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A Break from the Crowds
Written By: OC Fotoguy
*Click images below to view larger versions.
A Break from the Crowds
A Break from the Crowds
A Break from the Crowds
A Break from the Crowds
A Break from the Crowds
A Break from the Crowds

    Life can be so good, if you just let it be; so slow down, turn off that screened device, and enjoy. I pulled into the parking lot with thoughts of H.H. and a cold ACB.  I glanced over the Choptank River and saw storm clouds, then a vertical white cloud that appeared to be a water spout. Oh boy, where’s a camera. Maybe I’ll get a storm chaser photo today. Then I looked farther east and a rainbow had appeared on the horizon, always a treat. Where I was standing in the Cambridge, Md.. Yacht Harbor parking lot, the sun was shining brightly, but a storm was moving up the Choptank River and away from Cambridge. I was hoping for the whole 180 degrees arch of the rainbow, but that wasn’t happening. I looked for something else to compliment the rainbow and complete a picturesque composition for my photo. I saw the colorful Choptank River Light House. I could get to it by following the walkway on the docks, so I popped the top of an ACB from my nest (slide-in camper on a pickup truck) and towards it I went; so much for HH.  Yeah, for me a photo op trumps H.H.!  The lighthouse in the foreground, the Route 50 Bridge for a leading line to the rainbow made a picture and I got the photo. Turning to leave I saw at the east end of the horizon was the other end of the rainbow, so now I had another opportunity.  As the light faded for the day I found a friendly spot at a nearby bar and then wandered around Cambridge and ended up at a restaurant called Jimmy and Sooks, where they had $1 drafts during the Oriole game; that’s the ticket.
    The next day Saturday, July 12, at 5pm was the Taste of Cambridge’s Crab Festival, which was the reason I was here.  I spent the night in my nest parked by the River and took a nice bike ride east along Choptank on Scenic Drive that turns into other streets. There was street after street of nice homes and it was so quiet, peaceful and a lot of history here too. There’s another large park along the River just a short distance from where I was parked. I stopped at a yard sale and bought a nice basket for a dollar, that’ll hold a lot of stuff and keep it in one place as I drive around in my nest. Later I took another bicycle ride east from Cambridge on Rt. 343 to Horn Point, a University of Maryland Seafood Research Facility, where oyster shells are recycled to be transported to locations in the Chesapeake Bay to create more oyster reefs for oyster spat to attach to and grow. Up to four oysters can attach to a shell and grow to harvest size. That and the disappearance of the disease, Dermo, is helping the oyster rebound towards the numbers it once was. I was told that places like Fishing Bay adjacent to Hooper’s Island that had gone oyster dead is now producing oysters in numbers not seen since the early 1900s!  Good and I love the taste of oysters!  I rode around the campus of the research facility, came upon an active osprey nest with two hatchlings and scared up a whole bunch of young turkeys. The pedaling to and from was through acres of soybean and corn fields and very relaxing.
    When I got back to my nest, I was ready to eat and was hoping to get my fill of crab meat at the festival. I was surprised that the fifteen local restaurant vendors, that were competing for best crab cakes, soup or specialty dish, were only serving thimble sized portions of their entries. I’d already purchased a ticket, so I made the rounds, but was not happy with flavor of any of the samples and said so on my ballot.  Crabmeat, as most seafood, has a very delicate flavor, not to be mixed with any strong flavored ingredient like onions, over spiced, or especially not over heated or cooked. Each sample was guilty of one or more of those. I enjoyed the bands that played, the people working and in attendance were friendly and the crab picking contest was fun to watch, but the food didn’t make it. Next year I’ll buy a meal at a restaurant, which’ll cost less money and enjoy the festival. My crab cakes could’ve won. My recipe consists of one pound of crabmeat, which is 95+ percent of the total, some finally chopped green pepper, a tablespoon of mayonnaise, and one egg, and thoroughly mix; then form into cakes, place on an oiled  baking sheet, sprinkle lightly with a mixture of one part cayenne pepper, two parts dry mustard and three parts celery seed. Broil till golden brown on the top side or until easily turned (if when attempted to turn they fall apart broil some more) and after turning, broil half as long as the first side. Total broiling time is 5-10 minutes. Do not overcook! If you do the succulent crabmeat flavor will be gone.
    The next day I bicycled on Taylor Island east of Cambridge on Robinson Neck Road at the end of Rt. 335 and along the Chesapeake Bay. I saw few people, two turkeys and several deer. Another gorgeous place, that’s only an hour or so from Ocean City and a good place for a break from our summer crowds. More Festivals are listed @ www.marylandfairsandfestivals.com/.
    Here in O.C., BJ;s put on a Fun Day on the Bay with their 35th Canoe Race and Billy Carder’s smile is brighter than ever.  Good for him!!!  If there’s a devil it’s certainly embodied in cancer and he’s recovered from it again!!!
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