As I scanned google maps looking for the ideal bike route, Betterton, MD – with a whopping 6 streets and a public beach at the mouth of the Sassafras River stood out. Betterton. Yes, I liked the sound of this. I imagined that life was tranquil, slow to be precise – and that would be a good thing. Ideal, most likely. Simply better. Yes, life I imagined was indeed BETTER in Betterton. I simply had to explore this on my bike and see for myself.
I left the marina at Georgetown Yacht Basin, and pedaled thru the towns of Galena, and Still Pond along lightly auto-traveled roads with wide shoulders perfect for biking, and landscapes lined with farms. The Maryland Eastern shore is delightfully undeveloped compared to it’s more populated and urban western shore. Tho, don’t let the relatively flat terrain fool you into thinking that this will be an easy-peazy bike ride. The headwinds are strong, and relentless. But, the headwinds didn’t matter, as I was en route to BETTERton and enjoying a high-octane endorphin ride on Ms. Madone.
Within 45 minutes, I had reached the town line of Betterton. It was exactly as I had imagined. Large, old homes built in the early 1900’s lined the main street. I didn’t see any people or traffic during my 15 minute visit – but the people of Betterton were most likely taking a break and sipping tea. This is my vision of Betterton. I descended to the end of the road – which led straight to the Betterton public beach. The views were astounding. To the north – were the Susquehanna and Elk rivers – that fed into the Chesapeake Bay. To the east – is the winding Sassafras River. I spent a few moments absorbing the scenery.
But wait – what are these signs posted along the beachfront? Upon closer inspection – I discovered that the beach was contaminated. This is due to the fact that the water is unsafe for swimming. Basically, LOOK – but don’t TOUCH. So sad to see such beauty, and to discover that it is polluted to unacceptable levels. As I looked along Main Street in Betterton MD – I held tight to my vision that life is BETTER here. Just don’t swim in the water.