we look for new places. Although we have been to the Assateague area many times, we saw a spot on the map we never have been to – Rackliffe House and trail:
This historic site is behind the visitor center. There are 2 trails that lead there. We chose the wooded one instead of the asphalt.
Across from where Kathy is sitting is a path to Sinepuxent Bay with the Verrazano Bridge in the distance.
A very short beach hike.
Leaving the beach we head towards the house, passing the golf course.
This Geo-cache was hanging in plain site. At first I thought it was a wildlife camera.
Always nice to have a choice in the paths we take in life.
Historic house – from their website:
Rackliffe House, a 1740s merchant-planter’s home overlooking Assateague Island and scenic Sinepuxent Bay. Rackliffe House was constructed in the 1740s by Captain Charles Rackliffe, the merchant-planter grandson of one of the earliest English immigrants to Maryland’s seaside. The large two-story, three-bay Manor House features Flemish bond brickwork with random glazed headers, a steeply pitched gabled roof with kicked eaves, and large windows. Captain Rackliffe intended the house to be seen across the water. He built it on a prominent ridge atop a man-made terrace with expansive views of the water and island.
In its time, Rackliffe House has witnessed marauding Spanish galleons, Barbary pirate ships, and English men-of-war. The house has stood through the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. Today, thanks to the restoration efforts of the Rackliffe House Trust and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, historic Rackliffe House now serves as a coastal museum that interprets 18th-century life along Maryland’s seaside.
The second part of the loop includes a pond and a stream
I thought all the bugs died off during the last freeze. Termites.
We leave the visitors center and the Rackliffe Loop and head over to the ocean. Always a favorite. And again we sought out an area we have never hiked. North of the Youth Group Areas. We hiked behind the sand dune and saw this. Who they keeping out or in?
Rounding the corner to the beach.
The beach with not a lot of shells, just this small group;
Getting ready for the new year.
Not that we run around nude on the beach a lot, but this sign makes you wonder! Kathy says this use to be an unauthorized nude beach many years ago.
Beautiful day, beautiful hike and beautiful beach! Thanks God for another beauty!
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.
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.
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.
Beach and ocean as far as you can see.
Aura around Kathy’s reflection.
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.
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.