Rave reviews for the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail
An Occupational Hazard brought my husband and me to the Chesapeake Bay. She was a red and white 15-foot bow rider, docked in Mayo, MD. We took her out on the water and fell in love. We bought a house in Shady Side, a block from the water, with a wet slip as part of the deal. Although our commute to Washington, DC, was hell, we lived the good life in that house for two years before my husband got transferred to Seattle, WA.
We hated Seattle but couldn’t leave for six years. When our circumstances changed, we chose Chesapeake Beach, MD, as our home base. Close friends toured the new house for us, and we moved into their neighborhood. They raved about biking on the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail that led from our neighborhood to the town marina.
I set out to walk the trail and immediately understood the raves. Tall trees, winter ground carpeted with dry leaves, bridges over the golden grasses of the marsh and quiet—the kind of quiet I remembered from my pre-maternal years. I started to walk every day, and with each walk I was rewarded. I saw Matilda, the great blue heron who fished the marsh. I saw hawks perched high on bare trees, eyeing the ground for prey. Ducks and gulls trolled the waters daily. Squirrels and songbirds crisscrossed my path. Walking on the trail made me feel like the Chesapeake/Latina version of Snow White.
As enraptured as I was with all the wildlife in the moment, I wanted to capture those moments on film. I brought my Cannon SureShot out and started snapping photos. Lots of them. I did the math: (five days/week) x (20 photos/day) = way too many photos.
Always practical, I wanted to find a way to display all those great shots. I thought about what to do for a while, and one day on the trail, it hit me. I could hang them up in the master bathroom. I was still decorating the house and until that moment, I’d wanted two things in the master bath: warm brown walls and the “steppingstone” rugs I’d found online. Adding the trail photos would create a nature theme in the bathroom and provide the calming vibe I sought.
I began to print and hang framed photos. I used document frames for the big ones and five-by-sevens for the small ones. I hung a large array over the bathtub and a small one next to the sink. As I continued to walk the trail, I took more photos, eventually bought a serious camera, and honed my skills. When I was tired of a photo or I had something better, I’d swap new photos into the mix. I also submitted photos to the town calendar contest and made it in for the last seven years.
Because of the Railway Trail, my master bathroom is a peaceful place to shower, bathe, and brush. The trail made me a photographer: a goal I never thought I’d achieve. And most importantly, it started my walking habit in a peaceful place to appreciate nature.
If you’d like to discover the Railway Trail, dock at Marina West at Fishing Creek in Chesapeake Beach. The entrance to the trail is next to the marina.
by Maria Bellos Fisher