Cambridge and St. Michaels, MD

After a busy weekend along the Atlantic coast, we were ready to kick it down a notch.  Driving into Cambridge, along the Chesapeake Bay, the town was recovering from the first inaugural Ironman Maryland, with around 1400 athletes competing in the triathlon.  Starting at 6:50 A.M. with the 2.4-mile swim in the Choptank River, followed by the 112-mile bike competition through Dorchester County down to the Blackwater NWR, and then finishing with the 26.2-mile run along country roads, competitors had to complete the course by midnight.  Qualifiers race in the World Ironman competition in Hawaii, October, 2015.  So clearly our weekend was not that busy.  Ironman Village along the waterfront, near the marina, offered Ironman merchandise, products and services.  Despite the name, the event is open to men and women, and the age groups range from 18 years to 80+, so we can always compete another year.

Driving over to Easton, we set up camp for a couple of nights in the local Walmart parking lot.  This
is the first time we've done this, but NO campgrounds were available in this part of the state.  The attractive historic district of the town, with multiple antique stores, galleries and restaurants, features Colonial and Victorian architecture.  With a population of just over 16,000 there are almost 100 restaurants in town.  Not surprisingly, according to Trip Advisor, the number one activity in Easton is a walking food tour.  Easton considers itself to be the big city in Talbot County, while the nearby St. Michaels, established in the mid-1600's, with a population of around 1200, is said to host around 100,000 visitors a year.  They refer to their town as "The Heart and Soul of Chesapeake Bay."

Push boat, the "engine" for the Skipjack (oystering boat)
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum was the highlight of our visit to town.  With 12 exhibit buildings on 18 acres, this is an expansive, well-organized museum, that brings history to life.  By entering during the late afternoon, we didn't have time to complete it all, and walked briskly through the last few buildings.  One of the most popular sites is the Hooper Strait Light, built in 1879 and moved to museum grounds in 1966.  Many of the exhibits are interactive, and include photos and old films.  By amassing such an extensive collection of Chesapeake artifacts, there is little, if anything, that is missing, from oyster and crabbing history, to the wide variety of vessels, from skipjacks to sailboats, and an informative exhibit on their part in the War of 1812.  The small battle resulted in the British being turned away, and saved the important St. Michaels shipyard.

Time for us to move away from the Bay.

Hooper Strait Light built in 1879
Choptank River Lighthouse, Cambridge. Original 1871, replica 2012.
Cambridge Marina

Boat building at the Maritime Museum

Soybean crop along the Chesapeake.  Agriculture is #1 for the economy in Maryland. 

St. Michaels waterfront

Along Talbot St. in St. Michaels

Tarr House B&B built in 1667, St. Michaels  

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