Summer 2002 

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1. Hello Sun
Maybe the sun knows something, getting up so early these summer mornings. You’ll have to be an early bird yourself to find out. Sunrise at the summer solstice, June 21, (and for several days before that longest day) is 5:43am. Wait a little longer to say, “Hello, Sun,” and you can sleep in a bit. By July 4, we’ve already lost five minutes off our morning.

It’s early, but it’s worth it to be up for the biggest event of the day, as Mr. Sol edges above the horizon. By the time he’s a flaming orange ball, the pale colors of morning are already hardening. By the time most people get up, they’re sun-bleached into mere shadows of their earliest selves.

We’ve noticed that even when the day’s going to be cloudy, it often dawns brilliant. Even so, it’s cool in these early hours, as if every morning were early June. With the world so cool and brilliant, you feel new, too, like you could accomplish not only anything but everything. So when you say, “Hello, Sun,” no matter what else happens, you’ve gotten the best of the day.

2. Share Bay Weekly with a Friend
The more you share Bay Weekly, the more fun you’ll have. Here you’ve got 101 Ways to Have Fun, and we give you plenty more to do 8 Days a Week. But we know you’ll enjoy your outings more if you share your fun with friends.

A friend who reads Bay Weekly as avidly as you also gives you a partner to talk ideas with — from whether our Bay needs Asian oysters to whether Bill Burton ought to stick to fishing.

So each week when it’s time for your new installment of Bay life, lore and pleasures, don’t just pick up one copy. Pick up a copy for your friend, too. Each Thursday, you’ll find a new Bay Weekly free, at any of over 400 distribution points, from Pasadena to Solomons in Anne Arundel and Calvert counties.

Missing friends who live far away? E-mail our website — — to them. They’ll learn to love our Bay as much as you do, and soon you’ll have a house full of company. But don’t let them get off easy. Make them do their homework and explore Bay lore and adventures in our archives back through 1998.

Or share Bay Weekly by mail with a friend or two. Two subscriptions are $60, and one is $40 by check or credit card: Bay Weekly: P.O. Box 358; Deale, MD 20751 • 410/867-0304 or 800/579-0304.

3. Don’t Wait
Did you ever get around to visiting the five-century old Wye Oak — before it fell to heavy winds this summer? It’s too late now.

Have you ever let a summer go without once going into — or going out on — our Chesapeake Bay? Don’t make that mistake this summer.

Have you ever caught, cleaned, cooked and ate a fish you caught yourself? What are your waiting for?

Did you ever dream you could paint a picture, write a story or capture passing time in a photograph? Why dream it when you can do it?

Life is short. Don’t wait.

4. Discover a Bay Beach
Bay beaches lack the great sweep of their ocean cousins. Cut to a human scale, most can be measured in footsteps. They’re scarce, too, for nowadays development has closed up most Western Shore waterfront. So when you’ve found a Chesapeake beach, you’ve found a treasure.

Bay beaches are most accessible by water. Cruise the shore till you find a sandy, deserted strip. If your boat is big then swim, raft or dinghy in. In kayak or canoe, where you’re already close in, help yourself. Beaches belong to all of us up to median high-tide line, but be a gentle, considerate beachgoer.

By land, at the head of the Bay, Elk Neck State Park offers gorgeous beaches. So does Sandy Point State Park, right under the Bay Bridge (you’ll pay park admission).

Many mid-Bay beaches are in Calvert County. The twin beaches boast free public access. Sun-worshipers can drive to Bay Front Ave. to find their place in the sand beside the popular North Beach Boardwalk. It’s harder to get to the sand and water at Chesapeake Beach’s Bay Front Park, but there’s a small public parking lot on the eastern side of Route 261 just south of Beach Elementary. Then it’s a short walk to the beach.

Farther south, Calvert County offers four ways to reach the water. At all of them, you’ll pay a small admission fee.

Two county parks have beaches. To the north, at Breezy Point you’ll find a half mile of sandy beach plus swimming, picnicking and fishing. (Six miles south of Chesapeake Beach on Rt. 261: 410/535-0259.)

The lovely Flag Ponds Nature Park has not only a substantial beach but also a fishing pier. It’s 10 miles south of Prince Frederick off of Rt. 24 (Beach parking for handicapped: 410/586-1477.)

Or step back in time at private Matoaka Beach & Cabins, an old girl scout camp (Calvert Beach Rd.: 410/586-0269).

It’s a longer walk to the beach at Calvert Cliffs State Park. Hike 1.8 miles through woods, walk the boardwalk and look down on the work of the busy beavers. Mountain laurel, tulip poplar and sassafras rim the trail that leads you out to the magnificence of the Bay. But don’t walk on or beneath the fossil-laden cliffs. They’re very unstable (301/872-5688).

Adventuresome beach-goers can trek to the southern extremes of the Western Shore in St. Mary’s County. At Point Lookout State Park, you’ll find tall pines, fishing areas, campsites, Civil War historic sites and a lighthouse in addition to sandy shores.

If you like what you find on your daytrip, you can pitch your tent at Breezy Point or Elk Neck or Point Lookout State parks. Or you can rent a primitive Matoaka Beach cabin.

Where ever you find it, treat your treasure with loving care. Leave no litter behind!

5. NJFK: Search the Tideline
What treasures washed up with the last high tide? Search the tide line for crab claws and gull feathers, oyster shells and mermaids’ purses. Check a variety of beaches throughout the summer. If you’re lucky, you’ll find shells of all kinds and beach glass, too.

Beach glass was once somebody’s garbage that should have been recycled but ended up in the ocean. The rolling action of the waves polishes the edges and turns trash into treasure.

Make sure your treasures are thoroughly cleaned and dried (or they’ll get smelly). Then use them to decorate a picture frame or a treasure box.

6. Drive a Scenic Byway Around the Bay
Faraway places are fine, but there’s no tour we enjoy more than an auto trip ’round the Bay.

We like to point ourselves in a direction and wander. If you’d rather know what lies ahead, Maryland has done the work for you. Planning an auto tour is as easy as a phone call.

Maryland Scenic Byways program has chosen 31 roads across the state as scenic tour routes. Each Byway has a unique story to tell and a place in our state’s history. A 191-page book describes the historical significance of each road, and a map helps navigate. The designated roads are marked with Maryland Scenic Byways signs sporting black-eyed Susans.

Seven of those routes, totaling 317 miles, run along the shores of the Bay. Give yourself time to look around and breathe in the smell of Chesapeake Country.

To start, you may wish to stay close to home.

The Anne Arundel Colonial Tour follows various roads, including Rts. 2, 468 and 256. This 40-mile, one-hour tour, which celebrates the region’s maritime and colonial history, takes you through Annapolis, London Town, Shady Side and Deale. Not only is the way beautiful but each destination is alsoull of reasons to stop, linger and learn.

A second tour, the Western Shores Beaches, runs from Friendship in Anne Arundel south to Calvert’s Rt. 263 and Rt. 2/4 junction. This 17-mile, 30-minute tour follows the eastern edge of these two counties and the Bay. Quaint beach communities, boardwalks and the Chesapeake Railway Museum await you.

A third tour, the Chesapeake Beach Scenic Drive winds along Rts. 261 and 263, to Rt. 2 north through Anne Arundel and Calvert Counties. This 20-mile, 40-minute drive highlights historic communities and areas along the way. Historic Lower Marlboro, once a shipping port, makes a nice stop.

A fourth, the Calvert Maritime Tour, is a 25-mile, one-hour drive through Calvert. It carries you from the Patuxent River via Rt. 231 to Rt. 2/4 and south to Solomons Island. Here, too, there’s plenty of reason to take longer, stopping in at the parks and museums that preserve and interpret Calvert’s history.

Venture farther away and you’ll find a 30-mile span of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway that takes you through Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties and Baltimore city. You may take in the Baltimore Civil War Museum or the National Aquarium on this excursion.

If you can’t resist crossing the Bay Bridge try combining two Eastern Shore tours.

One is from Chesapeake City to the Bay Bridge and the other is from Route 50/301 to Crisfield through Eastern Shore counties. This 178-mile, four-and-a-half hour drive makes for a perfect day outing.

So let the adventure begin. For a free book and map call 877/mdbyway. It’s worthwhile to invest in a guide book to alert you to stop-offs you won’t want to miss.

7. Go Fish
Hey, where do you think those delicious plates of Chesapeake broiled rockfish topped with crabmeat come from, beyond the noisy swinging doors of the kitchen of some Bayside eatery?

No big secret. They come from our Chesapeake, harvested by our watermen, and served fresh. But if you’re a do-it-yourself buff, you, too, can enjoy the same dishes you see on the restaurant menu. They’ll be fresher and bring you the satisfaction of doing everything — from baiting the hook to serving the stuffed baked sea trout, or perhaps crispy pan-fried hardheads, maybe even smoked bluefish filets.

No mystique involved. Anyone can catch fish and crabs. Anyone, no experience necessary, though a bit of knowledge about fish and their ways, their preferences for food and habitat, will improve chances dramatically. The same with catching crabs.

In recent years there has been a profusion of fishing courses throughout Chesapeake Bay Country to better prepare you for catching. We suggest Fishing In Maryland, an annual publication, available at sporting goods stores and newsstands, where you will find maps, rigs and much information on the various species. In Bay Weekly, we help with the weekly fishing reports of our own Outdoor columnist, C.D. Dollar, and sometimes our long-time columnist Bill Burton takes on the subject.

Get out there and fish. And remember, the experience will be more satisfying if you realize that fishing is the fun, catching is the bonus.

Just as anyone can catch fish, anyone can cook them. What better incentive than the enjoyment of the bounty of the Chesapeake, yours from start to finish? Just remember: Don’t overcook the fish. You want it moist for taste and texture like the one a waitress puts before you — which is the secret, and we’re sharing with you.

If you’re already into the cooking part, but not the catching, you can bypass the market and enjoy an even fresher product. But keep in your memory bank where that market is; there are times when fish become elusive.

8. Stock Up at a Farm Market
Nothing says summer like corn on the cob, and you can get it fresh and local at the farmers’ markets come the end of June. You can also find berries, beans, peas and squash, with plump juicy tomatoes just around the corner.

Stop by a roadside stand or visit one of Anne Arundel County’s six growers only markets — including two new ones in Annapolis — where the farmers who grow the earth’s goodies also sell them (410/841-5770).

  • Annapolis Farmers’ Market at Truman Pkwy. and Riva Rd.: Sa 7am-noon and Th 3-7pm (plus Tu in July).

  • Annapolis Market House at City Dock: 11am-3pm daily.

  • Annapolis Farmers’ Market at Arundel Center: Th 11-2 from July -October .

  • Severna Park Market: MTA Park & Ride Lot at Rt. 2 and Jones Station Rd.: Sa 8am-noon.

  • Piney Orchard Market: Visitors’ Center Lot at Stream Valley Drive off Route 170: W 2-6:30pm.

  • Deale Market: Cedar Grove United Methodist Church, Rt. 256: Th (starting July 11) 4-7pm.

  • The Calvert Country Farmers’ Market moves indoors this year. Shop Calvert farmers Sa 9am-6pm, Su 10am-6pm W 4-7 from June 29 at Prince Frederick Shopping Center, Rts. 2-4 and 231: 410/414-8095.

9. Savor Summer Specialties: Bake a Peach Skillet Pie
My mother’s job wasn’t easy. With nine kids eating everything in sight, she had to think big. Big breakfasts. Big dinners. Big desserts. Enough to feed an army.

One of our favorites came to us from our grandmother: peach skillet pie, served warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Malvina Lewis’ Peach Skillet Pie Crust

2 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup milk

8 large peaches
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons water

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together. Cut in shortening. Add milk to make a soft dough.

With fingers, pat the dough into a large, cast iron skillet, allowing extra dough to hang over the edge of the pan. Fill with sliced peaches and sprinkle with the sugar, salt and cinnamon mixture.

Fold extra dough over top of the peaches toward the center, leaving the center of the pie uncovered. Pour the water into the center and bake 35-40 minutes at 475 degrees and 10 minutes at 275 degrees to finish.

Serve with any one of these delicious toppings: heavy cream or milk, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

10. NJFK: Paint Driftwood Creatures
Once part of a mighty tree, driftwood is tossed about by ocean waves, polished and salted and then coughed up with the high tide. Go down to the tide line of the Bay or beach and look for pieces of wood that have sailed to shore.

What creatures lurk in the gnarled and twisted wood? Can you coax them out with your imagination?

Get your paints and get to work. Will your driftwood be a seahorse with beautiful patterns? A dragon with a forked tongue? A bird with crest or beak? An eel, a swordfish or a great white shark? Glue on some dried seaweed for hair and shells for wings and spines. Use feathers to make your bird creature more real. Varnish will keep your creature intact.

Then make up a puppet show with your driftwood creatures and the seashore mural you make next. (See #15 Make a Marine Mural.)

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Published by New Bay Enterprises Inc.
© Copyright 2002. All rights reserved.
Reproduction without permission prohibited.