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Adventures

To The Eastern Shore and The Beyond

Weekend getaways are the best.

But weekend getaways to Maryland’s Eastern Shore are an adventure. Well everything is an adventure when Carlos is around. But I won’t make you sick with all that mushy stuff–at least not yet.

Let me back track. We have had 17 non-stop days of rain here in Maryland. I don’t want to blame it on Prince or anything, but it has been raining since Prince died. You can connect the purple dots.

So I almost wanted to cancel our trip to the Eastern Shore, but then I thought, so what if it rains? We can then just have a nice, romantic, rainy weekend. Nothing wrong with that, right?

When we left Friday morning it was raining cats and dogs (or men, if you like, hallelujah!). And as we approached the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the slightly nauseating bridge that stretches more than four miles over the Chesapeake Bay and connects Maryland’s Eastern Shore to the mainland, the rain and the mist minimized driving visibility to nerve-wrecking levels.I have to say, I avoid that damn bridge as much as I can, but especially on rainy or windy days.

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Chesapeake Bay Bridge – Or as I call it “That Damn Bridge!”

After white-knuckling my steering wheel the whole way, we finally made it safely to the other side, and it was “Hello Eastern Shore”!

The Eastern Shore is a peninsula that consists of parts of three states–Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, and is surrounded on three sides by water–the Chesapeake Bay is to its West and South and the Atlantic Ocean is to the East. The landscape is flat, with farmland and marshes stretching out to all sides, dotted here and there with small towns, including the quaint town we stayed at over the weekend–Berlin, Maryland.

I found out about Berlin because it was named the best small town in American, and I said “Carlos, we have to go there!, and Carlos was like, “let’s go”! So, I researched the area, booked us a room at the Atlantic Hotel, and we were off.

When we pulled up to the Atlantic Hotel, it was raining, so we decided to sit on the hotel’s veranda in the rocking chairs and drink wine and eat cheese and fried oysters until the rain decided to stop. It took a full bottle of wine, but the rain eventually subsided.

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Sippin’ wine in Berlin

Now you know there has to be a twist. Yes, the Atlantic Hotel is supposed to be haunted. It was built in 1895 and is a time capsule of life in the Victorian Era. It even has real room keys. Now when is the last time you saw that?

So, as legend goes, the 2nd floor of the Atlantic Hotel is haunted by a child ghost. People have heard child’s laughter and the sound of a ball bouncing in the 2nd floor hallway. Carlos and I did a little Smith Haunting Investigation Team investigation on our own.

But, Nill.

But here are some photo’s  of the hotel.

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Atlantic Hotel – It was a foggy, perfectly spooky night.
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Parlor on the 2nd Floor
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Hallway Outside Our Room

The only scary thing I encountered was a knock on my door in the early morning while Carlos was out of the room. I tentatively crept to the door, released the locks, and creaked the door open a few inches, when I heard a woman’s voice say, “Girl, put your britches on, we are ready to go!” Then she looked up and said, “Oh, sorry, wrong room!” Hahahaha

Well, I did what she said anyway, and Carlos and I headed out that morning to Ocean City, which is only a 15 minute drive from Berlin. It was just the most gorgeous day. The sun had finally decided to show its face after weeks of Prince rain and we strolled the boardwalk like a couple of puppy-love teenagers.

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Ocean City Boardwalk

Yes, Carlos bought a kite.

Afterwards, we drove down to Snow Hill, Maryland, which is south of Berlin, to explore the area. As I posted before, evidence shows that Carlos’ great-grandfather, Ambrose, who was born in 1845, was from Snow Hill.

Surrounded by farmland and situated on the Pocomoke River (I’m not sure, but I think that river was named after a Pokemon), Snow Hill is a tiny, tiny town with a population of about 2000 people.

To keep with theme, Snow Hill has a haunted history as well, including the Snow Hill Inn, which was built in 1835.  A local physician, Dr. Aydelotte owned the house at the turn of the century and in 1904, his son William, who was attending college in Baltimore, apparently committed suicide by cutting his throat multiple times.

Yikes!

Anyways…when the home was converted into an Inn in the 1990’s,  guests and staff reported crazy things, like windows and doors opening by themselves, beds shaking, and the apparition of a young man. Apparently, the customers became ghost, too, and the inn shut down.

The house has been vacant for about 10 years, but it has been purchased by a new owner, and hopefully it will be renovated, because right now it is in bad shape.

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Snow Hill Inn

Do you see anything strange?

How about now?

window guy
All I Wanna Do is Zooma Zoom Zoom Zoom

Maybe? Squint your eyes. Maybe?

Never mind. Just shake your rump.

Well, after our visit to the Snow Hill Inn we ended up at a small store, called The Corner Shoppe in “downtown” Snow Hill. It sells all types of artisan type of oils and cooking items. The owners where just hilarious and we ended up buying all kinds of goodies, including the “best beef jerky ever”. I’ll take Carlos’ word for it!

If you ever find yourself in or near Snow Hill, you should definitely stop by The Corner Shoppe for some goodies. Here are some of the things we purchased:

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Goodies

After a long day, we still had one final stop we wanted to make since we were on the Eastern Shore–the infamous witch tree. But when we got back to the hotel a monstrous storm blew in, and then we ate a turkey dinner with a bottle of wine.

So you can guess what happened next.

The next morning. HA!

Really, I talked us out of going to find the witch tree that night after I read on the internet that it is in the middle of a swamp, down a treacherous dirt road, with a huge ditch on the side, and no cell phone service. The picture I painted in my head was not good:

Our car stuck in the huge ditch because the treacherous dirt road was too narrow and we fell in. Us frantically trying to call for help and having no cell phone service. All the while we are either:

    a) being grabbed by the witch tree à la Poltergeist Movie, or

    b) being kidnapped by the Shelbyville Swamp Monster (which I’m told is a real thing), or

    c) being chased by local rednecks (presumably coming from the houses we saw with confederate flags out front).

So, I talked us out of it. I really didn’t feel like dealing with “C” that night.

But the next morning, Carlos is like “let’s go”! He is so awesome. Did I tell you that?

So, we slowly wound up a few country roads to the border of Delaware where google maps guided us right through the swamp to the tree–weak cell phone service and all.

On the way people waved at us, and we saw parents and children riding horses on the dirt roads and paths in the Great Cypress Swamp.

And the dirt roads where not treacherous. They must not have ever been down a dirt road in Georgia. But there was a ditch. But you would have to be a big idiot to get your car stuck in it. At least a bigger one than me.

And we found the tree. It is supposed to be hundreds and hundreds of years old and used for hangings back in the day. I can see how it would be scary to come up on this late at night.

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Witch Tree and the Ditch
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Carlos – Watch Out for That Scary Dirt Road!

All in all, I have to say this weekend was amazing. We stayed in a hotel unlike any we have ever been in before, and the food and service was fantastic. We tracked down some notorious Eastern Shore haunts, and we finally made it to Ocean City. Oh, yeah, and Carlos got the best beef jerky he has ever had!

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Beauty of the Eastern Shore

Warm Weekend and Ye Olde Witches

Cold weekends are the worst. Especially for someone like me who is always itching to get out of the house and have an adventure. So when I checked the weather and found out it was going to be in the 40’s last weekend I scrambled over to my computer to see what Carlos and I could get into.

My search ended with Point Lookout, Maryland. No surprise there, since I just watch a PBS documentary about the Potomac River and it ended with the Potomac spilling into the Chesapeake Bay at the southernmost point of Maryland–Point Lookout.

So I had to go.

We also decided to stop at St. Mary’s City along the way because we have cruised by it a few times, both on our bikes and in our car, but we never had a chance to stop and see Maryland’s first colonial settlement and capital. And as you know,

History + Outdoors + Cruising = I’m There!

And then I said, “Hey, you know that rock that supposed to have a witch’s hand print on it is also in St. Mary’s County. Let’s go there, too!” And Carlos, always down for whatever, says, “Cool beans!”

That’s Carlos’ favorite saying.

And that is how we roll on a Saturday.

So we ended up winding our way over back roads to the small town of Leonardtown, Maryland in St. Mary’s County.

It is a historic town that has been around since the 1600’s and was a invaded by both the British in the war of 1812 and the Union Navy in the Civil War. And it is the location of the legend of Moll Dyer.

As the legend goes, Moll Dyer was a resident of Leonardtown. On a freezing cold winter night in the late 1600’s, Moll, accused of witchcraft, was chased from her home by the local residents.

Side-note: While writing this part on Moll Dyer, my phone rang and it was a call from Leonardtown, MD! It was a woman with a strange, flat-effect sounding tone to her voice. It was a wrong number….WEIRD!!

Days later, poor Moll was found dead on the ground, frozen and clinging to a large stone. When her body was removed, the townsfolk found that her frozen hand had left an imprint on the stone.

Legend also says that with Moll’s last breath she cursed the town…

And over the years the land around where her cabin stood would no longer grow crops.

And a white dog is said to cause car accidents on the road near where her cabin once stood.

And some have seen an apparition of a women in white near the location of her cabin.

And the stone.

The stone sat in a ravine by her cabin for 200 years till it was moved to sit next to the old jail, which is now the St. Mary’s Historical Society in Leonardtown.

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Info on the Old Leonardtown Jail

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The Moll Dyer Rock

OK, ok. I can say I was a bit disappointed. In my mind there was an actual hand print. Like a hand painting that you see in prehistoric caves.

But uh, no.

So I fiddled with the picture a bit.

Moll Rock

Is it clearer now?

I guess people in the 17th century had a better imagination than I do.

So after leaving Leonardtown, we headed straight to Historic St. Mary’s City. It was not staffed during the winter, but we were able to walk among the buildings, including the State House that was built in 1676, where you can sit in the stocks and pretend you are being punished for not keeping the Sabbath day holy.

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Then, while gazing at the colonial torture devices used to keep those bad colonials in line, another witch appeared.

Rebecca Fowler.

Oh, no, that definitely sounds like the name of someone accused of witchcraft back in the day.

Poor Becky.

Rebecca and her husband had been indentured servants in Calvert County, Maryland in the mid-1600’s and, after working off their indenturetude (if that is even a word, and spellcheck is telling me that it isn’t), they married and bought land of their own, called Fowler’s Delight (how sweet!).

But alas, some asshole accused her of witchcraft, and in the witchcraft-crazed-time of this period, the townsfolk believed him. I mean, he was sick, it had to be her fault!

So, poor Rebecca went on trial in the St. Mary’s State House and the jury found her guilty of being led by the “Divell (to practice) certaine evil & dyabolicall artes called witchcrafts”. And on October 3, 1685, she was sentenced to hang by the neck until she was dead.

Bummer.

Couldn’t they have just put her in the stocks for a couple of days?

All I know is that that fool had better been REALLY sick!

After leaving Moll and Rebecca behind, we did finally end up in Point Lookout, Maryland. It is a very nice state park and we plan on going back to camp and fish and take advantage of the beach. But funny enough, we didn’t take any pictures of the destination we planned to go to in the first place.

Bummer.

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