“Get back Part 3”

From 1985-1990 we “belonged” to the Washington, D.C. area, including Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  These were pivotal years in our lives, during which Eric worked for the State of Alaska, and Eulalie held her first captain’s post at the Echo Hill Outdoor School.  In addition,  Eric went to night school for his law degree and Eulalie helped clean up the Exxon Valdez oil spill while working as an environmental consultant.  Oh yeah, if that all wasn’t enough, Beth and Jean were both born (1990 and 1987).  Given the area’s importance to us, we allowed two weeks to explore and reconnect.  We enjoyed a hike to the Great Falls and an extended stay on the Eastern Shore.  Visits included Eulalie’s sisters Kate and Mary Helen and their families, Eric’s friends from college and elementary school and Eulalie’s best friend from high school and the Echo Hill Outdoor School’s directors.

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Evey, Mike and Kathy Hill’s dog, hosted us for our first week in D.C., while Mike and Kathy were in New Hampshire.  After a year of living on Elizabeth Jean and out of the back of our car, we enjoyed having a home complete with pooch for a week.  Eric and Mike met at Williams College where they worked with other students to create the Williams Orientation to Outdoor Living for Freshman.  Another of Eric’s Williams classmate, Nick Spiliotes and his wife, Lauri and their family welcomed Eric for Sunday pastries.

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Rapids at Great Falls Park, which we visited with Eric’s boyhood chum, Steve Hall and his wife Marggy.  We also shared a delightful dinner with Eulalie’s high school friend and sailing buddy, Sara Cartmell and her husband Bill Tennis.  Time with these early friends dialed back the decades as no fountain of youth could, reminding us of how far we’ve traveled and how much we have remained the same.

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Eulalie and her sister Kate enjoyed a morning visit to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, established by a Civil War veteran, outside Washington D.C.

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Eulalie’s sister Mary Helen and her husband Richard Bogan rolled out the welcome deck at their Tilghman Island home on Maryland’s Eastern shore.  As noted in our August 24 post, Richard mapped out a wonderful car tour to keep us busy during our stay.  Mary Helen introduced Eric to this game to keep him out of trouble.  If you look closely, you can see that Eric has released a ring on a string to find a hook on the post.  Eric, if not the ring, was more than firmly hooked by this past time.

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The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum also captivated us for two days of visits.  A subsequent post will provide museum highlights.

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In the spring of 1986, Eulalie worked as an educator at Echo Hill Outdoor School, founded by Andrew and Betsy McGowan to introduce school students to the Eastern Shore’s natural and cultural history.

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The Elsworth, a vintage Chesapeake Bay skip jack is the pride of Echo Hill’s fleet of vintage work boats.  Andrew fished the Elsworth for nine years and shared a third of the profits with the Outdoor School to help pay for the vessel.  Twenty eight years ago, Eulalie captained another Echo Hill vessel, the schooner Strombus for a school summer program.

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The top of the Echo Hill Alpine Tower challenge course.

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Eulalie, at the bottom of the tower, provides perspective on its size.

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These wise words grace Andrew and Betsy’s log cabin at the edge of the Echo Hill swamp.

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Rat’s immortal words, in our guest room at Richard and Mary Helen’s, still puts it best.  We are feeling Elizabeth Jean’s tug west to resume our “messing about.”

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Before we departed, Mary Helen and Richard showed us the art and science of eating blue crab.  As far as messing about goes, such feasting places a close second to boating in our books.

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