Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Delaware Crossing, Part II

You have to love a summer place. There is an intentional disregard for much that consumes 12 month homes and towns.  The colors become less serious. They seem to be set up with no work in mind but sitting, relaxing, and, if you're lucky, just gazing at the ocean. Some creative methods are employed to get folks a peek at the surf.  The widow's walk is a modern variation atop three story homes here otherwise blocked from an ocean view.


I can't imagine these places as entirely useful for aging boomers. Most of the newer homes have garages on the first floor and living space on the next two and use every square inch of property for building these enormous homes. If rental property can be packaged into the deal, all the better.

I promise my wife I will visit her shore town of Stone Harbor. It is a very pleasant family-oriented  town with lovely shops on a Main Street--or that was the way it was remembered. Word had reached Karen that her family's little Cape Cod style house had been sold once since her Mother sold it around 1980 for just above seven figures. This seemed unimaginable. The real estate market and what it does with ocean view property is, well.... Stupid! One day before too long it will be underwater in all ways.

Karen's place in Stone Harbor

I make it in time for the last Ferry at six. The 18 mile/80 minute crossing not only saves time but offers an exotic feel to a trip. Dolphins jump and dance as this steel hulk pulls out the harbor.  "Don't feed the sea gulls," the signs read. Encouraging them could cause a kid with a hot dog to get a real scare. The winds have the surf up and even this ship capable of carrying 100 vehicles had passengers going for the sea sickness bags.

I'm stationary and people come by and ask standard questions. "Where did you start?"  "Where are you going?"  "Where do you sleep?"  "How do you eat?" I like to give short answers because folks want to talk of their adventures. I like to hear their stories.  It seems to encourage their sense of adventure. They remember what it was like to take chances, to feel youthful.

Wifi is everywhere including this boat. I decide to e-mail Warm Showers, a bicycle home share that I've hosted but never been a guest of.  Here's one: A guy who's crossed  both the US and Canada on bike. Oh, he's been a pilot for humanitarian causes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It is nearly dark by the time the boat gets to Lewes, Delaware.  It looks it could rain any moment and it is getting dark fast. I start down the road assessing all the options including any place that is dry where I wouldn't be conspicuous or pulled in as a vagrant. I think this undignified for someone my age but there aren't a lot of options now. I ride for maybe six to ten miles. I don't have a computerized odometer--they made me obsessive. It's getting real dark. Finally, I come upon a pleasant motel set back and I settle in.  Just as I'm closing my eyes the cell rings and its Dan the bush pilot.  He's on the west coast working.

 "Sure the place is my parents' down the road and they gladly said they would take a guest. It's their payback for all the nice folks who took me in when I crossed Canada and the US. " Total strangers, we chatted.  Then  rolled over and went to sleep.

Dry Delaware night - in the hotel.

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