Local bike-or-hike paths connect coastal communities — and the like-minded folks drawn to them

By Jeanne Shook
Photograph by Rob Waters 
From the June 2021 issue

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If you ask Siri, “How do I get to Gordons Pond?” don’t be surprised if she replies, “You can’t get there from here.” Even Siri knows that some of coastal Delaware’s most scenic spots are not accessible unless the mode of transportation is bicycle or shoe leather express.

Biking the trails in coastal Delaware is akin to surfing in Southern California: a year-round activity so embraced by residents and visitors alike that it’s become an integral part of the Slower Lower ethos, earning the state national attention. The League of American Bicyclists currently ranks Delaware sixth in the country on its list of bicycle-friendly states. And Lewes has been singled out as a bronze-level “Bicycle Friendly Community,” the league’s designation for towns and municipalities that foster a culture of bicycling for everyone. 

A Win for Marine Life

By Lynn R. Parks 
From the June 2021 issue

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Merchants in coastal Sussex are operating under a ban of single-use plastic shopping bags that went into effect statewide Jan. 1. As directed by a law passed in 2019 by the General Assembly, the ban affects stores larger than 7,000 square feet and chains of at least three stores when each of which is 3,000 square feet in size or larger. Restaurants are not included.

Suzanne Thurman, founder and executive director of the MERR (Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation) Institute, would have preferred the state take stronger steps, stopping even more stores from using the bags. Still, she calls the law a good starting place.

How I broke out of the Los angeles quarantine and formed a brand-new relationship with my childhood hometown

By Carrie Daniel
Illustration by Patti Shreeve 
From the June 2021 issue

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On Sept. 5, 2020, just a few minutes before midnight, I found myself at the end of Olive Avenue in Rehoboth Beach sprinting across the sand and into the Atlantic Ocean with tears of joy in my eyes. 

My mother laughed at me from the boardwalk as I, a fully grown woman, frolicked around in the sand and the waves like a 7-year-old. 

“I’m free!” I shouted. “Everything is so beautiful!” I’d just stepped out of the car after the long drive from BWI airport to Rehoboth. For six months, I’d been quarantined inside of my apartment in Los Angeles and had not seen a single friend, nor a single sunset over the ocean. You would think that, in a place like LA, it would be easy to access such beauty during a lockdown. But the beach-adjacent walkways, when they were even open to the public, had been shockingly crowded. Every time I tried to go for a walk basically anywhere, I felt like I was stuck in a bad video game, in which I had to dodge deathly obstacles — potential carriers of the plague — at every turn. Nothing about attempting a beach outing, or a walk in a public park, felt relaxing. Plus, it was fire season. The last day I’d been in LA (Burbank specifically), it had been 111 degrees outside, and the day I left, there had been massive forest fires encroaching on nearby Pasadena. The forecast on my iPhone, rather than reading “Sunny” or “Extreme Heat,” simply read: “Smoke.”