Highway signs near the Bay Bridge in Maryland are plentiful, steering you toward the ocean or away from it, marking traffic lanes and luring people to local businesses. Among the signs on this busy corridor is a simple one for the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center. Is it worth the stop? Yes, it is.
“We don’t want to be a hidden gem, but we sort of still are,” said assistant director Vicki Paulas.
It’s easy to reach the home of John Tyler, the 10th president of the United States. Just follow the John Tyler Memorial Highway in Charles City County, VA.
The Sherwood Forest plantation, where members of the Tyler family have lived since the former president purchased it in 1842, doesn’t see the traffic of nearby attractions. It’s hard to stand out in a state with so much presidential history. Virginia offers the birthplaces and ancestral homes of Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, to name just a few. And Tyler, a one-termer whose biggest accomplishment was annexing the Republic of Texas, may not be our most memorable commander in chief.
Mid-morning, mid-April. Traffic’s crawling as we depart from Annapolis near U.S. 50. We can count on the Orioles home game later today to snarl roads as we pass through Baltimore. North of the city, homebound commuters will reliably choke Interstate 83 as we continue to our destination in York, PA.
At least, that would be the experience if we were going by car. But we’re two-wheeling it, pedaling the East Coast Greenway. The greenway is a glorious, public, work-in-progress, a hopeful counterweight to the interstate highway system that began transforming transportation in the United States 60 years ago.