Saturday, June 22, 2013

Delmarva Tour, June 2009 - Part 3

Maryland Rt. 50, the Ocean Gateway, is a 55 MPH two and three lane highway running through Queen Anne and Talbot Counties, crossing the Choptank River at Cambridge, and swinging through Dorchester as it turns east for the Atlantic coast and Ocean City. The shoulder is very bikable in most locations, clean and wide. One needs to be careful for turning cars at intersections and driveway entrances, but if you can live with the noise of the traffic speeding past you, it's not a bad ride at all. Most of my riding today and tomorrow will be on this highway.

That said, it's not a pretty ride. Fortunately in Talbot County the Maryland State Bike Map routed me onto Rt 662 for a spell, bringing me to Wye Mills, home of a functioning historic flour mill and what once was the symbol of Maryland, the 460 year old Wye Oak. One advantage touring on a weekday brought me was the chance to get a private tour of the mill, since the caretaker had no one else to talk to. 

The state park was a quarter mile up the road. The white oak tree fell during a 2002 storm, but a seedling was planted in the base of the old tree, and perhaps one day it will rival its parent in size. A portion of the downed tree is on display - the first solid portion, about 30 feet up the trunk. 

I'm afraid I didn't spend enough time at Wye Mills. I missed the historic church and schoolhouse, and the nearby county park would have been worth a few more minutes. 

Continuing on, I kept joining and exiting the Ocean Gateway, adding miles on the highway and enjoying sightseeing when I left. I wish Talbot's Little Red Schoolhouse had been open for a tour when I rode by.

However, the sight of farms, fields rich with corn and barley, brought some consolation.

I skirted around Easton, unfortunately bypassing the historic district to make miles. I stocked up on provisions at a Target, shocking some shoppers who had apparently never seen a touring cyclist before. Or at least one my size. Then off again, rolling through farmlands along flat country roads to my night stop - Trappe, MD. 

To be continued.....

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A Taste For The Woods: Delmarva Tour, June 2009 - Part 3

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Delmarva Tour, June 2009 - Part 3