One of the things I love best about living in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, is a short drive in any direction delivers you to a different environment. We are spending time with our friends Christine and Mark on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. That’s the Sassafras River behind Gary.

The Chesapeake Bay Area is steeped in history. I’ve wanted to see the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park since it opened in March. The Choptank River Region in Dorchester County is an area of wetlands, rivers and creeks, much as it was over 150 years ago. Tubman used her knowledge of the mazelike paths and waterways to navigate the landscape, and guide over 70 enslaved people to freedom. 

I am in awe of this remarkable woman. Born into slavery, she freed herself and others, served as a nurse and spy during the Civil War, worked for woman’s suffrage and founded a home for the elderly and disadvantaged.

The exhibits at the Visitor Center follow the story of Tubman’s life. It is an illuminating and emotional experience, involving all the senses.  In addition to the Center, there is a 125 mile driving tour documenting over 2 dozen sites and scenic vistas associated with Harriet Tubman. I left wanting to know more. Did Tubman come through Kennett Square, an important stop on the Underground Railroad? I will have to research that another day.

Right next to the new Park is Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and miles of biking.  

Christine spotted three eagles soaring the thermals high above. 

We couldn’t decide if this was an eagle or osprey nest. 

Blackwater Refuge has one of the highest concentrations of nesting bald eagles on the Atlantic coast and is an important resting and feeding area for migrating and wintering waterfowl. It’s a great day to bike through the tidal marshes and loblolly pine forests.  

This could be a problem…  we decided to turn around and ride along the park boundary.

It’s just not everywhere you can stop at a local fruit stand and pick up some chicken necks as well!

Just down the road, we admired a catch of blue crabs, caught with chicken necks as bait. 

The crabs remind the guys that they are starving and seriously in need of a cold beer. Sounds good to Christine and me.

I specified outdoor seating with a view and crab cakes on the menu. Portside Seafood Restaurant in Cambridge was perfect. We were able to watch the drawbridge open for “working boats” returning from the day of fishing or crabbing. 

Two songs are playing in my mind, “Old blackwater, keep on rollin'” and “Follow the drinking gourd.” Landscape and environment, how people live in different areas, the history of place is so fascinating to me. There just isn’t enough time to do explore it all. 

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  1. WOW! Your report makes it ALMOST better than being there. But no, being there with you two, overnight and all was even better than this description and pix.

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