Monday, June 15, 2009

Oakville VA to St, Mary's City MD June 14 Sunday

Hard rain storm through a good part of the night – woke up, went back to sleep, woke up again but never for long. We had left the chairs out since the sky was clear when we went to bed – they were VERY wet. We ate breakfast and broke camp and left before 9 AM. We drove up state route 205 towards US 301 to cross the Potomac into Maryland. We passed the home of James Monroe but did not stop to view. We did try to stop at the McDonalds in Colonial Beach for WIFI but no luck. It was Sunday Morning and the smallest McDonalds we had ever seen – of course it was a small town – but no WIFI.

We crossed the Potomac into MD on the Gov Nice Memorial Bridge – which the map said was a toll bridge. There were toll booths if you were entering from MD side but none on the VA side – strange but to our advantage since we are not returning this way. The toll on the Bay Bridge Tunnel on return will be more no doubt than this bridge.
We were hoping to find a Wal-mart and maybe internet and found a Target as we continued north on 301 to LaPlanta where we visited the Thomas Stone House. Thomas Stone was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. From MD he was a very low key but dedicated politician and that is how they must market his National Memorial too! Rather difficult to find. No paved road, one ranger. Nice visitor center, short movie and a rather plain but unusual colonial home.

Thomas Stone National Historic Site
We got the stamp for our passport, visited the Target and got most of the things on our list and set off down the St. Mary’s peninsula to the St. Mary’s Crab Festival. We found the fairgrounds in Leonardtown without any trouble. We ate clam strips, fries, and a crab cake sandwich. The clam strips were great – the crab cake sandwich OK but no anywhere near as good as the crab cake in Reedville. We walked around and looked at the crafts, car show, and watched them steam the bushels of live crabs. They were $36 a dozen. That seemed like a lot compared to signs we had seen along the road. We passed that up. They had bands and line dancing and were going to have singing later on.

Crabs into the Steamer at St. Mary's Crab Festival

Crab Races at St. Mary's Crab Festival

Back into the van and on to the Piney Point Lighthouse. It was a short squatty white lighthouse. The location was interesting as it was the site of a large oil tank terminal. We also saw an osprey nest near the pier and watched them for a while and Jane got her photo.

Piney Point Light

Osprey Nest at Piney Point

There were many nice homes along the sliver of land which led to the lighthouse. We drove on to our campground and the lighthouse at Point Lookout. This is the point of land where the Potomac joins the Chesapeake Bay. Today we followed the Potomac River side of the peninsula; tomorrow we drive up the Chesapeake Bay side of the peninsula to Annapolis and then on to Wilmington. We really have two choices of route for tomorrow and will determine the path forward.

We found our campsite easily and set out the wet chairs to dry before leaving to view the lighthouse while the light was good.

Point Lookout Light

This is a very nice park – lots of fishermen, swimmers, and quite a few campers. The loop we are on has only 4 electric sites (one is us) so it is not as full as the other loops. It is fine with us to be by ourselves. We drove out to take the photos – could not get past the wire fence. The lighthouse here is open only one weekend a month. This area has housed a huge military hospital, a prisoner of war camp during the Civil War, and of course played a huge part in navigation.

We got back to our campsite to find our chairs gone! We were just sure someone had taken them – only thing ever taken in all our years of camping besides a skillet once at Roan Mountain Campground years ago. We reported it and about 30 minutes later the ranger showed up with our chairs. It seems when checkout time came and all that was at our campsite was 2 chairs a “rookie” ranger thought they had been left behind by someone and took them to headquarters! As Ben said it restored our faith in humanity! Not that they were worth that much – it is just the principal!

We are eating in camp tonight – Jane is cooking Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy -a change from all the seafood. Then we will try out the TV antenna and or read. Tomorrow will be a longer driving day but we will stay 2 nights in Wilmington. We cleaned up everything for the mosquito spraying at 7PM and then Ben took out the air mattress to find a slow leak. He found it and made a temporary patch. The mosquitoes have been medium bad – Jane who gets the most bites has kept the spray on all the time and has only gotten 4-5 bites but by taking Benedryl when they itch too bad is keeping them under control. Tonight Ben said he was putting on repellent!

We bought a small fan at Target. One night was very hot, tonight is pleasant. The internet connections are not that great so will add the photos when I get home. We finally found one this morning at a Comfort Inn that worked fair.

Campsite at Point Lookout State Park

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