A Visit with Mad Martha

It was a gray, overcast day with a little mist in the air.  A perfect day for a visit to Plum Island. I’m not a birder per say, but if I was, Plum Island would be a great place to come.  The marsh on the western side of the island is perfect for seeing all kinds of migratory birds.  In particular the piping plover (try saying that five times in rapid succession) nests here.  This was apparently in progress during our visit, so many of the trails were closed so as to not, ahem, disturb them.


The road by the marsh starts out as paved and then transitions to gravel.  There were only a few others around, so when we pulled over the car and cut the engine at one of the many pull-offs, it was a very peaceful place.  We even saw a couple of nesting Canadian geese, as well as a crane looking for lunch.


After a while, we started looking for lunch ourselves.  We drove towards the beach side of the island and found it.  Mad Martha’s.  A funky, tiny, clapboard beach bungalow that serves breakfast and lunch.  We pulled in and went inside.


It was a very small place full of big smells, all of them good.  To no surprise, it was packed, so we chose some seats at a big table in the center of the room.  This table was for sharing – you know, kind of like the singles table at a wedding – the place were the oddballs gathered.  We were so hungry, it didn’t matter.  We promptly ordered up a couple of the daily specials and spent few minutes longingly looking at everyone elses food.  Apparently unique salt and pepper shakers were the thing here as there were dozens of them – on tables, in neat little shelves on the wall, and on the dining counter than overlooked a basic kitchen.  We had seagulls and an egg and yoke on our table.


It wasn’t long before the food arrived…and we weren’t disappointed…


Needless to say we had food left over after stuffing our faces, but we were now fortified to continue our journey.  We paid the check and stepped back out into the cool, damp day – wishing we could hang around a bit longer.  Unfortunately that wasn’t to be on this trip.

If you ever find yourself in the vicinity of Plum Island off the coast of northern Massachusetts, stop in at Mad Martha’s.

You’ll be glad you did.

All photos by author.



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