Coconut Times - Ocean City Maryland
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Gem Found
Written By: O.C.fotoguy
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Gem Found
Gem Found
Gem Found
Gem Found
Gem Found
Gem Found

    I found peace and serenity here on the Eastern Shore as I knew Ocean City would not have last week, but Mother Nature’s critters and weather were a factor, as they are in my winter meanderings. I hoped to Kayak near Black Water Refuge or near Taylor Island, both places south of Cambridge, but the green flies were swarming outside my truck windows as I pulled off the road at both spots. They were ready for a feast and they were so big if six descended on a small child, they’d have carried it away! It was good to be back on those back roads that wind through the marsh and wet lands, where I spent so much time, and to see the most confusing road sign in Maryland. It’s at an intersection where there’s a road going each of the three directions (south, east, and north) and all have the same name, Andrews Road!  Plus I saw two eagles. I spent the night at Long Wharf water front in my nest (slide-in camper on a pickup truck) after I enjoyed walking up and down the water front streets of Cambridge, and I loved the rock fish rueben sandwich at Portside Restaurant.
    Cambridge has maintained many of its old homes, buildings, and much of its Choptank River Waterfront.  Five years ago there were almost no restaurants downtown, few stores, but many run down empty stores and businesses, and it looked unsafe to walk around there. It’s really changed. Now, there are about a dozen restaurants where the abandoned stores were on Race Street, the town’s main street. There’re also many festivals held there and most of them center on the local seafood industry. Check them out at
    The next morning I spent driving all the back roads of Talbot County between the Miles and Wye Rivers, but I found no place I could put the kayak in the water where I could paddle into the nowherelands of marshy wetlands. I did find the Audubon’s Pickering Creek Preserve, though. It got the “I’ll be back label!” I headed back to overnight in Easton and feast at the Amish Market on fried chicken livers, fried mushrooms, spinach & artichoke cheese dip amongst the myriad of all their homemade goodies. Friday morning when I went back for éclairs, I saw a basket of fresh peaches and I wanted a piece of pie the ladies were making.
    Later I selected a much smaller area to search for my kind of kayaking spot, so I could explore it by bicycle and didn’t have to drive. Biking is much more relaxing. I headed towards St. Michaels, but turned towards Bellevue on Route 329 to Royal Oak. I noticed the crab cake vendor was set up along the road at that turn. I knew where part of supper was coming from! I parked at a nice little Talbot County Park at the Ferry Dock to Oxford. I unloaded the bike and pedaled all day on all the nearby roads. The only water access I found was at the park on the Tred Avon River, but the pedaling along the tree shrouded roads was the peak of peace and serenity and I saw a flock of wild turkeys, then I was after that crab cake, which was real Maryland 95 percent crab meat, eggs and a little mayo plus spices, and deep fried by a lady who really knew how to do it.  There was no greasy flavor.
    From there I was headed for the Amish Market again. The peach pie was all sold out, but I spotted some prime rib amongst the smoked meats at a stand that makes delicious vegetable casserole, too. I selected the rarest slice and was flabbergasted that the lady put two of them in the box with a heap of the casserole. Both items cost all of $12.24! I saved half of that for tomorrow’s lunch and added the crab cake for tonight. As I was sitting by my nest behind the Market devouring my delectable feast, watching the Little League FootBall teams practice, a local policeman strolled up and asked if I was camping there. I said, no, I was eating. We had a delightful talk about the Amish food, then he interjected that I couldn’t park there overnight. He said someone had complained saying I was. It had to have been the Amish whose food I’d been feasting on.  Imagine that! Yeah, I thought it was a good spot, but I know not to push my luck, so I moved outside of town towards the Pickering Creek Audubon Site, where I planned to spend the next day.
    After making my megamug of coffee I headed to Audubon Land. I arrived after negotiating the narrow-laned road, looked at the map on a placard, and decided to do the whole 4 mile loop trail. I saw there was a great place to launch my kayak, but it was less than 70 degrees, so I put it on my “I’ll be back list.” I gathered my camera gear and set off down the trail that began through a wooded area along the creek, which was really an inlet from the tidal Wye River. I rounded a bend and saw a large bird fly from the water’s level. I thought it was a heron, but when it came into view it was a large immature eagle. I got a good look at it, but not quick enough for a photo. The trail went on through a salt marsh, then a pasture, on through a fresh water marsh, and past a pond. All could’ve been full of birds and maybe at sunrise were. My attention was attracted by the wild flowers and the insects. Butterflies are always attention grabbers, but a caterpillar munching near a purple flower made a great photo, too, and the yellow and white honey suckle flowers not only smelled heavenly, they made a stunning photo, also.  I got a great photo of a katydid, but you’ll have to see it on my FaceBook page with a bunch of others. This walk was sure the gem I was looking for, and went on my “Don’t Miss List” for the future.
    After my walk I was ready for the Amish Market again, where I bought two pies, one a pecan and the other that peach one that enticed me before, plus I got some delicious braunswager (liverwurst).  Loaded with good eats I headed towards Cambridge to overnight again at Long Wharf and HH at Snappers, where I enjoyed $2 drafts. Before arriving I checked out another place that went on my “I’ll be back list.” It was the Trappe Wharf, where there’re three creeks that wind away from the wharf.  Each was a beckoning way to paddle my kayak with the promise of lots of natural critters and plants.
    Wow! What a way to escape the noise; and I arrived home in time to catch Dr. Harmonica at MRs.  There’re lots of tremendous bands in O.C., but these guys are dynamic performers! Good to be back in O.C.! Don’t miss the Diamonds at SunFest at 3pm on Thursday & Friday; you’ll enjoy the show!!!
Bob R  o.c.FotoGuy
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