Today marks my final day of three weeks on the Eastern Shore of Maryland -- two in my former stomping grounds of Easton, followed by a week, just 80 miles south, in Crisfield. My lengthy stop in Easton this year was a full agenda of healthcare appointments, birthday celebrations, outdoor activities, visits with friends, and a little moving help for a friend. While I'll admit to cruising by my little bungalow (which needs yard work!), I can't say that Easton feels like home. That said, the time and attention given by friends has me missing this little spot, and my birthday celebration was just grand! I'd also forgotten how much fun it is to go to the mailbox every day!
I am feeling right at home in my tent, and Crisfield is a friendly town of just over 2,700 people. Once called Somers Cove, it was renamed in 1866 for John W. Crisfield, who was instrumental in bringing the Eastern Shore Railroad here so seafood could be shipped across the U. S. and make Crisfield the "Seafood Capital of the World." While the health of the Bay impacted the industry, in some small way, crabs and tourism continue to support this southern-most spot in Maryland. Sadly, most of the labor force in Crisfield works elsewhere on the peninsula.
Crisfield is also just 12 miles by boat to Smith Island, first settled by British Colonists in the late 1600s. I did indeed visit Ewell for an afternoon, and while it's the island's largest town, it's more like a small neighborhood of days gone by. Most noticeable is how incredibly quiet it is as most transportation is by foot, bike or golf cart on this island with 2 miles of roadway. There's a museum, a church, two restaurants, and a gift shop, and not a single person passes you without a pleasant greeting. After visiting the museum and following a walking tour, I had the pleasure of meeting Jacob, "but you can call me Jake," who shared his perspective of life on Smith Island with me for nearly half an hour. He's 8 years old. Add that to the list of special moments!
Tomorrow, I roll to the Outer Banks with hopes that we say "adios" to Jose!
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover