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Chesapeake Bay

March 20, 2013

Maryland – Tuesday, March 12

It rained a lot last night, and was still raining this morning, but I was going to start my day off with a little driving, so that was okay for now! Last night I had the news on, and as I was working on the computer, I vaguely heard part of a story about a free dental clinic this weekend and that donations were still needed. My ears perked up when I heard a request for donations, and I heard something about a Mission of Mercy, but by then the story was nearly over and all I heard was that this dental clinic was going to happen this weekend in Salisbury, where I was staying, and I barely got the phone number. It was too late to call last night, so I called this morning and talked to a lady who’s involved in organizing the dental Mission of Mercy. This happens once a year in Salisbury and is a good opportunity for those who can’t afford dental care to come in for cleanings, tooth extractions, fillings etc. Many people volunteer their time and skill, but they still need to raise a lot of money for supplies, and they still had a ways to go, although they had raised a majority of the funds. She told me she had to be out of town today, but that I could drop my donation off at any of the branches of the bank in town, and the tellers were all familiar with the program and would get it to her, since she also worked at the bank. So I wrote a note and a check and set off in the rain to find the closest branch of the bank. I dropped it off and the teller knew where it needed to go, so that was accomplished.

Then I drove west to the eastern shores of the Chesapeake Bay. It rained hard on the way over there, but began to let up a bit as we got closer, although it was still a gray day out. My plan was to meander north along the Chesapeake Bay, stopping in some of the little towns along the way. The first town I came to was Cambridge, founded in the late 1600s. Tula and I were able to get out for a soggy 2.5 mile walk, a bit through town, and a lot through old neighborhoods with big brick or wood houses built in the 1700s. There was a little park and marina with a river lighthouse, and I walked way out on the long docks by that. It started to rain again just as we got back to the car.

Lots of rivers feed into the Chesapeake Bay and we crossed a big one on a long causeway as I headed for Easton, where we got out for another 3 miles of walking. Easton was also settled in the late 1600s and was a big fun town to walk through with lots of antique shops and cafes and interesting buildings. The rain had stopped and the sky was clearing and there were a lot of people out.

Then I drove west into the bay on a little peninsula to St. Michaels. With all the little rivers and tributaries there’s more water than land around, and it kind of made me think of the bayou country in Louisiana. St. Michaels was another old town, with a good downtown area and some little neighborhoods to walk in, but some of the streets by the water were a little flooded. St. Michaels started off as a shipbuilding center, and its nickname is “The Town That Fooled the British,” because during the War of 1812, the people in town put out all their lights and hung lanterns in the trees, which caused the British to shoot over the town instead of into it! And a lot of these towns depended on the Bay’s crabs and oysters for food too. When I was almost done walking, I came across a long bike trail, so we walked on some of that by the bay too, so I was able to walk 4 miles altogether, giving me an extra mile and a half for the day, when I was worried about getting it all in because of the rain! I really enjoy being able to walk through a variety of small towns.

Then I just had to follow the road all the way out to its end on Tilghman Island which was almost in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. I went through several tiny villages – they’re kind of isolated, and the little peninsula ended at a naval research station. I was able to see the sun set over the bay. As I drove back I saw a fox, but the picture is a little dark. I got back to the main road and continued to head north to Elkton for the night.
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