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We had to be out of the condo by 10 a.m. on Saturday, so we were all up very early, packing and carrying things down to the car. I took a bunch of photos of the place and surrounding waterways -- I'm sure I mentioned the geese and egrets and swans and ducks and fish and frogs and rabbits and hawks and gulls -- then we drove out of Bethany Beach, stopping first at a Candy Kitchen to get salt water taffy (they also had little Steve Irwin action figures that came with alligators) and then at the Seaside Country Store for another jar of praline mustard to bring home with us. We took a slightly different route in hope of avoiding traffic, which we did pretty well until the approach to the Bay Bridge which is always hopeless in August, and we got to see lots of egrets and shore birds by the bay and various tributaries.

We made three stops: at the Denton Wharf of the Maryland Steamboat Company which is now a museum, at Tuckahoe State Park to picnic for lunch, and at the Chesapeake Exploration Center in Chester in Queen Anne's County. The first is a rebuilt wooden building on the Choptank River with exhibits on local shipping, commerce and the waterways where a skipjack is being restored outside; the second we mostly saw from the picnic area and playground, though it also has camping and nature walks; the third is just before traffic on Kent Island gets really bad before the Bay Bridge and is a lovely place to stop, since in addition to exhibits on the development of commercial fishing and Maryland agriculture plus the building of the bridge and the plantation history of the region, there's an outdoor walk on the water where we saw crabs in traps and even a phosphorescent jellyfish.


The skipjack Flora A. Price is tied up at the dock awaiting restoration as a boat passes her on the Choptank River in Denton.


This ship will not be so lucky; she rests on the bank by the dock, beyond repair.


The museum sits at the point from which steamboats formerly embarked; there are still decaying docks for them up and down the river leading to the bay.


Inside the museum are relics of an earlier age, such as this stove, a collection of ship and town relics, even trunks and chamberpots in the bathroom.


The Chesapeake Exporation Center has exhibits on Maryland history and the importance of the bay in local commerce.


An exhibit to demonstrate the importance of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge uses Matchbox cars and trucks to illustrate the traffic demands.


An unlucky crab caught in a trap in the bay outside the exploration center.


The Anna McGarvey, a skipjack much further along in its restoration than the Flora A. Price.


Made it home by dinnertime but had no food in the house so went to California Tortilla. Still not even close to unpacked and we have tickets with my parents and in-laws for the Orioles-Red Sox game on Sunday afternoon, eek!
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