Mingo

I’m always on the lookout for more Small Towns. This is possibly not qualified as a Town, Hamlet, or even a Village. It’s just a place. But I’ll call it a town for now.

One of my stops on a vacation trip to Colorado was a small town of Mingo Kansas. From I-70 one goes west on County-K for about a mile, don’t blink or you might pass right through. Mingo’s main claims to fame is that it is the home of the oldest Geocache appropriately named Mingo. Placed in May of 2000, this cache is on the bucket list of many geocachers, we like finding geocaches of special significance. After finding the geocache I proceeded into Mingo itself to do a bit of exploring. The following photos don’t show much, and that’s right. There’s not much to the town, maybe a dozen houses, a church, the requisite Grain Elevators and a railroad. Most of the roads in the area are dirt, well, the Interstate is paved. From 1888 until 1940 Mingo had a post office. The closest towns of any size that show up on Google Maps are Colby and Oakley, each about 10 miles away.

The Railroad tracks

Tracks to the north
Looking to the north the tracks seem to go on forever.

Rails from the south
Looking the south the tracks go on forever too, but with a siding.

Grain Elevators

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Out in Wheat country, whatelse but grain elevators, of course they are along the railroad tracks.

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The only life I saw

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While I was wandreing around in Mingo, these three horses were the only living cratures i saw.

Other sights around Mingo

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What’s being hidden by the bush. There’s got to be something lurking in the window.

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This sees to be local art.

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None of the grass seemed long enough to need mowing. and the day I was there I doubt that the grass would grow. the temperature was near 100F and sunny.

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Where are the kids for the playground. Probably it is used when the parents are spending Sunday mornings in the Church.

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This looks like a typical rural road in Kansas – dirt.

Got any ideas of towns you’d like to see? Send me them in the comments.

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On the islands

Tylerton, Smith Island, MD

Three Juvenile Osprey on channel marker 11

Three Juvenile Osprey on channel marker 11

First View of Tylerton, Md. on Smith Island

TylertonThe “Port of Entry” is at the dock by the crain.

We’ve left Virginia behind and headed to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. This stop is on Tylerton one of three villages on Smith Island, Md, a small cluster of islands on the Maryland Virginia border. Smith Island lies about 9 miles east of Crisfield, the currently the only place to catch a boat that will take one to Smith Island. The other half of the cluster of islands is Tangier Island, Va. about 10 miles south. Listening to native familys takes one back in time, the dialect comes from Cornwall, the language is English but at times can be hard to understand. “Smith Island” consists of many pieces of land, the largest town is Ewell, then the town of Rhodes Point, and the smallest is Tylerton. Each on its own island.

The necessities

The "Welcome Center". It's the first stop after fetching baggage from the "Caption Jason II", the only way on and off the island.

The “Welcome Center”. It’s the first stop after after fetching baggage from the “Caption Jason II”, the only way on and off the island.

Tylerton does have its own Market and Post Office.

Tylerton does have its own Market and Post Office.

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The Drum Point Market supplies the necessities of life as well as delicious sandwiches for made to order.

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Yes, those antique PO Boxes are still used.

What’s in Tylerton

The main “industry” of the island is crabbing, though crabs are not as plentiful as they once were. Almost everywhere one looks you can see “crabpots“. Crabpots are one of the methods used to catch crabs.
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5-oystertongs_4003Oyster tongs, used to pull Oysters from the bottom during the open season.

Getting around in Tylarton

With a population of about 50 the longest street, Tylerton Rd is less than 1/2 miles long. Two Firetrucks, One Ambulance, and one Pick-Up truck make up the fleet of vehicles. However, Golf Carts abound, as well a bicycles. Most of the bikes I saw were “Beach Bikes” , one speed with coaster brakes. Long distance biking just isn’t done in Tylerton. The few I saw up close were wearing a Huffy Logo.

Outside the Drum Point Market at lunch time, plenty of parking space

Outside the Drum Point Market at lunch time, plenty of parking space

Crowded parking at the dock just before the morning run to Crisfield.

Crowded parking at the dock just before the morning run to Crisfield.

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Not a Yellow Cab, or even an UBER Car.

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Staying on the island

Before I take a photo stroll I want to mention, there are places to stay, one is “The Inn Of Silent Music“. The inn, a B&B serves wonderful breakfasts and dinners. Lunch are available at the Drum Point Market. If you time your visit right the Inn might serve a Smith Island Layer Cake. On the night I was lucky enough to have a piece, one of the layers included Peaches.
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Sunset from the Inn Of Silent Music

Sights while just walking around Tylerton

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A White Post in White Post

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White Post, Va

Again, I’m back in Virginia on a scenic byway. Cruising down US 340 south of US 50, I came to Va 659, a small road off to the left. Not wanting to stay on major highways, I took the turn, and in about half a mile, I came to the small town of White Post.

6-WhitePost_2991True to its name, there was a white post sitting in the middle of the only intersection in town. Atop the post are street signs for the four roads leading out from it.

Turning left at the post on “Berry’s Ferry” took me out of town. Soon, I was out in the countryside passing by farms, when I came upon the White Post Railroad Station, now standing abandoned and unused.
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Returning to the white post for a short photo walk led me to some really old historic buildings and two churches standing side by side.

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1797 Livery Stable General Store


Messilla Farm Shop

Messilla Farm Shop


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Greenway Court Parish

Greenway Court Parish


White Post United Methodist

White Post United Methodist


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Post Office

Post Office

Walking south from the Post Office one comes to the only business in town. White Post Restorations. If you’re even close to White Post, be sure to stop in, it’s definitely worth your time.
By “restorations” they mean antique car restoration. Cars and all kinds of other vehicles are being restored to look like new, or even better than new. It’s not a showroom or museum, it’s a working restoration shop. Stop in the office and introduce yourself, and ask about taking a look around

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Are there any OLD ships here?

So far my wanderings have been on the Western shore of Maryland, and into Georgia, Virginia and Pennsylvania. For this month’s article I’ve ventured into the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Chestertown, the county seat of Kent County. The latest census counted a bit over 5000 residents. Chestertown sits on the Chester River and is home to Washington College. Chestertown has a rich maritime history. What follows is a small collection of photos that show the some of the town when it is not having one of many festivals.

Chestertown











Downrigging

In the fall Chestertown is home to the Sultana Project’s Downrigging Weekend, one of the largest annual Tall Ship and wooden boat festivals on the East Coast. The Pride of Baltimore II‘s home is just across the bay, in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor also makes it’s annual appearance, taking time off from visiting other ports of call. The Downrigging has become a celebration of maritime culture, wooden boats, and everything else that makes the Chesapeake Bay great.





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The Priode of Baltimore II in the Chester River

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The Sultana under sail in the Chesapeake Bay

What’s next?

I’m not sure where my travels will bring me next, but I’m planning on somewhere more inland. Anyone with suggestions is encouraged to send them along as a comment.

I guess I could sign off with TTFN (who knows what that means?)

From the Winery to good Dining in Orrtanna

It’s been too long since my last entry here, I’ll use the lame excuse that many businesses are claiming for low profits, “It’s because of bad weather“. But I’ve resumed my rambling around. This time I’m in Orrtanna, Pennsylvania, a few miles west of Gettysburg in a “Census-designated place“, a description I hadn’t heard of before.

Orrtanna is located in western Adams County at the eastern foot of South Mountain. The community is primarily in the northeast corner of Hamiltonban Township, with a small portion extending into the northwest corner of Highland Township.
– Wikipedia

I bicycle through here from time to time. In the late summer I enjoy the aroma of apples in the orchards that are full of shiny red apples waiting for the harvest. One end of Orrtanna is home to the Adams County Winery, making what I consider some really good wine – but I’m no wine expert. At the other end of Orrtanna is one of my favorite places to dine, the Hickory Bridge Farm. I’ve eaten at the Hickory Bridge many times, always enjoying the dining experience, but have yet to stay at the Bed and Breakfast.

The following are some photos of the town, starting at the winery one afternoon with a craft festival, moving through town to the Hickory Bridge Farm and the bell, Yes I’ve rung it a few times.









Point of Rocks

My last article focused on Lucketts, Virginia. Driving north on US-15 from there we cross into Maryland at the Potomac River, just over the river we come to Point Of Rocks. Before turning onto MD-28 into Point of Rocks take a quick look to the left and you can see the original tunnel that bears the name of the town.


Today the town has spread northward to a few subdivisions, another of the many bedroom communities surrounding Washington. But as usual I’m concentrating on the old towns and one of its raison d’être, the railroad station. The other reason is that it is located on the C&O Canal, but more of the canal in a later article.



As seems to be the habit of small towns, Point of Rocks has a fair number of churches and one convenience store/gas station, and of course a small town park.

But what is most important, a railroad station. This station has the reputation of being one of the most photographed station in this part of the country, and I’ve contributed to that reputation.

Many freight trains pass through here, both from Washington to the south and Frederick a few miles north on their way westward. This station is one of the stops on the MARC Commuter Train in southern Frederick County and Loudoun County in northern Virginia.


Twice a day Amtrak’s CAPITOL LIMITED passes through Point of Rocks on its trips between Washington, DC and Chicago.

Lucketts

I’m out again looking for small towns, really small towns. This time I’m concentrating on a couple in Northern Virginia, and in particular, Luckletts. In the words of Wikipedia it’s a Historic Hamlet. I’ve been through here many times, always on the way to somewhere else. It’s a bit bigger than a wide spot in the road but not much. It is on US-15, a busy highway that starts at Interstate 86 in Painted Post, New York (near Corning, NY) and runs almost 792 miles south through Pa, Md, Va, and NC to its terminus at Alternate U.S. Route 17 in Walterboro, South Carolina. (near I-95 a few miles west of Charleston, SC). In the Maryland/Virginia it’s easily found running between Frederick, Md. and Leesburg, Va.

In Lucketts one can find a gas station/convenience store, and a few Antique Shops, the largest seems is The Old Luckletts Store. But Luckletts is also well-known in the Blue Grass community. For 40 years it’s been home to Lucketts Bluegrass a (mostly) weekly bluegrass concert during the cooler months and festivals in the Community Center.

This is the old Schoolhouse, recently rehabilitated and now the Community Center – much later than my first walk in November, it’s now tjhe end of January with snow on the ground.

I took these photos as I strolled around the hamlet one November afternoon


The Lucketts Store

Or you may find what you need to decorate your estate or mansion at Really Great Finds


The Beekeepers Cottage. I especially like the polka-dot patterns on the shutters.


A colorful antique shop about 2 mile south of town.


Across the street from the Lucketts Store

An American Black Walnut tree dropped some of its nuts outside the community center. These nuts start out with a thick green husk, then a very hard nut. After they drop the green husk turns black, and anything like fingers or clothes that comes in contact also turns black. It is the source for a Black Walnut stain to use on wood projects.
These are not the beige walnuts you find in most grocery stores. The nut meat in these has a richer, I’d call it a deeper flavor than the English variety. This is what I prefer in Brownies, Cookies and in my Oatmeal.


Yes that’s a 1950 Ford Coupe that I featured in another blog post


Faith Chapel Presbyterian Church is only a couple of miles from town

Once off US-15 one can find many peaceful country lanes through the surrounding farmland.