Delaware and Chesapeake Bay

I joked that after travelling to Jordan I had time to wash my hair, do laundry, and hop back onto a plane. The weather over the middle of the country was lovely, offering me great views as I was carried to the East Coast.
Me in my Autumn leaf earrings on a plane to Baltimore.

My contract with Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) was as a training consultant, and I agreed to two weeks of teaching: one in September that I already mentioned. The conclusion of my contract was fulfilled last week in Annapolis at the VFW training center. I was able to fly in a few days early, and my friend Will – who lives in Rhode Island – was able to fly down and meet me. Will is half Italian and we were happy to find Arturo’s Trattoria a chef-owned restaurant only a few minutes from the airport. It is likely in the top 3 Italian restaurants I’ve ever visited in my life. We tried the squid ink pasta – it’s as black as midnight and so delicious.

The next day we headed to Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis. The day was sunny but windy, and right there on the Chesapeake Bay, the wind was biting. We went for a walk along the trails and beaches anyway and the wintry land was beautiful.

View of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from Sandy Point State Park.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is 4.3 miles long and connects the western shore of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay to the the eastern shore.
The trails led us onto the windy winter beaches.
Not many people joined us on the trails that day, save this very bundled fisherperson.
The beach trails also leave the beach and enter the trees.
The seagulls tucked their beaks beneath their wings to stay warm.
The zoom lens on my camera was enough to grab a good look at the Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse.
Farther distant, but still discernible as a lighthouse, we spotted the Baltimore Harbor Light.

We were pleased of course to find two lighthouses that day. Both appeared very small on the horizon. The adorable Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse is surrounded by scaffolding and is hopefully receiving renovations. It’s not as small as it looked to my eyes though, as the light perches atop a three-story house. It was built in 1883 and currently has a white light that flashes every 6 seconds. We then found the Baltimore Harbor Light, which to a glance looked like a white blur on the horizon, but thanks to my great Tamron lens, revealed itself to be another lighthouse. Commissioned in 1908, this lighthouse was difficult to build because of the soft bottom of the bay, and its foundations had to be sunk very deep.

The lens also allowed us to get a better look at some local wildlife: a vulture and then a fox!

Advertisement on a water tower in the park can be seen from the bridge.

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This ragged fox trotted from the trees, made a beeline for the beach, then dropped down into a sunny spot beside the fence to take a rest. I approached to take a photo, and the poor bedraggled fellow sprung to his feet and ran off. Sorry for disturbing your nap, buddy.
After gazing at the bridge all this time, we decided to cross it.

We climbed into the pickup truck that Will had rented (That’s all they had! We pretended to be cowboys.) and crossed the long bridge. The bridge climbs rather high in the middle and is right over open water at that point, causing my tummy to get a little squeamish. Soon we were back on land, at Kent Island. We took an exit and next went to explore Terrapin Nature Park, but not before I noticed a sign that said “Blackwater Distillery” and made a mental note of it. Parking was free and abundant and the sun was still shining. In the trees, the wind diminished, and as it was later in the day, I began feeling warmer.

Aptly named, we readily saw more wildlife at the Terrapin Nature Park. The trail system was longer and with more variety than Sandy Point SP. We walked along the beach, yes, but also in the trees, and in meadows, and beside ponds.

The beach at Terrapin Nature Park.
Will is saying, “Are you taking my photo?” Heck no! Would I do that? To the left side behind him, you can see the beach we just came from.
A crane waiting for lunch in a pond at Terrapin Nature Park.
A rare sighting of a flighted animal known as: seagull.
Mallard ducks fuss, preen, and bathe beneath branches that nearly obscured a decent shot.

We were hungry, and close to the state of Delaware. Neither Will nor I had ever been in that state, and we thought we’d take care of both shortcomings at once by eating dinner in Delaware. Off we went in search of the state’s capital city, Dover. Will found a Barbecue restaurant that had good reviews so we went, and got in line at the door. The staff practically ignored us. We waited politely. And waited. Then the staff absolutely ignored us. More people came and got into line, and we began exchanging glances with the folks in front of us, still politely silent. More waiting. I asked Will if we should give them more time or try another place, and he suggested giving them a few more minutes. Several of us dropped the politeness eventually and started rolling our eyes and whining. The people behind us were getting restless, and one of them started talking. “I’ll bet they’re busy,” she guessed, “since it’s their last day. This is my favourite restaurant and I know a lot of people are coming by as their way of saying goodbye.” Aha!! As the story came out, we discovered that by pure coincidence, we had dropped in on Where Pigs Fly on their last day after being a community favourite for over 26 years. A woman came to the group of us at the door and apologized for the wait, and the lady in line behind us said, “Thanks Kelly.” After the woman left she explained, “She’s the owner. She must be heartbroken.” We were finally seated, and when we were, the food came very fast and was excellent barbecue. I’m glad to have had a chance to participate in that little bit of special Delaware history.

The pigs won’t be flying here at Where Pigs Fly anymore.
Decor inside the restaurant while we waited for our food.

Sated, we explored more of the state of Delaware. From what I could see it is rather flat and rural, and interestingly, reminded me of Grand Isle in Vermont – possibly because it is another flat spot surrounded by water. Will took us to Bowers Beach just as the sky began to pink up. We walked to the shore of Delaware Bay and as we did the sky decided it was time to put on a show. We were drowned in colour and I was silenced in awe as I watched it all happen. Sorry for bombarding you with sunset photos, but it was a spectacular sunset.

We crested a small dune and looked down onto the painted seawater.
Blue sky was ready to give itself over to sunset.
The horizon grew richer and more saturated as we watched.
Seagull tries on violet for a change.
Crane holds still no matter what the colour of the sky.
Thank goodness I thought to turn around at some point, because this is what had been behind us the whole time.
We turned back to the purple and magenta sky and said goodbye. We left while it was still light enough to step around pools of water on the beach.
Even our rental truck in the parking lot seemed magical in that sunset.

During dinner I had noticed that one of my leather leaf earrings was missing. One of the ones in the photo at the top of this post. I bought the earrings at Faerieworlds several years ago and have never seen them for sale again. I truly love those earrings. We searched the truck, my purse, my coat, in case it got hung up on something. On our way back to Annapolis, we stopped again at a couple of places where the earring may have come off while I was pulling off my scarf and coat, but it was dark, and the earrings perfectly matched all the other beautiful brown leaves on the ground. We made a valiant effort to search, using our phone flashlights, but I had to concede defeat. I am so sad about that!

14 thoughts on “Delaware and Chesapeake Bay

  1. Anytime you want to bombard me with sunset photos, Crystal, please do. They were gorgeous. My favorite short was the beach trail shot, however. Peggy and I visited Annapolis several times when Tony was there. An aside, the bridge is at the eastern end of highway 50, one of the nations first cross country roads. I grew up about a mile from it when I lived in Diamond Springs and it was my route over the Sierra’s when I drove a laundry truck during my college summers. –Curt

    1. Oooh! I loved that trail shot too! Got it with my phone, and I love it so much. Neat that you know Annapolis. I’ll talk about that in a few posts. What a darling little town, and I’m so glad VFW gave me the opportunity to see it. Oh my goodness. I never even put that together: Highway 50. Does this mean it’s the same highway as The Loneliest Highway in America? I’m very familiar with Highway 50, but only in Nevada. It blows my mind to think this is the same highway. 🙂

      1. Like a journey on Route 66! 🙂 I get nostalgic about the old highways and the freedom they gave people to wander across America. I even get excited about Highway 99, Crystal. –Curt

  2. hopefully someone will find the single earring – love it a lot and hang it up or make a necklace…
    but sorry for your loss!!
    enjoyed all the photos – esp the fox – the trees – and the bridge.

    and sad to hear they were closing after 26 years – but some eateries have a life cycle.
    In Buffalo area there was a place called Ultima Taco – was opened for decades.
    shut down – and some young man bought it and tried to restart it up. That lasted two years and the place burned down. so sad . but I guess some eateries have a life span with the owners

    1. I had that same thought, Yvette! That maybe someone will find the leaf earring and find a use for it. I hope so. I will try to think of a use for the one I still have. Glad you liked that fox. I think foxes are beautiful and I love to spot them – even this one, with it’s unkempt fur and thin, wilted tail. I think it would have enjoyed a nap in the sun and I’m sorry I scared it.

      You are right about some eateries having a life cycle. Are you in the Buffalo area? I visited there once, long long ago.

      1. I used to be in that western New York area – left in 1990!
        And the area you recently reveled to I sorta know because my brother-n-law used to work for the DelMarVa Shorebirds- he is now in Baltimore but it was fun to read the way you explored Delaware too. So nice being near state lines

        And wishing you a pleasant thanksgiving 🍁

    1. Derrick I can count on you as a cheering squad! I was trying to capture the fox as he was, and I’m glad you liked my adjectives. 🙂 I like the way some of my photos turned out this time too, and thank you for the compliments. I recently bought a new lens to replace one that died at the end of my trip to Chile two years ago. It is fun to once again pull distant things close to my eyes. We kept using the camera as binoculars.

  3. Ahhhh!! Too bad about the earring (it reminded me how I lost a new wooden ring on one of the two busses between Slovenia and Italy; I think you commented how you liked the ring in one of my photos), but this was such a splendid outing. Your sunset photos are amazing, and some others too! ❤ And I loooove squid ink pasta. Plus you catch a beloved restaurant on its last day. And that fox!! ❤

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