As with most road trips, once we start heading homeward, our sense of adventure wanes slightly. But we still try to break up the trip home with a few activities, mostly focused on stretching our legs between long hours of driving.
We left Wilmington, NC, on Wednesday morning, aiming for Dismal Swamp State Park in Camden County, NC. The name itself made us want to check it out. We found a boardwalk loop and other walking trails along a canal. As usual, we heard more birds than we actually saw. A foursome of deer surprised us on one of the trails. Or maybe we surprised them.
The park was on the North Carolina/ Virginia border, so we crossed into Virginia soon after leaving there. Wednesday night, we parked overnight at Chesapeake Golf Club in Chesapeake, Virginia, as part of our Harvest Hosts membership. Their restaurant was closed, so we took a ride downtown to eat supper. Then, we had the parking lot at the golf club to ourselves for the night.
Golfers started arriving early on Thursday morning, so we drove to a nearby Walmart parking lot to make our breakfast in the van. Then, we were off to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel before the traffic got too heavy. It was 79 degrees out, as it had been for days, but the wind was gusting. The bay waters were choppy, but strangely we didn’t feel the gusts while driving across the bridge. The bridge-tunnel spans about seventeen miles. It was an experience, for sure. I unexpectedly found myself a little motion-nauseous by the end. Here are a few pics taken as we crossed.
Just over the bridge, we found the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge. We needed to get out and stretch our legs anyway. As you can see, you never know what you’ll find at one of these places…
After that adventure, we made ourselves lunch in the van and got back on the road. We left Virginia for Maryland, made a pit stop somewhere in Maryland or Delaware where Mark made a new friend. Yes, that’s a pedal-powered car!
The temperature dropped from almost eighty to the mid-sixties as we traveled north. We arrived at Fordham & Dominion Brewing in Dover, Delaware, late Thursday afternoon. Just in time for Mark to sample their beer, share some Treehouse with a few people, and order barbecue from a food truck, before the trivia night crowd packed the place.
We retreated to the van where I joined my chorus rehearsal via Zoom. At 10 p.m. we heard faint music which we slowly realized sounded like Taps and was probably coming from the Air Force base nearby. Felt like we were being sent off to sleep in style. We spent the night parked at the brewery as the temps dropped into the forties.
Friday morning, after hitting yet another Walmart parking lot, we drove to Blackbird State Forest in Smyrna, Delaware, for a little exercise despite the cold wind.
From Delaware, we drove up to Poughkeepsie, New York, to stay at a Holiday Inn for our final night. The temperature had dropped into the thirties by the time we arrived and promised to drop into the teens overnight. We left the heat on in the van all night to keep everything from freezing. In the morning, we blew as much water out of the lines as we could before we left the hotel parking lot. Light snow fell as we finished up and pulled out onto the road.
The snow got heavier for a while, but then tapered and stopped completely as we entered Massachusetts via the Pike. We were glad to leave the flurries behind because we knew our driveway at home was already covered in snow and ice from the recent storm. And we’d heard reports that another storm would be coming in a few days. To our surprise, we arrived home to find that some nice neighbor had cleared a spot for us in our driveway.
At the end of another adventure, lest you think it was all fun and games, let me remind you that no road trip is flawless. Life doesn’t work that way. But that’s OK. We may have had a glass jar full of homemade maple-rosemary nuts come flying from an overhead cabinet and smash on the floor, and a leaky cooler that soaked my camera bag and sheet music and ruined my Peterson’s bird book. But it’s all part of the adventure. Hope you enjoyed it. We did. 🙂