BLACK EYED SUSAN, BLUE CRAB AND OCEAN CITIES
“The sea, for me, is where I long to be.”
I do not know how I get there but I know I have somehow always been there, in Maryland. My heart has recognized it, in spite of fact that I have never been related to this small east coast state that separates Virginia and Pennsylvania. Maryland is cute, unique and colorful, embraced by West Virginia and District of Columbia but kissed by Chesapeake Bay. The ocean beauty is breathtaking in this soul of Colonial America, the place where every tales begins and never ends.
It is said that there is no such a place like Maryland, gifted with long beaches of its Eastern Shore, mystical, exciting hiking trails and hidden waterfalls in the dark wood of the Appalachian Mountains. Whatever we can imagine, it is over there, waiting to be discovered and captured with our positive vibes. The whole America is beautiful but Maryland is even more beautiful because it has a peaceful charm of local community, mixed with the scenic landscapes and never-ending glamour of ocean. It does not matter if we like more mountains or we are fans of ocean, Maryland has all we need and gives us all, with no limitations of enjoyment.
Maryland has shaped its own image through the years of historical memories merged with the specific natural attractions. One of those phenomena is definitely the story behind the genesis of the Chesapeake Bay. Based on the scientific studies, 35 million years ago, an asteroid made impact and formed the Bay we know and that covers 4,479 square miles. The fascinating thing is that surface has been explored but the underwater is still a mystery. Some researchers believe that seawater has been simply trapped below the surface due to the asteroid influence and that vacuum ocean water is the oldest seawater in the world and twice as salty as the oceans we have today. The science is still silent about the possible completely new world that could be hidden under the Chesapeake Bay but actually, that makes Maryland even more alluring.
Beside ocean secrets, Maryland has the most beautiful small towns in the USA and one of them is considered as the tinniest incorporated town in America, under the name Port Tobacco. During census 2010, there were only 13 people and the town itself has not changed a lot since 1727. Visiting this historical little miracle is almost like traveling in Perpetuum mobile, touching the echoes of past times without fear to be stuck in time crack. St. Mary´s city is another cutie, famous for being capital of Maryland between 1634 and 1694 with the implemented freedom of faiths and life in peace and goodwill. St Mary´s city has a remarkable setting of old ship and it is a pleasure to make walk through the port of dreams. Maryland has many interesting corners to go eating and shopping but one must be on everyone´s Bucket list. Why? First, this shopping center looks like a church and appears to be a church, surrounded by cemetery that goes back to 1891. Nevertheless, this is the Maryland Store in Westminster, inspired by rural patriotism and typical American pride. Another Westminster´s attraction is also in the middle of nowhere, Bullocks Beef House, one of the best Maryland´s steak restaurants. This is not only about having a meal in faraway restaurant but about witnessing the unforgettable scenery during the journey.
There are no so many caves in Maryland but the Crystal Grottoes Caverns is one of the most naturally kept caves all around the globe. For a tourist, this old-line state could be like another planet. Sometimes, the picture is exterritorial that ordinary visitor does not know how to catch up the fragments of this Maryland saga. It is enough to jump on Assateague Island, Muddy Creek Falls or abandoned town of Daniels and not be sure anymore where you are actually, on which planet and for how long. The time has no chance in timeless Maryland.
Besides ancient roads that could lead us in some of the chapters of Lord of The Rings and delicious gastronomy in isolated bars, this Free State has also the dark side and helped many thriller authors to find inspiration in Baltimore serial killer. Joe Metheny started his career as serial killer after his drug-addicted wife left him. We can say it was only a trigger since the beast was hidden within Joe for a whole his life. At the beginning, Joe was killing those who might have been related with drugs and prostitution but later, Joe´s list was long and scary. He used the killed people as the source of the food on his roadside barbecues stand and according to his words:” The human body taste was very similar to pork. If you mix it together, no one can tell the difference. …So the next time you’re riding down the road and you happen to see an open pit beef stand that you’ve never seen before, make sure you think about this story before you take a bite of that sandwich..” The police believe that many travelers ended up being fed on Joe´s butchery and indirectly participated in his cannibalism business. He was arrested in 1996 and he got a life in prison but he died in 2017, with the record of more than 10 killed human beings in Baltimore area. This creepy story gives a bit of thrilling to anyone who visits Maryland and especially Baltimore.
Billy Goat Trail is a perfect universe of hiking and outdoor adventures. It is recommended in all tourist guides as the road that is nearby Potomac River and has two sections for exploring. On the other side, to miss a Dinosaur Park in Laurel is almost like a sin. The tourists can pretend they are archeologists and try themselves to discover some rarity. If someone finds it, his or her name will be forever written in historical book.
Baltimore is one of the most fetching cities all over the USA. It has that tattoo of eternity, kissed by the ocean majesty. You can be lost in Baltimore and you can still be found. Baltimoreans drive crazy, love seafood, they are Orioles fans that enjoy good bears in some of the coolest pubs, known to be the last stand of Edgar Alan Poe. They are a bit weird, eccentric but passionate and boosted with positive vibes. You maybe will be the tourist in this city but this city will adopt you like a missing child. Baltimore´s blood is hot and charm is one and only. Between great food and funny people, there is no a single moment for being bored or lonely. The Baltimore´s spirit overwhelms with no mercy and stays within us like our personal guardian. At the end of the day, it is good to know that there is a safe place in the case of Zombie Apocalypse and outstanding Rhebs candies – the best chocolate shop in Baltimore and Maryland at all. It is more than good to know that Maryland is still safe and remarkable, warm and friendly, positive and inspiring in spite of all new age challenges.
A sunset makes love with Charm City and gives us feeling of tranquility while I am starring at Patterson Park´s Pagoda. I spent so many hours researching the treasures of George Peabody Library that my eyes are not ready for such a picture of sleepless town. I am hurry up to see Inner Harbor and to use the possibility to enjoy the 360-degree views of the city from the 27th level of Baltimore´s World Trade Center. I want to stay here forever, I am chained to Baltimore. I am Baltimorean. I have always been and I will be until my least breath. If not really, spiritually, indeed.
Welcome to Maryland, my Maryland.
3 thoughts on “THE OLD-LINE STATE: MARYLAND, MY MARYLAND”
Sarah’s delightful article on Maryland reminded me of what occurred there in early-2017: in March of 2017, the Governor of Maryland, Lawrence Joseph Hogan Jnr. (b. 1956), announced that the provincial legislature passed a law banning hydraulic fracturing in Maryland (the third US-state to do so, after Vermont and New York).
Governor Hogan (a Republican Party member) stated ‘Because of Maryland’s position in the country and our wealth of natural resources, our administration has concluded that possible environmental risks of fracking outweigh any potential benefits.’
Opponents of hydraulic fracturing in Washington, D.C. exclaimed that the Maryland ban was inspired by the harm they said has been caused by the practice in Pennsylvania where thousands of wells have been drilled into The Marcellus Shale over the last decade. The critics urged the Governor of Pennsylvania, Thomas Wolf (a Democratic Party member) to endorse a bill to ban hydraulic fracturing there, as well.
Miss Tracy Carluccio of The Delaware Riverkeeper Network (an environmental protection group) remarked ‘Maryland’s governor has proactively stopped fracking before it could ruin the state’s water, air and communities’.
What a beautiful article, Sarah !
I have learned so much more about Maryland through your article. You have definitely made it so enticing and made me want to go back to Maryland to explore all the beautiful things I have missed, as my visit wasn’t long enough.
I visited Maryland back in 2008 as part of a trip to Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC ! It’s amazing that you mentioned Assateague Island, as I have been there !
In fact, I specifically chose Assateague Island, as it boasts beautiful Ponies and Horses on its beaches ! There was also a guided tour to see those Ponies and Horses when they were on the inside of the Island instead of on the beach ! What a lovely place ! You have brought back some fond memories, Sarah !
As Assateague does not have any hotels, most people book a hotel room in nearby Chincoteague ! And that’s where I stayed ! Another beautiful place !
Thank you for the lovely and warm description of Maryland, Sarah ! And thank you for your charming writing and your beautiful illustrations !
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