The first part of the hike was a 3-mile loop (the "head" of the lollipop) around Terrapin Beach Park. Then we headed east on the Cross-Island Trail on an out-and-back hike of 8 miles (the "stick" of the lollipop).
It was a well-attended hike -- about 40 people.
It was overcast all morning but unseasonably warm, with temperatures in the 50s.
Looking west at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. This picture was taken at 10:40 a.m. and it was still pretty foggy on the Bay. Near the top of the photo, you can just make out a flock of ducks or geese in flight.
Canada geese with two ducks in the foreground
Map of the Cross-Island trail (oriented with West at the top). You could go at your own pace and as far as you wanted for this part of the hike. Carol and I went out only about 4 miles, because I did some letterboxing along the way, and we wanted to get back in time for the late lunch.
The last time I hiked this trail was on a cold and windy day in January 2007.
There are two deer in this picture.
Loved this dead tree full of turkey vultures.
I was glad to see volleyball courts at Love Point Park.
The Cross-Island Trail is a rail trail -- a defunct railroad track that has been turned into a recreational trail. The Queen Anne's Railroad used to run from Kent Island to Lewes, DE. When the Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened in the 1950s, much of the railway fell into disuse.
This "lighthouse" is actually a water tower in the Queen's Landing condo development.
The skies begin to clear (taken at 12:20 p.m.).
After finding a letterbox near this bench just past the 4-mile marker, we turned around and headed back to the starting point.
Great blue heron
Unfortunately, this is the only picture I got of this hawk before it flew to another tree. It has something in its claw.
Enlarged section of the previous photo. It looks like a frog!
Same bird, different tree, different angle. Still out of focus.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the distance
After the hike, some of us went to a restaurant in nearby Stevensville for a late lunch.
Mike took this picture of our table.
We shared an eggplant, mozzarella, and tomato Napoleon as an appetizer.
Charlie is happy that the bread has arrived, while Carol, who is on a gluten-free diet, gazes longingly at it.
I think Carol is telling the bread to stay away from her.
She resisted the temptation.
Behind the restaurant is historic Cray House.
The Stevensville train depot was moved to this spot after the Queen Anne's Railroad ceased to operate on Kent Island.
Driving home on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge