Tootling About

April 16, 2017

Easter Sunday. Most folks are leaving the campground today. We thought it would be a good idea to stay close to take some small advantage of the “changing of the guard” during the day.

The neighbors on both sides are sticking, as are we.

But I walk around the place late on Sunday and find that it’s a bittersweet feeling, with everyone who was packed in here yesterday gone today. Nice to have the quiet and the extra “elbow room” but I walk by the now-empty spot where the folks were celebrating a birthday in a great gaggle of friends; I walk past the empty spot where the “base camp” for another great mass of folks distributed among 3 or 4 sites now sits forlorn at the end of the row, a large group having an absolutely splendid time, all managed by the wife of the guy who was “hale fellow well met” to everyone he saw; the big dog with the perfect manners in the spot near the bath house . . .

Still, the quiet is truly special, so I don’t dwell on the lack of bodies surrounding us today.

Did I mention the pollen? We had just enough rain last night to wash some of it off the car, and it all puddled on the road. I included my foot so you might get some perspective.

The road shows at the top of the photo, the gravel of the campsite below, near my foot.

Earlier, while most folks were breaking camp, we took off on a dawdle around the campground, and then left via the main drag (Plantation Rd) to head toward Crisfield, for a low-key tootle. Here are some photos from the campground area, followed by pix of what we saw along the way in and around Crisfield.

Gulls along Daugherty Creek.


In the far reaches of the photo, you can see white-roofed condos in Crisfield from the Janes Island SP dock at Dougherty Creek.

These images are from our ride into and around Crisfield.




Defunct crab restaurant specializing in steamed crabs, a remnant of which lay abandoned in the parking lot (below).


Those self-same condo/apartments visible from the state park’s dock, shown from the bay side here.

No photos, however, of some interesting sights. A guy in what appeared to be a sheriff’s cruiser was feeding an enormous flock of chickens, geese, ducks, seagulls, etc. from his car, in an empty lot. I’m guessing he was throwing bread to the birds, and they were fighting, tussling, vie-ing for crumbs, and procreating all over the place.

Took some video of the turbine that I cannot upload because it was pretty loud, although in the vid, the regular wind off the bay was loud enough for the camera mic.

A sign on a paddock that read, “Please don’t feed fingers to the horses.” (I thought that was brilliant).

Lots and lots of cemeteries, large and small. The United Methodist Church seems to be the dominant group hereabouts.

New birds spotted along the route:

  • Snowy egret
  • Pelicans
  • Great blue herons
  • Laughing gulls
  • Northern harrier
  • Cormorants
  • Wood ducks

Returned for a relaxed time at camp in the quiet, and grilled brats with grilled summer squash and rice for dinner. Lovely warm night with Roomba showing off his best with the lights shining.


Janes Island State Park, Maryland

April 13, 2017

With a leisurely start, we unbuckled the campsite at Chippokes by about 11. The camp host had come back on duty (first time during our stay) so we were able to get a bag of ice for the Gatorade and other beverages that have been sitting in the ice chest. We also didn’t feel the need to dump, so we headed north straight away.

After a short bog-down in Norfolk due to being in the wrong lane and having to exit into downtown (a bit of a white-knuckle endurance test for driver Jack) we made it to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, something neither of us have experienced in a goodly number of years. At 17 miles across and two tunnels connected by 3 enormous bridges, it remains an astonishing feat of engineering. A huge freighter was heading away from the passage above the second tunnel.





We stopped at the other side, still Virginia’s Eastern Shore, and headed for about 100 miles along Rt. 13 into Maryland. Nice drive along a straight, flat road, but little in the way of scenery. And unless you like fast food, not much in the way of charming cafés for lunch. In addition, the farther north we drove, the higher the fuel prices. C’est la vie.



Eventually, we stopped at a market that advertised fried chicken, but we got no help at all from the staff for pumping from #6, which would not take our card, so we paid cash for the fuel and circled around back and made our own damn lunches, thank you very much. Grrrr. But our sandwiches were quite good. 😊

Got to Janes Island State Park in MD and it is a lovely pine-filled area. We found no one at check-in/registration, so we just went in and set up. The facilities are clean and modern, and although there is no water at any site, the fill-up of our onboard tank went smoothly, and we have a lovely site (#23) on Daugherty Creek. Janes Island is across the narrow creek and apparently consists of water trails but no walking trails. There is a nature center wth a raised lookout and wildlife lists and other stuff that we intend to check out while we’re here, though.

Dougherty Creek
Our Set-Up
Our Site (#23)
Our View

The wind off the bay was truly howling and we thought twice about putting up the awning, although staking the poles in two different directions seemed to have calmed our worries that it would all just blow away. There is also tons and tons of pollen all over everything. Even to the point of making the hard horizontal surfaces yellow (picnic table, roads, vehicles, Roomba!). Anywhere that one drops liquid or sprays water becomes like a thin paint smear of institutional yellow. Jack and I are both sneezing. 🤧

We set up and just as we were about done, two rigs with dogs and loud talkers on one side and a pop-up with about four kids on the other set up right next to us. All were very loud.

So we left – just kidding. But we did carry out our plan to head into town (Crisfield) for dinner and some grocery shopping, which we did.

A place in Crisfield called the Watermen’s Inn had come to us recommended from our Alto Campers Facebook site, and we found it and had a delightful and delicious meal.




Afterwards, we strolled down to the end of Main street, which ends at a dock, and watched a two-star pass of the International Space Station across the nearly clear sky, at about ten past 8PM. Just lovely. After night fall, the temps dropped into the fifties, so we both looked forward to a cool sleep under our Rumpl Blanket.

Did our shopping, discovering that MD grocery stores don’t (or at least this Food Lion didn’t) carry wine and beer.

When we returned to the campground, however, the gates were closed and we did not have the key code. A nice gentleman helped us and another emerged from the admin building and we got our registration packet and the code for entry after 7P. And a map and other goodies.

Had a small nightcap in the screen house and enjoyed the night sounds, even though the noisy neighbors (on one side at least — the other folks were off visiting somewhere) were still active. We cocooned Roomba inside and read until snooze time and look forward to a bicycling and seafood and bird watching adventure to remember, cycling the Crustacean Trail tomorrow.