Fancying a break from a big city and also Walmart, we planned to head down towards Mallow’s Bay where you could apparently see lots of abandoned war ships that had been left to rot in the river. We headed out of south out Washington, and not too long after we arrived at the entrance to the bay. Turns out the road down to the carpark has an automated barrier, which was down, but there was a small area for parking before the barriers so we set up camp. Out in the middle of nowhere now, we were pretty sure we wouldn’t be disturbed.
The morning brought a lot of people driving their boats down to the boat ramp, and a small convoy of trucks. At least that meant the barrier was up and we could drive to the end. We got speaking to Frances who volunteered to help run the park and she told us that lorries were there to clear the trees and install a flag pole. It also turns out that the governor was arriving for a visit so there was quite a few people there. Shame we weren’t offered a free trip on the boat this time!
From the bay itself you can only really see one wreck.
According to Frances there are three more in the immediate vicinity, but there are so wrecked I couldn’t really make out any of the boat left other than an isolated stick it the water. You can hire kayaks to go out and look more closely at the boats, but I’m still not sure how much you would see now from the surface. It must have been quite a sight at one point, if you look at google street view you can see the outlines of all the boats that were once floating.
We walked a short loop back to the car park and got a look at another one of the more wrecked wrecks.
As there wasn’t too much to see from shore we headed into the main town to do some washing and find some wifi, we ended up outside Woody’s tavern at around 2.30pm, waiting for it to open at 3pm.
We waited…. and waited… two hours ticked by while we did bits and bobs to the van to fill the time. Eventually we ended up sitting on the back steps having one of our own beers when the owner arrived.
She was clearly not impressed that we were drinking beer outside (illegal!!) and wanted to know what we were doing. We explained we were waiting for the pub to open and she didn’t both to say anything about the fact she was two hours late. Instead she demanded to know if there was anyone else in the van and if were we going to leave rubbish on the floor and then hufffed her way inside.
After waiting this long, and then speaking to a very rude woman, we decided that actually we didn’t want to give her any of our money. We also thought it very unlikely that she would let us stay in the car park. When she came back outside, we told her as much, and the drove round to Lisa’s pub which we had seen earlier.
When the bartender asked what we wanted to drink, I asked for cheap and cheerful. At which point she told us we’d be better off at Woody’s Tavern. We explained that we had just been there and the owner was really rude, at which point half the bar turned around to agree with us. Apparently we are not the only ones who felt very unwelcome in that place. We sat down next to three older ladies and got chatting Jane for a while. Ruby (coincidence!) the bartender supplied us beers and we got settled into a much more friendly atmosphere. Ruby even gave us some Lisa’s pub freebies, which has now my become favourite hat.
It turns out tonight was one of their bring and share nights, with a load of food out on the tables behind us. We got a few bits from the van as a contribution and then got stuck into some food ourselves. Jane told us that they run this night for one of the other women who has alzheimers, to make sure she gets something to eat.
Shortly after we had eaten and chatted to various people, I got speaking to Wayne who was sitting playing the Megatouch next to me. He was a nice bloke and after we had chatted for a while he also showed me how to play a couple of the games, mainly involving monkeys for some reason!
We spoke to several people throughout the night, so much that we had to write a list of everyones names. Everyone was very pleasant, friendly and just slightly confused as to what two random Brits were doing in their local pub.
We met Butch who works part time at the pub, and his bike, which is his pride and joy.
Jane offered us a bed in her house and use of the shower, which we were both very grateful for. She left after a few hours and we said we would see her later. In actual fact we spent so long in the pub it wasn’t till well after 1am that we left. For this, I partially blame Ruby, for giving us fireball shots but I mainly blame Dana, who introduced us to the lottery. Unlike the English lottery, this one plays draws every two minutes, and is horribly addictive. We won $16, and she was still playing when we left, so I hope she at least won her money back later! Here’s Ruby on the left and Dana next to me, in this photo that I am ruining by shutting my eyes.
We arrived outside Jane’s at nearly 2am, and camped up in the van so as not to disturb her. I definitely wasn’t about to pass up a free shower in the morning.
Morning was announced by the alarm for the fire service, followed by the national anthem playing from the military base down the road. We went into Jane’s house and met Daisy her dog, who was not impressed by us at all. Jane cooked us some breakfast and told us more about her time as an air hostess, which was interesting to hear. She then let us use her shower and her washing machine, which was fantastic. We headed off from her house with a clean restocked van as well as some homemade apple sauce. She also gave us some notepads for next time we needed to write down everyones names! This is another example of someone being truly kind and if she read this, then thank you very much for your hospitality!
It was a cooler morning, and you could definitely feel autumn in the air. We wanted to visit Calvert Cliffs which is the other side of the peninsula we were on, south of Washington. Apparently you can see eagles and find shark’s teeth on the beach! We had been messaging someone on Craigslist about trying to get a rescue kitten and they told us the had a foster home in Waldorf where we could visit some. We decided to drive through there on the way to the cliffs, on the off chance they messaged us. While in Waldorf we tried to complete the mission of finding some butane gas for our little stove. We visited at least three ‘outdoorsy’ shops which ranged from stocking nothing to stocking only propane. We tried Walmart, which claimed it had some in stock and didn’t. We then gave up on both cats and gas and headed out towards the cliffs.
Parking in the main car park for the state park, we took the red trail which was about a two mile walk to the beach. The trail starts off in the wood, and then heads out into a marshy area surrounded by trees on both sides.
I saw a out of the corner of my eye, I saw big bird fly out of the tree above our heads. It took my a second to realise it was our first eagle sighting. Here is a bad picture as proof.
The trail continues, until near the end you can see a beaver damn.
And then you’re at the beach.
It was quite pretty but due to landslides on the cliffs there wasn’t too much of it visible at the moment.
Next to an information board there is a big box of toys for you to go fossil hunting with.
We spent a while digging up and sifting bits of beach, with no luck finding any shark’s teeth. We did find a few cool fossils though, and some pretty shells before we retraced our steps back.
We tried to find camping on a local campground, but it isn’t open without pre-arrangement so that was a bit of a failure. We drove round the bottom of the peninsula in a loop that took us over a bridge and before we knew it we were back in our old faithful, Walmart. Whilst we were cooking dinner, we heard back from Joseph, the guy who had the kittens. We arranged to meet him the tomorrow afternoon to see some potential van cats!