For the next few posts, I’ll be writing and showing photos about the Delmarva Peninsula, a relatively flat 5000-square mile wedge of land between the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays along the mid-Atlantic coast of the U.S. It includes most of the state of Delaware, the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and the narrow neck of Virginia. I’ve spent a lot of time there over the years and cherish its beaches, wetlands, quaint small towns, farmlands and rural landscapes. First, here’s a story about how my love affair with this region began.
When I was a boy, from about eight years on, once a summer my father took me with his buddy Charlie on crabbing trips on the Delaware Bay. Excited with anticipation, I could barely fall asleep when I had to go to bed at 8:00. My mother would wake me just after midnight, and the three of us would set off for Woodland Beach, Delaware from Pottstown in western Montgomery County, Pennsylvania for the four hour drive (before the network of current highways was built). After breakfast at the long-gone Smyrna Diner, we drove the 10 miles out Route 6 to the fishing village of Woodland Beach.
The last few miles before we reached the boat rental seemed dreamlike, as the road entered the wetlands in the inky black pre-dawn. Back then, many of these country roads were two lanes, yet only one was paved; the other lane was gravel and dirt. Water and marsh grasses lined both sides of the road, which sometimes flooded during high tides, and when the moon shone, the water turned to silver ribbons lining the road in the late night darkness.