Unoffical start of summer
Though the astronomers place the start of summer on June 21st, everyone in America knows that the Memorial Day weekend is the opening event in the vacation and outdoor activity season. Neighborhood pools welcome guests, lines develop on the roads to the beaches, and graduations and proms are in full swing.
I took to the roads early yesterday morning and did one of my favorite circuits in the Annapolis area. For those of you that are not familiar with Maryland's capital city, it sits on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and has a number of "necks" or peninsulas that reach out into the bay between "creeks" and rivers that are more accurately considered to be fingers of the bay. There are some terrific water privileged neighborhoods and most of them are very bike and jogging friendly. Even when riding in the hour or so right after sunrise, there are plenty of people about with willing smiles going about their daily exercise routines.
I thought you might enjoy a couple of pictures from the ride.
My first quick stop was at the entrance to the Philip Merrill Environmental Center, which is the headquarters of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, one of my favorite charities. They work to limit the damage that the people living in the Chesapeake Bay watershed do to the bay and its natural inhabitants. Someday, I may take a few pictures of the center itself; it is a pretty awesome building with a lot of advanced features designed to show how to live and work comfortably with minimal impact on the environment.
I was quickly inspired again by this sight as I rounded the corner at the end of Herndon Avenue.
This is the view from the other end of the shoreline road looking away from the sun.
One of Annapolis's nicknames is Crabtown, and one of Maryland's famous products is its Chesapeake Bay crabs. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the Bay Foundation, the crab population has been shrinking and the supply is limited. There are some early morning crabbers at work, however, the small supply has led to pretty impressive prices.
As I rode through Eastport, I snapped this picture of one of our favorite local hangouts. The Boatyard is a sailor's bar in a sailing town and it is a great place to meet up with friends and to make new ones. It is also popular with families and serves some great food. After the ride was over, my wife and I went back and had some breakfast.
As is almost always the case, there were some rowers on College Creek, which runs through the Naval Academy grounds and past St. John's College. Both schools maintain boathouses on the creek and have active crew programs. Crew jocks love the calm early morning waters.
Another great, though young, Annapolis tradition is to stop by the Great Harvest Bakery. Jim and Linda Rodrock have a friendly business with wonderful products. Leave your Adkins books at home and enjoy!
The final picture is one of my old haunts. Though my current job does not allow much time for sailing, I still have a soft spot in my heart for the Naval Academy sailing program and its home, the Robert Crown Sailing Center. It is the headquarters of one of the best ways that the Academy has for training officers to understand the ways of the sea, to pay attention to weather, and to understand the important of buoys, lights, and sound signals. It is also a great place for a party!