Kiptopeke State Park (VA)

**we are in Connecticut now so I am slowly catching up due to a lack of decent Internet***

I’m not a fan of heights. I’m also not a fan of driving vast distances over bridges. So I really wasn’t looking forward to driving Marty over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. It is 20 miles long, has two tunnels that are a mile each, and is very narrow when you are driving a huge motorhome. The northbound side (which we were on) has no shoulder or emergency lane. The edge of the lane is a 3 foot high guardrail and then the Atlantic Ocean. We are 12.5 feet high, so that guardrail is basically useless. Fortunately, everything went smoothly when we crossed and the winds were not too high. Going through the tunnels was a little scary just because it all filters down to two lanes of traffic, one in each direction. The tunnel was really not designed for modern vehicles since the clearance is 13.5 feet, a mere single foot over the top of our motorhome. And the oncoming 18-wheelers were so wide that our mirrors passed within about 1 foot of each other. So it was a bit stressful and when we got to the other side I was really, really thrilled.

The good news is that as soon as we exited the bridge, we were basically at our campsite. We decided that if we were driving up the East coast, we needed to spend some time on the Chesapeake Bay. It is full of natural splendor and we want to enjoy stops along the way as we progress up to Maine and Nova Scotia. We stayed at Kiptopeke State Park for two nights, and the park was right on the bay. From our camp site we could be down in the sand within 5 minutes, and the views out across the water were fantastic. There were a ton of massive ships anchored off shore, waiting to pick up or deliver cargo. There were also a variety of old concrete WW2 ships that were placed about 1,000 feet from the beach to serve as protection from storm surges and big storms that pass through the bay. They serve as a home to a wide variety of birds and marine life. The bay itself was different than oceans we have enjoyed in the past, there are oyster shells everywhere and the water was pretty calm during our stay.

After we arrived and got settled into our site, I looked under Marty where the seal had been replaced and was shocked to find oil again. The seal had once again failed, spilling the hub oil all over the brakes and inside of the rim. I spent time calling around and finding a local shop that could do the repair, again. I found one that could get the part and made arrangements to bring it over early on the morning of our departure. The seal is tricky to install correctly and I am guessing the first guy messed it up or had the wrong part.

We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the beach, then had a late dinner of pork tenderloin on the little Weber grill I have with us. The next morning we woke up and went on a nice long hike, taking us through the woodlands of the park and then back on the beach. Afterwards we got in the car and drove over to Cape Charles, a simply idyllic town situated right on the bay. There are tons of cool shops, restaurants, and homes and the place has a really great feel to it. We got some excellent ice cream from the Brown Dog Ice Cream parlor, which everyone loved. On the way back we stopped at the grocery and then at a seafood market to pick up a bag of fresh oysters that had just been harvested from the bay. We spent some more time on the beach, then came up to grill the oysters. Val and I had never cooked them before, but they turned out very good! We savored every one of them and can’t wait to grill up another batch! After dinner we went back to the beach to take in a gorgeous sunset. Then it was back to Marty to start getting prepared for our early departure the next morning. We were going to head over to a truck repair shop that will hopefully get this seal done once and for all!

 

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