Thursday, June 20, 2013

Week 10 - more Maryland

After I braved the 4-mile-long bridge over the Chesapeake Bay, I arrived in the small town of Chester, Maryland. Jeremiah Junior fit perfectly in Ellen’s driveway of their 3-story townhouse, making it easy for me to join in with home activities while “living” in the motor home. I really enjoyed their two Shih Tzu dogs.

Pretending to be a socialite! This past week I’ve been rubbing shoulders with interesting people and feeling like a socialite during my visit with Ellen and Paul. They live in this small town on Kent Island (in between the east and west parts of Maryland). I met them when I was living on Palomar Mountain. They had a large lavender farm in nearby Valley Center. I went to their farm to learn how to weave a fresh lavender basket; enjoyed Ellen’s lavender tea and cookies – and we became friends and stayed in touch after they moved east. 

Ellen works part time as the office manager for KIFA – Kent Island Federation of Arts. She had a busy plan for my time there. The first event was a reception at a local winery for artists and their spouses. Others events included a backyard cookout at a member’s water-front home, and a visit to a small lavender farm,
We enjoyed happy hours and various meals out. On Fathers Day, we were invited to join her daughter’s family for a crab feast! People think I’m crazy, but I just don’t like crabs and instead enjoyed some delicious grilled chicken. It was fun watching folks tackle the crabs; shells and non-edibles mounding up in piles as hands required frequent toweling off.
Paul at crab feast
Crab Feast
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Most of one day was spent at the amazing Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. This is an 18-acre waterfront area with at least a dozen buildings and features where I learned how people – called watermen – worked on the bay.

Museum features included a working boatyard, an 1879 lighthouse with the spiral steps that invited me to climb to the top, hands-on waterman’s wharf where we could pull up an eel pot, check a trap for crabs, and tong for oysters. There was a real skipjack oystering boat that I walked through while enjoying life-size models of workers, enjoyed a walk through a mockup of a crab-packing plant and toured the tugboat/towboat displays. This is a place that takes more than one trip to see all of it. The displays and signage are super and I left being glad I didn’t have to be a waterman.

Crab "worker"
Crab "worker"
View from the lighthouse
1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse

Old lighthouse light
Ellen with tow boat "rope"
Tuckahoe State Park
I’m at my last stop in Maryland camped at a state park, giving me two no-driving, no-visiting days to catch my breath, read and write. Jeremiah Junior is parked in the tall, deep – and dark woods. Shortly after I arrived at the camping site and hooked up, the downpour of rain started and didn't let up for several hours. Cloud cover the next day hid the sun and today the sun finally came out but gave only brief patches of sun between the trees. I realize what a desert rat I am on chilly and rainy days and no sun. And I sure do miss sunrises and sunsets!

This afternoon was devoted to getting travel routes figured out – from here to New Hope, Pennsylvania, for a few days and then from New Hope to Middlebury, Connecticut. Since I prefer the beauty and variety of state and county highways (instead of Interstates) planning takes more time. The reward is the drive pleases me more.

At times this trip does seem overwhelming and I could probably come up with many objections. And if I had tried to plan it out in detail before leaving home, I might have given up. But after 10 weeks on the road and 4,000 miles, I’m still excited to drive the next miles. I know I’m missing many interesting places, but visiting friends is more important to me than being a sight-seeing tourist. I cherish time with friends and enjoy being with them again.

Thanks for “traveling” with me and thanks for staying in touch with email messages!