Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kiptopeake State Park to First Landing State Park June 20 Saturday

We broke down camp and left by 9:30. After a stop at West’s Seafood to purchase crab cakes we headed across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. The length is 18 miles with two tunnels and a toll of $12. If you make the round trip within 24 hours is $17. It was hazy so we could not see far but did observe many fishing boats and we saw one large tanker heading out to sea.

View From Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

Entering First of Two Tunnels under Chesapeake Bay

As we left the Bay Bridge we headed to Fort Story for Jane to get her last lighthouse photos of the trip. We took the photos of the old and new Cape Henry Lighthouses and stopped at the First Landing Visitor Center. To get on the base you had to undergo a security search with getting out of the vehicle, showing ID, opening all the doors, and a mirror under the van search of the Sprinter. We were here pre September 11th and the security is MUCH tighter. We noticed significant new base housing as well.

New Cape Henry Light

Old Cape Henry Light

We found our way to First Landing State Park and have a campsite near the beach. It is the warmest temperature we have seen – 94 degrees. There is some breeze and it looks like we will be able to leave the doors open with screens up and capture the breeze. We considered going to an art show on the boardwalk in VA Beach but think we will head to the Aquarium instead where it will be cool.

Our Campsite at First Landing State Park

One Tree in our campsite had 9 pair of sunglasses decorating it! Look Closely!

The Aquarium was undergoing some renovations so the some of the exhibits were not open. We saw lots of ocean fish and a diver feeding them in one tank. There were lots of sea turtles and sharks. The exhibits about the Chesapeake were interesting. Best of all it was cool! The temperature outside was between 95 and 100. About 4:00 we headed towards Carrolton and Buck’s house. We crossed VA Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Suffolk before we reached their home in Isle of Wright county. We saw many container yards and cranes in the Portsmouth and Norfolk area.

Aquarium in VA Beach

Newport News Shipyard - Northrop Grummon work on Aircraft Carrier

Container Yard in the Norfolk/Portsmouth Harbor

We had a lovely visit with Buck and Peggy and enjoyed great crab cakes. A little after 7:30, we left and headed back to First Landing State Park. This time we completed our circle of the Hampton Rhodes area by crossing two more bridges(one with tunnel) to go through Newport News, Hampton, and Norfolk reaching VA Beach and our camp about 8:30. Jane was able to hurry over to the boardwalk and get a photo of the very last of the sunset. It has cleared considerably today and she saw sparkling tiny lights along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel as far the eye could see.

Almost missed the Sunset at VA Beach

We have all the doors open on the van with the screens attached, the fan on, the ventilator and fan on – and in about 15 minutes the temperature has dropped from 91 to 84. We hope it keeps on dropping about 10 more degrees. There is a breeze so hopefully it will not be intolerable. This is the warmest evening we have had on this trip. We remember why we do not do much summer camping in the south! This campground, however is full to the brim!

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