Spring Roadtrip – On to Virginia

Knowing I was likely to leave before my cousin was awake, I said goodby to her and to Charlie (the cat) last night, after returning from dinner with my aunt. I left at about 8 this morning, and it was the easiest drive from Baltimore to Richmond I’ve ever done! There’s a lot to be said for Sunday morning travel! I don’t know that I’ve ever done this drive without stop and go traffic somewhere on I-95 – usually several times. The only place traffic was an issue was at one rest area, where there were more people wanting to stop than there were parking spaces, but turnover was fast, and I didn’t have to wait long. I was at my friend’s house by about noon, and was able to visit with mutual friends who were down from southern Maryland before they had to leave. We had a huge salad, with every vegetable available from the refrigerator, some fruit, nuts, cheese, eggs, croutons, olives…

The camper is a little lighter after this visit – I gave two of the jars of maple syrup I’d brought, two of the dishcloths, and returned a bag of borrowed books. I spent some time laying out the design for the next cousin sweater, and visiting, and planning a possible camping trip together on my way back north in a month.

Spring: I hear all the cherry trees bloomed a couple of weeks ago, in the false spring!! The trees this much further south have more color, with some starting to show tips of green (especially the willows, which tend to be first), and the maples blooming red. Many fruit trees are blooming. There are drifts of daffodils along parts of the highways, cheerful yellow swaths of color. At the rest area:

Visiting Family and Friends

Yesterday (Friday) I spent visiting with my Baltimore cousin, mostly. My nephew came by her condo on his way to work, so I got to see him as well (and hand off the quart of maple syrup made by his parents in Vermont). I also took the time to get the bags of food and clothing into storage spaces in the camper, making it much easier to move around and find things. And I didn’t drive anywhere!

I started today by being picked up and taken to breakfast by two friends from Towson; they also drove me through that town so I could see, and photograph, the “Welcome to Towson” sign. It was designed by one of their neighbors, and their daughter was one of the people who painted it. Then they returned me to the camper and I spent more time visiting with my cousin and knitting. This evening we went to see my 96 year old aunt at her retirement community, and she fed us dinner. She’s the one of the deep stash, at which I’ve been whittling away; we talked knitting and yarn, and I completed another Scrubby washcloth. Having seen it, my cousin wants one:

In addition to the daffodils, forsythia, pear, magnolia, and pansies are also blooming. It is definitely spring in Maryland!

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Return Home

Tuesday and Wednesday, November 1 and 2: The above is the last Maryland photo this trip, as I departed Elk Neck State Park.


New Jersey:

New York State:

Vermont, after a night in the Green Mountain National Forest:

Then to Wednesday morning knit group, and home. Twenty-one days, 2044 miles. I had a great time with friends, and family, and solo. I’d thought the paddle in Maryland would be my last for the season – but looking at the unseasonably warm weather this week in Vermont, maybe not!

Roadtrek Roadtrip: Kayaking on the Elk River

Saturday, October 29, Elk Neck State Park: The day was gloriously sunny, and the above red tree glowed over our campsite. The first event was a program on bats at the nature center of the park.

Most of those present were a flock of Cub Scouts, with their adults; they had coloring pages and bats to cut out, and sat mesmerized as the ranger read a charming book to them about a bat raised by birds (eating caterpillars!! Yuck!!) and then reunited with Momma bat.

Then I had to take advantage of the best weather, and take the kayak down to the boat launch that’s part of the state park. As I was ready to load the kayak, I could see clear racoon prints:

The approach to the boat ramps and sand launch,

As I started out on the water, the waves weren’t bad,  unless a power boat had been by – even on the other side of this very wide river, where the main channel is, they sent large swells across.

I paddled into this cove, where it was more protected – this was definitely a day to not be further from shore than I was willing to swim!

Then out to the point, where white caps were starting to pick up; combined with wakes from distant powercraft, it made for a good workout! But this is not the boat for that.

Above, looking back at the cove. Then I paddled back to and past the launch, thinking I’d head down toward the lighthouse, but the wind and waves were picking up and I decided discretion was called for, and went back to haul out. On going to load the kayak in the camper, I decided I didn’t need to invite this hitchhiker –

Good night, moon!

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Friday at Home

Friday, October 28: The day dawned sunny, with a fairly brisk breeze. After yesterday’s hike, I was happy to mostly sit around the campsite and knit – I finished the second Christmas stocking.

It is PINK. This confection is for a five year old girl, and it is her color – definitely not mine! I had to little pink in my stash that I put out the word to the Thursday night knit group, and the day I left they came through with a bag of pink yarn! (And some purple; that’s for stocking #4.) I did spend money on this one – I bought a little pompom maker. I want this set to look related, but different; putting it next to the first one as I knit helped them come out roughly the same size, and with similar stripes. Large needles (#9) and doubled yarn makes for a quick project, and the marled coloring in the light pink. Gee, why doesn’t the computer know that word??

Roadtrek Roadtrip: Out to the Lighthouse

Thursday, October 27: It dawned – and the sun was shining! After four days of gloom and wet, we were set for an adventure! There’s a lighthouse at the end of the road, and from the parking lot, it claims to be 1.5 miles (2.4 k) to the lighthouse. My phone tracked less; Julie’s tracked more; it’s probably about right. And it is more than my aging joints are happy hiking, but the lighthouse is worth it. I’ve been out there before, and the view down the Bay is wonderful.

The walk out and back gave us more foliage, hundreds of vultures, what were probably harrier hawks, a large flock of bluebirds!! and views over the Susquehanna River. It was a perfect day – sunny and pleasantly cool.

On the side of a Jeep in the parking lot:

In the campsite, our tablecloth on the picnic table had, appropriately, leaves falling on it.

Roadtrek Roadtrip, at Elk Neck State Park and North East

Tuesday, October 25 and Wednesday, October 26: It rained. And rained some more. It wasn’t constant, but you couldn’t count on it ever being dry! Tuesday, my friend found this interesting character on some oak leaves:

Maybe this is what is sounding cricketish at night? A brown one later jumped onto my shoulder. But indoor crafting activities meant that I finished the first of a series of Christmas stockings:

No pattern; I used yarn from stash run doubled, and made it up as I went along. I was able to take the photo on the picnic table between showers!

The first photo of the post is from a mural in North East, a charming little town about 15 minutes north of the campground. We went there to meet a friend from Delaware for lunch at Woody’s Crab House – we all had crab, of one sort or another, and also one raw oyster and a small bucket of clams, and salad and veggies to go with my crab sampler –

It was great to catch up – I’d not seen the Delaware friend for years! She had to go home, but the remaining two of us wandered the very compact downtown for a while. Woody’s also has ice cream (but not that day), with an assembly of animals in front:

Even the small windows above were charming!

My favorite quote of the day was in a shopfront window:

There was a occasional scrap of blue sky!! and one ray of sunshine!!! On the drive back to the campground, we took the road down to the western side of Elk Neck, where the swimming beach is; on the way in, this deer stopped in the road to watch us. As we crept slowly closer, she decided she’d had enough, and exit stage left she went.

Today is Thursday – and THE SUN IS SHINING!!!!! In the next post I’ll let you know what we did with it.

Roadtrek Roadtrip, to Elk Neck State Park, Maryland

Sunday, October 23 – Monday, October 24: Leaving Baltimore, I had some shopping to do; the mall parking was short spaces, and a parking garage where I am unsure about the height clearance. So I backed in to a space – and up against the hill behind me, filling the hitch receptacle! But my nose was out of the travelway. Barely! From there I wandered back roads to Elk Neck State Park, which is at the head of the Chesapeake Bay, where the Susquehanna and Elk Rivers meet. I’ve camped here before, a couple of times; this time I was meeting a friend from Virginia with her teardrop camper. When I arrived, she was in a site across the road from the one assigned – with a sharp turn and steep hill, there was no way to back in her little rig, especially with wet leaves. Because the good weather was no longer; it rained, on and off, all day, and then again on Monday. (And Tuesday, but I haven’t gotten there yet!) Monday we moved site; the entire park is booked for Halloween weekend, but there was a site easier to access where we wouldn’t have to move again.

We are close enough together, door to door, so that we can hand things across without getting our feet muddy! Because it is WET!! Removing shoes as we enter either vehicle is the order of the day; Genne gets her feet wiped if there’s a human with enough hands available. Because the weather was so lousy, we spend most of the day indoors, crafting on our individual projects. This is Genne at the end of the day; her human is just glad it’s not her muddy feet on the pillow!

Roadtrek Roadtrip Continues North

Friday, October 21: Was an easy driving day, from Conway, South Carolina up to Richmond, Virginia. My level parking space in the driveway had been cleared out, I joined the family for supper – and then did not watch The Hobbit, as I was more intent on knitting!

Saturday, October 22: My wonderful nephew met me at my cousin’s place in Baltimore, and we went out to lunch at the Mount Washington Tavern. The food and service were excellent; above is what was left of my very large shrimp sandwich when I thought to take a photo – mostly of what they used as water pitchers, though – the Jose Cuervo bottle!

I’d had on my list for a while to check out more closely some murals I’d only seen from a distance. It’s in an area of Baltimore known for being a draw for artists, and there are a couple of art collectives/exhibit/work spaces in the area. Nephew had figured out how to get there, and we went –

And this wonderful pelican as we were leaving: