Plan D

Thanks to our non-working engine during our week’s vacation, Halcyon ended up being a floating hotel room tied to the dock. We found ourselves with plenty of time to explore Rock Hall. All was still good despite our disappointment.

We had our bikes so we took advantage of the good weather and biked around town. ALL around town. Some days the only thing that kept me going was John’s promise of ice cream from Durding’s Store on Main Street. During that week I learned that perhaps encouraging him to buy an iPhone may have been a mistake.

The area around Rock Hall consists of gentle hills that look worse than they really are even for someone like me who doesn’t ride a bike all that often. I should. I don’t. I digress. Rock Hall is one of those towns where you see more on foot or on a bike than you do in a car, even if the speed limit is mostly 25 mph. During the week leading up to the fireworks over the 4th of July weekend, the town had its best face on. As we biked we saw homeowners along the parade route putting out their flags, making sure lawns were trimmed and cars were washed. A t-shirt company in town had all its doors open to the beautiful weather while the employees printed t-shirts for the expected visitors. Norman Rockwell couldn’t have asked for a better town to depict in his paintings.

One day we biked through town away from the Bay and down a back road that ended at what I now know is Herringtown Creek. Only a few houses sat on the banks of the creek and each had a private dock. What I noticed first was the silence. The water was still and we heard nothing but the occasional buzz of an insect and the splash of a fish. I walked to the bottom of the public boat ramp and soaked up the tranquil scene. I thought I saw a bald eagle land in one of the dead trees that stood in a clearing on the other side of the creek. The Bay has quite a bald eagle population these days so it isn’t unusual to see them. I turned around to see if John saw the eagle but he was occupied with his iPhone. I dropped down onto the grass to rest and watch the dragonflies. Behind me, still standing, John informed me that down river was a marina and the road behind us was public even though it was gravel. Important information gleaned from the iPhone and Google Maps. In the sky I watched two A-10 Thunderbolt (Warthog) jets doing their daily flyover. I turned around and John was tapping on the phone planning our next destination. The Warthogs flew over and away.

The next day, thanks to the iPhone, John located another road he wanted to explore. Again we headed through town but this time we turned south down Route 445 and then onto a road that led back to the Bay. The first house we passed was a lovely old Victorian being restored. Continuing we rode through a wooded area and I remember thinking that the green colors of the woods were extremely deep and fascinating. It reminded John of riding a bike around Yorktown, VA when he was at the Coast Guard station for training.

When we emerged from the woods the road ended not ten feet from the water. We had the spot to ourselves. I got off my bike and walked down to the water. Lining both sides of the road were tall reeds. A small fishing boat was anchored about 50 feet away. Towards the middle of the Bay sailboats traveled towards Rock Hall to the north and Knapps Narrows to the south on the channel that we should have been on. I turned back to John and mentioned that it made a perfect picture and that I regretted not bringing my camera. Of course, he was looking at his phone but he looked up long enough to give the scene a quick glance and offer to snap a picture with the iPhone’s camera. He was ready to leave having located the next road to explore. “According to Google Maps we go in this direction…”

The next road turned out to be a private drive.  While John poked at his iPhone wondering what happened, I pointed my bike towards town and headed to Durding’s for a root beer float.

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