Last Friday, on Black Friday, instead of hitting the malls or shopping online, I escaped to go paddling in my kayak. I explored the streams, rivers, and wetlands at Point Lookout State Park, in far southern Maryland.
The thousand-acre park is at the tip of a narrow peninsula sticking far out into the Chesapeake Bay, at its confluence with the Potomac River.
About a quarter mile out into the river, a forest of wooden poles rose up with fishing nets suspended between them. Brown pelicans, double-crested cormorants and seagulls perched on the ends of the poles, looking down on the pound nets – fishers, keeping a hungry eye on the work of fishermen.
After a few hours of fishing with my feathered colleagues, I put down my rod and dragged my boat up onto the shore. I was on a crescent of sand, with no footprints – only oyster shells, driftwood, and gently lapping waves. It was a stunningly beautiful landscape. And because of its beauty, it was hard to imagine the dark and bloody history that unfolded here