Sunday, August 2, 2020Hi Blog!
We've been enjoying our time with Matt, Weina and William as they get settled back in the United States. Weina starts work at the Arlington Montessori House on Monday. In order to give the family a chance to get settled before she starts work, we decided to stay near camp and explore our new neighborhood.
Just around the corner from the Adventure Bound Camping Resort, where we will be for the month of August, is the Patuxent Wetland Park. This park is just one of dozens of small parks dotting the entire length of the Patuxent River.
The Patuxent River is a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. The 908-square-mile Patuxent watershed had a rapidly growing population. It is the largest and longest river entirely within Maryland, and its watershed is the largest completely within the state. Over 100 miles of the river contain numerous paddling opportunities from at least half a dozen entry points within 5 miles of our campground! We look forward to spending our free time exploring different sections of the river.
We scored a great parking spot right next to the boat launch, which is at mile 47 from the mouth of the Patuxent River. Here Kathy gets ready to shove off.
Before heading out into the main channel of the river, we decide to explore one of the many water trails through the wetlands surrounding the river.
As we paddled deeper into the wetlands, we spotted countless orioles and butterflies taking advantage of the summer wildflowers.
We were hoping to make it through the trail and back out to the river, but the lilly pads had other ideas. The vegetation became so thick, we soon had to retrace our route.
Upon closer inspection, we noticed this little yellow lily flower getting ready to bloom.
After we made it back out to the main channel, Kathy startled a Great Blue Heron who buzzed her kayak. The heron ended up on the far bank. If you look closely, you can see him just to the right of and beyond Kathy's knee.
Here's a better look.
A paddle just wouldn't be complete if we didn't find a bird box.
After the crowds we encountered earlier in the week at Calvert Cliffs State Park, we were amazed we didn't see more people on the river, especially since today was Sunday.
With temperatures around 92F, finding shade along the banks became a priority.
We eventually found another boat. These folks anchored themselves at a fork in river.
As we left the wetland park, we passed an old campground that has become a mobile home park. The neighborhood kids like to the climb the crooked trees leaning over the water.
As we worked our way upstream past the mobile home park, we noticed the remnants of old docks, most of which were in various states of disrepair. We can only assume that storm damage wiped them out and residents never bothered to repair them.
We found an osprey nest perched high above the river bank. We didn't notice any osprey in the nest, but we did see one fishing further upstream.
These white flowers lined the river banks. They were a favorite with the local bees.
We passed a pretty impressive duck blind. Lucky for us, duck season doesn't start until September. On our paddle back down the river after lunch, two families had taken possession of the duck blind spot to fish and picnic.
On our way upstream, we didn't see any turtles. After lunch, we retraced our steps and found turtles on just about ever log we passed. Apparently, turtles don't come out to sun themselves until after noon.
The Patuxent Water Trail is a cooperative effort that pools the hard work and dedication of everyday citizens, nonprofit organizations, plus county, state and federal partners to provide public access and recreational opportunities on the Patuxent River. We spotted this location sign as we turned back up the estuarial channel, from the main river channel, toward our original entry point:
We are grateful for all the hard work of the groups supporting paddling on the Patuxent River, and we look forward to exploring more of the Patuxent River Trail.