Tilghman Island and Harrison’s Chesapeake House – another great motorcycle ride on the Chesapeake Bay

The Bay

Saturday, June 7th was a day full of adventure, exploration, fact-finding, romance, and a little too much sun.  We had already checked out a few places last week in Rock Hall, MD in hopes of finding a great fishing getaway for Dad’s father’s day gift.  The town was great, and the trip was nice, but nothing had really jumped out at us.  Then some friends from First State HOG suggested a place down at Tilghman Island–a little farther south and just past St Michael’s which we’ve heard so much about.

After a nice home-cooked omelet breakfast, we headed down Rt 13 towards Mikes Famous HD in Smyrna where we planned to check out the Open House event for a little bit and hook up with Lem & Darlene McMaster (who had suggested the new location).  Jay let me lead since I am more familiar with the roads “south of the canal.”  We only got as far as Odessa before I spied two bright orange Ultras just ahead.   I knew it had to be the McMasters!  A few blocks later, we caught up and filed into formation just behind them.  Our ride had begun ahead of schedule.

By the time we arrived at Mike’s the morning fog and haze had lifted, giving way to what was already becoming a super-scorcher of a day with temps in the mid-90s and heat index around 100 degrees!  Outside they were busy setting up tents, and inside a few volunteers from our chapter were busy wrapping up cheeseburgers for the day’s festivities.  After exchanging greetings with the volunteers, using the restroom, and slathering up with tons of sunscreen we hit the road.  I have to admit I felt a little guilty leaving them there working while we were out enjoying the day, especially since I am the Volunteer Coordinator and all…..oh well, c’est la vie!

Lem decided that I (being the newest rider) should ride wing just behind him, and his son Nic (who has been going through the extensive “Lem McMaster Training Program” for the past year) would fill in to the tailgunner slot.  We took all kinds of country roads, winding through farmland to head toward our destination.  Along the way we discovered that we were following parts of the Underground Railroad MD scenic byway.  We stopped for a water break in a tiny little town that wasn’t much bigger than the convenience store and gas station where we rested, then headed back on our way.  Lem was extremely careful to point out every manhole cover and uneven pavement for me.  He even kicked a dead squirrel out of the roadway.  At one point he was actually pointing with both feet at the same time!  Lem signalled for single-file riding every time we passed someone pulled over on the shoulder…and there were a lot of them considering everyone and their brother was having a yard sale that day!

After a little while, we ran into Rt 50 also known as Ocean Gateway because it is the main thoroughfare for all of Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington DC to get “daown the oshun” as they say where I come from in Balmer.  Anyway, in stark contrast to the roads I talked about in my post about riding within your limits, Rt 50 is a 6-lane highway which is heavily travelled on weekends during the summer months.  This actually did not phase me in the least.  As we pulled up to the first stop light (which I surmised to be at the south end of Cambridge), Lem told me that we overshot our mark by about 20 miles and would have to head back up Rt 50 for a ways.  I nodded in agreement, and we took off as the light turned green. 

A few moments later, it occurred to me that we would have to go over the Choptank River bridge!  OK, not ony are we going 60 mph in heavy traffic on a 6-lane highway, but we will be going over a mile+ long bridge too!  My initial reaction was not “oh shit!” (as I would have expected), but to my surprise “Woo-HOO!!”  This was fun!  🙂  The temperature as we passed over the water quickly dropped what felt like 20 degrees.  It was like much-welcomed air conditioning along the scorching pavement.  I wasn’t scared or nervous at all.  And with the cool air hitting us, I felt like I could’ve just ridden back and forth across that bridge for the rest of the afternoon.

Shortly thereafter we turned off toward St Michael’s, and stopped for gas (my Sporty doesn’t go far on its 3-gallon tank) and water before heading for our destination.  Lem told me I was doing great riding, and that from here on out was going to be a test.  He was taking my training wheels off.  I was to anticipate the single-file situations and look for my own road hazards.  He would be watching me in his rearview mirror to see how I did.  (Gee, I didn’t know that I was participating in the famed “Lem McMaster Training Program.”  But if you are going to learn, you should learn from the best!)

St Michael’s is a quaint little town, very touristy, but not as close to the water as I had imagined.  We headed straight through to the end of Tilghman Island for a photo op.  I swear I could look out over the Chesapeake Bay for days on end and still be in awe of it.  The rocks, the water, the sky, the expanse…its all so magical and romantic.  And seeing as it was our 11-monthiversary, Jay & I couldn’t help but take advantage of the opportunity for a little schwoopy schwoopy.

Schwoopy, Schwoopy

After the photo op it was time to head back to our destination, Harrison’s Chesapeake House.  Lem, Darlene, Nic, and Mallory went to get us a table on the screened-in deck while Jay and I talked to the lady at the reservation desk about availability of rooms and the fishing party boat for Dad.  They welcomed us to look around and check the place out.  It is rustic, and right on a marina.  Captain Buddy’s boat is docked right next to our table on the deck.  They have a swimming pool, and a nice porch to just sit and read.  There is a huge restaurant inside that serves 3 meals a day on top of the deck that serves lunch and dinner.  The whole place is decorated with pictures and framed newspaper clippings of famous people who had eaten there or gone on fishing trips.  Dad is going to love it!  And it’s even cheaper than the place we had previously picked out in Rock Hall.  Harrison’s is perfect.

Are they crabs yet?

We feasted on all-U-can-eat steamed crabs for a late lunch…the kind they only make in Maryland!  (short paragraph, but ’nuff said!!!)

We needed to head a few miles farther up Rt 50 to catch Rt 213 for the ride back home.  Along the way, I spied a disabled vehicle on the shoulder and threw up the single-file sign, getting over to the left portion of the lane in case the guy quickly opened a door or his spare tire started to roll out into the street.  I got an immediate “thumbs up” from both Lem and Darlene.  Guess I must’ve passed the test!

It wouldn’t be a ride with the McMasters if we didn’t get ice cream, especially on a day as hot as this one.  So we stopped at The Real McCoy just outside of Chesapeake City to top off our day.  All tolled, we road 250 miles that day.  We used an entire can of sunscreen and I still got burnt on the insides of my elbows.  We shared good times with good friends.  And we accomplished our mission searching for a father’s day gift.

I’ve done more living in these past 11 months since Jay & I got married than I can even remember.  I am looking forward to many more happy months and years ahead.  Let’s ride….

To see all of our pictures from this trip, click here.

4 Responses to “Tilghman Island and Harrison’s Chesapeake House – another great motorcycle ride on the Chesapeake Bay”

  1. It is good to see two people enjoy each other so much. Enjoyed reading about the trip and the picts. May your “more living” continue until the end of time and never let the honeymoon end.

  2. Great post! thanks for sharing your trip with us!

    I know how you feel…when I first married Big D, I used to tell him “I have lived more since meeting you than ever before!” We’ve been married nearly 11 years now, and I still feel the same way! I hope it never ends for you. 🙂

  3. It’s nice to see that you can make RC kick up his heel with a kiss! Harley and I celebrated our 28th anniversary on the 14th of June. We were mere babies when we married, and we are still going strong! Here’s to living happily ever after!

  4. […] eastern shore is a gem of a destination known as Tilghman Island. Diana and I were introduced to Tilghman Island in 2008 when friends took us on a ride to Harrison’s Chesapeake House for crabs. Harrison’s […]

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