Monday, June 15, 2009

Chippoaks to Reedville June 12 Friday

We finally saw the campground host when he made the rounds about 7:30. Jane made coffee and some breakfast – ham and cream cheese on a bagel.

Chippoaks Plantation

We drove out to the historic Chippokes Plantation. The home was not open yet but the grounds were nice.

Butterfly Weed at Chippoaks Garden

Chippoaks is a large working plantation. The volunteers were preparing for a wagon ride and sheep shearing that would take place later today. Too late for us though as we were on our way after a visit to the Visitor Center to view one of the films. The farm has been continuously farmed since the 1600’s. There have been several families own the land and the last one willed it to the state of Virginia. It continues to be farmed by local farmers who lease the rights to different acreage amounts and grow corn, peanuts, wheat, and perhaps other crops.

A ferry operated by the state of Virginia operates between Surry and Jamestown. It is a large operation with 4 ferries in a fleet. They are fairly good sized ferries. We arrived and were lucky to only wait about 5 minutes. We were one of the last vehicles loaded – there were 48 cars/trucks/vans; 3 motorcycles, and 1 large truck on our ferry. There was also a fairly good sized observation tower but we did not go up into it. The ferry ride took about 25 minutes – including loading, crossing the wide river, and unloading.

View from James River Ferry

We drove right off the ferry to the Colonial Parkway and were at the Jamestown National Park. They have a new visitor center since we were there before. All we remember about the place was the downpour of rain and they were excavating the area of a church under a tent. We were here during rain before Hurricane Dennis hit the costal VA and NC towns. We watched an excellent movie in their new visitor center and viewed displays and some of the historic buildings.

Church at Jamestown

Then we were down the road to Yorktown. We drove along the Colonial Parkway which is similar to the Blue Ridge Parkway in that it has no commercial signage or buildings. There were very limited access for crossroads and all the overpasses were brick – it did indeed look “colonial”! There were beautiful views of the James River on the northern portion of the parkway, we went under Williamsburg in a tunnel, and then there were beautiful views of the York River on the southern portion of the Parkway.

View down the Colonial Parkway

We arrived at Yorktown and ate lunch under the trees in the parking lot. We viewed another good film and reviewed the exhibits in their Visitor Center before hopping on a trolley for a ride through historic Yorktown. We got off down near the river and walked around the waterfront and browsed in several very nice shops. One had nice jewelry and one very nice hooked rugs. The rugs would have been Jane’s purchase of the trip so far – if she had lots of money and a place to put the rug! Her favorite was in pastel colors with various sea shells.

A large tall ship was docked nearby – a visitor for the weekend from Wilmington Delaware. There was another sailboat that gave daily tours along the York River. There was also a sunset cruise. That is for another day! We hopped back on the trolley and were back at our van.

Tall Ship visiting at Yorktown

Our next venture was to find an internet connection for Ben to send the photos from his inspection yesterday. Jane did not have blog entries ready to upload. We were headed to a McDonalds thanks to the GPS when we passed the Yorktown Library. Ben went in and managed to upload his photos. Jane called and talked to her Mom. Then we were on our way across the York River to the Gloucester County and the middle neck of this eastern Virginia area.

We followed the GPS directions through numerous small towns in Gloucester Co.; Mathews Co.; and crossed the Rappahannock River to the upper peninsula or the “Upper Neck” as they call it here. We drove through Lancaster Co. into Northumberland Co. where Reedville was located. Jane had selected a campsite on this peninsula – there were 4 – and we needed 2 – so she selected this one right on the end in the Chesapeake Bay and the second almost the other end of the northern neck. Chesapeake Bay Resort had a nice web page and appeared to be a nice place. Reedville was indeed out of the way but it had restaurants, bed & breakfasts, and a nice museum….so we expected a fairly nice campground. It was the most expensive of our trip at $40. Well when we arrived we could find no one – a repeat of the night before! We finally found one man who said – “well, he ain’t back from the cruise to Smith Island yet.” Knowing there was a daily cruise boat from this site to Smith Island we did not think too much more about it – just drove around the deserted campground and picked out a site right on the water. About an hour later the owner drove up in his golf cart to see who we were. We remained the only campers in the entire park that could have accommodated over 50. There were about 10 small cabins and by the end of the evening most of them were full.

Ben Relaxes at Reedville Campground

We drove into Reedville (about 3 miles) and found the Crazy Crab restaurant right at the end of the road next to the marina. We had a fantastic dinner. Jane had crab cake topping Fried Green Tomatoes and Ben had Crab on Crab – sautéed crab topping a soft shell crab. Both were fantastic and some of the best crab we have ever tasted. We viewed the rest of the town – one street with churches, a few businesses, and numerous large Victorian homes. They called that are Millionaire’s Row.
We found our way back to the campground, watched the activity on the bay, read our books and fell asleep.

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