Sunday, September 28, 2014

Eastern Shore Adventures

Sunday night. We left Forest yesterday, but I didn't write anything because it was just a travel day. Today was very quiet, so I am combining the two days. Maybe it will add up to a whole day.

We left the farm a little after 10:00 and drove east all day. We arrived at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel a little after 3:00. For those of you not familiar with eastern Virginia, the CBBT is a 17-mile complex of trestles, tunnels (2), and bridges that crosses the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. It connects at the northern end with a long peninsula that separates Chesapeake Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. It is called the Delmarva Peninsula because it contains parts of three states: Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. But it is commonly referred to as the Eastern Shore.

We stopped for lunch on the island for the first tunnel --- the only place you can stop in the crossing. Out in the middle of the Bay, looking toward the ocean, we saw several empty colliers waiting to take on a load of coal in Hampton Roads (which is a major coal-shipping port).

Colliers anchored at Lynhaven. In the distance is a container ship putting out to sea.

It was a pleasant crossing, sunny, warm, and not windy. We arrived at the Visitor Center at the end just after they closed. Our usual luck.

We proceeded a few miles up the road to Kiptopeke State Park and got a site in the campground. We had stayed here once before and liked it. The campground was fairly crowded but not full, so we claimed a spot and then drove a few miles up the road to a Food Lion to get some additional groceries.

Back at the campground, we walked down to the beach (it's on the Bay side). Along the way we passed a camper with three kayaks on top of his car. Two of them were wooden. We talked with him for a while, comparing his Chesapeake Light Craft kits with my Pygmy kit and other kayakie things.

We arrived at the beach in time for sunset, then back to the Roadtrek for drinks and snacks and a quiet evening.

Sunday (today) the campground pretty much emptied out. Only one RV came in during the afternoon. I walked back to the office to pay for another day. We walked down to the beach to sign up for a kayak tour of the concrete boats and the bridge, but the tour operator was sick today. The black line along the horizon (above) is a row of WWII ships built out of concrete; since sunk off-shore to form a breakwater. There was a period in the 60's when ferro-cement (concrete) was the hot material for amateur boat-building (snidely called "sailing sidewalks") and some very nice boats were produced. More common were large, half-finished hulls in people's back yards.

With no kayaking, we took a walk on a boardwalk through the woods and down to the beach. Since we expected to be out in kayaks I didn't bring a camera so I have no pictures from today. After all that walking, I sat down on the fishing pier to rest. Jean had a long conversation with a park ranger and I looked for migrating hawks. She was much more successful.

By the time we got back to the Roadtrek, I was ready for a nap. We lead such a hectic life when we are on the road.

After supper we went on an owl walk with the ranger. Not much action, perhaps beause it was overcast and owls need at least some light to hunt. After much calling, a screech owl showed up, though you could only see it when it flew between trees. It answered briefly, and I learned that despite its name, the screech owl is the quietest of the owls.

Then back to the ranch for some Cuba Libres and to write this blog. Another eventful day.

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