Sunday, September 24, 2017

Fredericksburg Virginia to Corolla North Carolina

There was no need to leave early this morning because check in time at the house in Corolla was 4:00 PM and it was less than 240 miles. After moving our bags to the cars, the four of us enjoyed the hotel hot buffet breakfast at 8:00 AM, with Linda and I having scrambled eggs and sausage. I added gravy to to my eggs, while Sandy had Raisin Bran. While we were down eating, housekeeping stripped our bed under the mistaken impression we had checked out. When we actually did go to the desk to check out, the clerk apologized but told us the computer said we were already gone, probably because the room was prepaid. Good hotel, though. I would stay here again.

Sandy and I needed some things at WalMart, water for one. With the hurricane watches getting more insistent, I decided it would be better to do that here rather than in the Outer Banks, just in case. We also got two camp chairs. These were more bulky that our other ones because, being labeled "Big & Tall", they were larger, stronger and padded. We topped the visit off with some Sargiento cheese and nut snacks.

Out west, the WalMart gas stations are branded Murphy. This was the first actual WalMart gas station I could remember. We paid $2.319 per gallon, the best price I have since the beginning of the month.

Our successful Walmart expedition

WalMart pumps

I was surprised to see a gas station named Wawa with a goose on the sign. The town of Wawa in Ontario means "wild goose" in the local Ojibway Indian dialect. It turned out that there was an unincorporated community in Greater Philadelphia named Wawa because of flocks of geese found there. Why they new Ojibway was a mystery to me. The east coast Wawa chain includes gas, convenience stores and retail food. 

A familiar name in an unfamiliar place

US 17 had some very nice tunnels of trees. The forests had a completely different feel from those yesterday in Pennsylvania, which again feel different from ours back home.

Tunnel of Trees

Bob stopped on the main street of Tappahannock, Virginia. It was quiet on this Sunday morning and we got out to explore the oldest town in Essex County. Apparently Captain John Smith landed here in 1608, operating from the newly founded Jamestown colony, but was driven away by the local natives. Still, settlement started in 1682 and the includes a number of historic buildings. We walked down the main street to the river and back.

They claim history back to John Smith's first landing in 1608

This building looks so "Virginia"

Photographer at work

Another monument to Civil War soldiers

But we're south of the Mason Dixon line

Another well built old house

Down by the "rivah"....

Everything is closed on Sunday

This place needs a little work

Bridge over the Rappahannock River

Kudzu - the vine that ate the south

Main Street - Tappahannock Virginia

This is what a really good photographer looks like

Self portrait

Ritchie House built in 1706

Still in use today

The pause that refreshes

Even the fountain is historic

This is as close as Sandy will get to a Mexican restaurant

After a bathroom break and snack stop at another Sheetz, we continued southeast. We crossed the York River at Yorktown and then traffic got busier as we approached Newport News and Hampton. Linda had wondered whether it would be better to take the bridge over the James River, or the tunnel. She really did not want to go under the river and the very long bridge worked out quite well.

Whoever sees Crossfires any more?

Approaching the James River Bridge

It's a long way across

Shipyards at Hampton

Still not across the James River

Interesting pilings with a story

Chesapeake side of the river

Does anyone know what this is?


Time to reread Michener

Another water tower for Tom and Heather

"Oh, to be kept" - Inquiring minds want to know......

We stopped in Chesapeake and went a ways off the highway to find a McDonald's for lunch. I relented and had a triple hamburger (two patties from my double and one more from Sandy's). The demographic here seemed to be almost exclusively African-American but with a distinct middle class feel.

Fed again, we continued south and crossed into North Carolina on State Road 168. This took us all the way down a peninsula to Point Harbor, where a long bridge took us over to the Outer Banks (aka OBX). From there, we wound our way north on the narrow spit of land/sand, using the only road through Nags Head and Duck to Corolla.

Tugboats on the Elizabeth River

First Outer Banks sign

We are almost there

Apparently tractors are a hazard

Another water tower for the kids

We are off the mainland

There's a reassuring thought with a hurricane in the neighborhood

The vegetation is lush

In Duck - anyone going?

Our friend Duck should like this

Rows and rows of beach houses

This is our road

This is our house for the week

We pulled into the driveway about one minute before the 4:00 PM check in time. Denise, the organizer and a friend of Linda and Bob's, was already there and greeted us warmly. There was an elevator in the house which we used to get our luggage up to the 3rd floor. Our king bedroom was very nice and the en suite had a large walk-in shower. We started meeting new folks but name tags would have helped.

A few of us struggled to get the various TV's working. Eventually someone, Donnie I think, changed the HDMI cables on the big TV to a different plug and that was in business. Bob and I sorted out the one in the kitchen. The one in our bedroom worked right from the start.

Main sitting room

Dining room and kitchen

Pool and surf

Red flag means no swimming

Bob checking out the beach

The house as seen from the beach

Nice sandy beach

The surf hasn't ramped up yet

Our neighbors

Our bedroom is top left

Sandy is on the balcony

Looking west

Red sky at night

Lovely sunset

Denise ordered pizza

Bob looks like he is enjoying it

I will eventually sort the names out

In the meantime, meet "the folks"

Social lubricant

They said that Hurricane Maria may get closer than they thought this morning. But they really don't know for sure, so we were not worried. Stay tuned for further adventures. Sandy and I turned in early as has been our habit lately.

Today's Route (233 Equinox miles):

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