After a week in Washington, DC, we headed east across the bay to the eastern shore of Maryland.
I’ve long had an interest in the eastern shore of Maryland, particularly in the history of the watermen who live off the bay, catching crab and fish, hunting waterfowl, and collecting oysters.
It seemed spending a few days on the eastern shore on our travels would give a taste of the life and history that I’ve read about in books, and we tried to explore some different corners of the shore.
We camped at Janes Island State Park on the bayside of the eastern shore. As one of my friends said, the park is off the beaten path. The campground was empty except for us, and we camped right at the marina. Each morning, we watched the crabbing boats leave the cove, headed for their traps. In the afternoons, we watched bald eagles hunting over the marsh.
We took a day to drive across the eastern shore to Assateague National Seashore to explore the coastline and see the wild ponies that roam there. We had seen wild ponies in the Grayson Highlands in Virginia two weeks earlier, so it was fun to see them now grazing among the grasses and maritime forest.
On another day, I went fishing with friends. I drove north to Easton, MD, where I hopped on their boat and drove a few miles into the Choptank River to fish for stripers. We ended up finding the fish, and for a couple of hours we pulled one striper after another out of forty feet of water.
In total, the whole family got a healthy dose of the eastern shore. I didn’t get as much exposure to the bayside seafood and maritime industry and history as I would have liked, though I live close enough to the area that I’ll likely return one day.
Given the downward economic pressure on the maritime industries and the risks facing the Chesapeake Bay watershed, hopefully there is still plenty to explore when I return.