Day One | Day Two
To celebrate Norma's birthday, we spent Sunday, October 29 and Monday, October 30 in Saint Mary's County, Maryland.
The weather in the previous days included near freezing temperatures, heavy rain, and high winds (gusts up to 41 mph). Fortunately, the weather for our trip looked promising with lots of sun and a high on Monday of 70 degrees.
Day One: October 29, 2006
Driving through Saint Mary's County, we found it interesting how the names of the small towns reflected famous places far away: Scotland, Hollywood, and California.
We arrived at Greenwell State Park at about 1100. The park was fairly empty. We began out hike near the restrooms and pavillion. There was supposedly a canoe launch site but what we saw didn't look particularly launch friendly. Too rocky. A short distance northeast of the pavillion was a beach that seemed much better. A bit of a walk but not bad with two people or a kayak cart.
We spent the next few hours exploring the myriad of short trails west of Rosedale Manor Lane. We passed numerous corn fields. There were many scenic views of the Patuxent River. There is supposedly a canoe campsite on Hog Neck Creek but we didn't bother to look for it. See first photo at left for Hog Neck Creek.
This was by far the furthest south I'd been on the Patuxent River. I've never seen it so wide or so clear. Much less murky than the parts I've paddled in the past like Jug Bay.
We saw numerous black walnut trees growing wild.
Near the southwestern side of the trails, we stopped to eat Meals Ready-to-Eat (MREs) near a barn and saw some young deer. See second photo at left.
Heading east, we saw other barns and various displays showing agricultural life in Saint Mary's County. The county was once a big producer of tobacco.
A little later, we saw a Woolly Bear Caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella). See third photo at left.
We finished our short, easy 5.75 mile hike then drove to the Rosedale Manor House, looked around, and checked out the beach. It looked like a place where one could paddle in, stretch the legs by hiking a few miles, then continue on.
Next, we drove to Saint Mary's City, the site of Maryland's first capital. English settlers established the colony in 1634, not long after the founding of Jamestown and Plymouth. It flourished until the capital was moved to Annapolis in 1695.
- from Visitor Center flyer
Norma and I walked north through the historic area then along Saint Mary's River, past the Maryland Dove, and to Saint Mary's College. The Maryland Dove is a re-creation of a 17th century square-rigged ship. Similar vessels transported supplies from England and were used for coastal trade. The Maryland Dove is a working ship that sails to ports-of-call around the Chesapeake Bay to tell the story of Maryland's history. See photo at the top left corner of the page.
- from Visitor Center flyer
At the college, we saw an interesting looking vine covered tree. See fourth photo at left.
We ate dinner at Courtney's Restaurant at 48290 Wynne Road, Ridge, Maryland 20680, phone: 301-872-4403. Great fish dinners.
At the end of the day, we checked in at the 201 year old Saint Michael's Manor Bed and Breakfast where we were greeted by Joe and Nancy.
Click thumbnails to enlarge.
Day Two: October 30, 2006
After a delicious breakfast at Saint Michael's Manor Bed and Breakfast, Norma and I explored the property. We saw fig, pecan, and chestnut trees. Eighteen cats reside on the property but don't go in the house. We found a box turtle. See photo on left. There was an old cemetary we visited on the property that held the remains of the original inhabitants. Remarkably, all lived fairly long for the time.
Norma and I went to Point Lookout State Park and explored the area a bit. This is where the mighty Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay. We saw the Point Lookout Lighthouse and explored
Fort Lincoln. Fort Lincoln was built by Confederate prisoners at Point Lookout.
Next, we parked at Point Lookout Confederate Cemetary then biked north along Point Lookout Road (route 5). In the town of Ridge, we veered right on Three Notch Road (route 235). Turning left (west) on Mattapany Road, we biked to Saint Mary's City. We cut through Saint Mary's College on Fisher's Road East heading northwest until we got to Point Lookout Road (route 5). Then we followed route 5 back to our start, stopping for lunch along the way at Monk's Inn (delicious burgers!). Our sunny, warm, and almost windless bike trip ended up being 22.5 miles.
The drive back home was surprisingly easy with much of the Pennsylvania Avenue (route 4) traffic heading the other way.
Click thumbnail to enlarge.