Days 58-59 – Dover, DE

It’s always exciting to enter a new state! I don’t really remember why Dover was the place I put as my stopping point, particularly since the Trap Pond State Park I found was another hour or so south. Never matter, it was a decent spot. What struck me the most about Delaware was how flat it was. I mean, just no hills as far as I could see, accompanied with so many corn and soy bean farms! That don’t impress me much :).

As I arrived early enough in the day, I was able to find a dog friendly beach to relax on, dip my toes in the Atlantic, and drink a beer. And plan for my next day’s adventure.

Before leaving on my trip, I used a Thrillist article – The Most Underrated Place in Every State to find unique ideas of what to do. One such was the state park – and luckily state parks are dog friendly (whereas, federal are not…). When I got to the park, there was no attendant and only self-pay envelopes for the $8 fee. If you’re like me, you don’t carry cash, particularly in such an odd amount. I would advise stopping at the park station right before the park – there you can pay via credit card.

While the park is dog friendly, dogs are not allowed in any picnic or playground areas, which kind of blocks you from getting to the lake to be able to rent any water equipment. So I ‘illegally’ got to the dock, rented a canoe for an hour, and Jasper and I set out to paddle on the water.

I can say I am grateful to my dad and all the years at Camp Tilikum where I was taught how to maneuver in a canoe – they are interesting beasts for sure. And sadly, there was to be no lake swimming with the algae blooming (and dusting everything). We paddled a good amount down the lake, went among the banyan trees, around the lily-pads, and made it back in time (to not be charged for another hour). At the end I was a sweaty, algae-dusted mess, but the physical exertion felt good and it was worth the $8 rental fee. Jasper – was less than thrilled with the trip, but he survived.

Sadly, there were no showers, so I waited while I dried off, since I was pretty wet soaked through, and glad I wore my bathing suit under my clothes. I knew I wanted to stop at Dogfish Head on my way back to the hotel, but not in the current state I was in. I attempted a stop at Old Navy (thank you for being dog friendly!!), but was not happy with any of the options – though I did get jeans. I also stopped briefly in Rehoboth beach…tried on some sun dresses – but really, trying on clothes when you are sweaty sticky mess is not so flattering.

I got to Dogfish Head and remembered I’d stored a couple of items in my ‘to wash’ bag…they were much cleaner than my shorts. So a quick car change, and I was semi-more presentable to be among people. A great thing about Dogfish Head – is they allow dogs in their tasting room, and they give 4 free tastes to boot! I enjoyed the beer more than I thought I would (I’m not a huge IPA fan), and got a great sandwich wrap from the outdoor food truck. And then the rains started….I thought, eh, I can sit under the umbrella and stay relatively dry… Silly, Natalie, when will you learn that the rains on the East Coast are a lot more drenching than those in the NW?! We ran inside, and waited out the storm (which took out a few umbrellas and drenched those who dared to go outside in seconds).

I can say I was happy to get to my hotel and take a warm shower that night! The next day, as I headed south towards Virginia, I stopped for lunch in Annapolis – a very cool old city, with dog friendly pubs (though I looked a little odd sitting outside in that humidity). With food in our bellies, we were on to Fredericksburg!

Stayed At: Red Roof Inn Dover – $156.79 – 2 nights, dogs stay free

Ate At: (1) Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard – $4 chocolate/PB swirl; (2) Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – free 4-4oz pours (Namaste White, Flesh & Blood IPA, 60 Min IPA, Midas Touch), $5 60 Min IPA, $6 Suns Out Guns Out grain salad, Namaste chickpeas wrap, dog friendly (inside); (3) Rams Head Tavern – $7 watermelon gazpacho, $5.50 Rams Head IPA, $3 Mutt Meatballs, dog friendly patio

Visited: (1) Bowers Beach – free parking, dog friendly; (2) Trap Pond State Park – $8 parking fee, dog friendly; (3) Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk – hard to park, beaches are not dog friendly

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