In place of a “normal” fall vacation week, my wife and I did two short outdoor getaways. First we drove to Staunton VA, stayed at a B&B, did some car touring while it rained, and hiked Crabtree Falls when the rain finally ended.
We came back home, did a few chores and then headed out to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The weather really cooperated during this part of the plan – mid 60s and not a cloud in the sky.
On the way to Cambridge MD, we stopped on Kent Island and did 20 miles on and around the fantastic Cross Island Trail.
We ate lunch at the Big Owl Tiki Bar – you’d never drive there just for the food, but the location on the trail and the excellence of the view makes up for the mundaneness of the meal…
From there we drove to Cambridge to burn some of my Hyatt miles at the Cambridge Hyatt and had an excellent dinner at Vintage 414 in downtown Cambridge.
After enjoying the view of the sun rising over the Choptank River, we headed out to fuel up for a planned 30 mile ride before we headed home. Coffee, an acai bowl and “Grandma’s banana bread” takeout from the Blackwater Bakery in downtown Cambridge was pretty tasty.
The original plan was to do a 30 mile loop through and around the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge.
However, winds were 20 mph with gusts to 25+ which causes two problems: (1) Headwinds, of course, and Carole had done a lot more running than cycling this year; and (2) the rise in the water level of the Chesapeake Bay, combined with the sinking of the land level from development, means that some of the roads flood at high tide anytime there are high winds coming on shore.
So, we diverted to just doing 14 miles or so by circling the Wilderness Drive inside the refuge.
There are a few short side rides, one was a “pollinator refuge” along a path to an old graveyard.
The short loop we did does take you past the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center but it was closed because of Covid-19. The Blackwater Refuge visitor center is only open on weekends now.
So, we hopped back in the car and headed home, first doing the planned 30 mile loop by car. Sure enough, while Maple Dam Road was open to cars, there were many sections of flooded road – cycling through 6-12 inches of saltwater is never fun for me or for bicycle drivetrains…
We made a final stop on the way home for some fresh roasted coffee beans and a latte for Carole from Rise Up coffee in Easton.