Today has been a good day. Dee and I walked the Appalachian Trail and it was wonderful. Well, let’s be honest, when I say “we walked the Trail” I don’t mean we did the whole thing. In fact the bit we did was not quite 2 miles long so we just have another 2,166 miles to go to complete the full trail. Don’t hold your breath.
Since our last Blog we left Cape May and crossed the estuary of the Delaware river by ferry, (roughly – very rough – the equivalent of the Dover/Calais channel crossing), then stayed at Rehoboth Beach, a delightful seaside resort in Delaware. From there we drove down the Delaware peninsula, across a corner of Maryland to Chincoteague in Virginia. Wonderful bird watching here apart from the nasty biting insects that surrounded us. We’ve both got more bumps on us now than a Norfolk road surface.
The next day we drove on and over the Chesapeake Bridge-Tunnel that took us across the mouth of Chesapeake Bay to another – very different – Norfolk in Virginia.
That is a very easy sentence to write but the reality is something else. First the span across Chesapeake at this point is around 20 miles. That would be amazing in itself if it were only a bridge but it is actually a bridge with 4 road lanes and 2 tunnels. You’re tootling along across this amazing structure perched on pillars above the Atlantic and suddenly the road dips, you drop below sea level and enter a tunnel. Then you pop out again back onto a bridge and the a few miles later you do the same thing again.
Chesapeake Bay is vast. Ocean going ships come in from the Atlantic and go up to places like Baltimore and Washington, and Norfolk itself is the main base of the US navy. It’s not too easy to get an aircraft carrier under a bridge, hence the tunnels. All very well but think of how much water there is above you as you come off the bridge and disappear under the sea. Halfway across there is a rest area and restaurant. We had lunch there, poised in space above the Atlantic ocean. Quite an experience.
And so we turned away from the sea and headed towards the mountains. We stayed the night in Louisa and then we drove the full length of the Skyline Parkway in the Shenandoah National Park, around 3500 feet at its best. We did our token Appalachian Trail hike at Blackrock Summit but long before the day was out we had run out of adjectives to describe the experience. You’ll have to make do with ‘beautiful’ and ‘stunning’.
You’ll be pleased to hear we’re getting the hang of the language. If you want a scone you ask for a biscuit. If you want a biscuit you ask for a cookie. If you want to speak to the cook…. Well, the situation hasn’t arisen yet so we don’t know.
Have a nice day… (Now this that expressing a hope or is it an order?)