Virginia’s Eastern Shore

The day dawned and brought with it a hint of sun, a welcome change from the previous 3 days.

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My plan was to travel over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  Tucked between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the Eastern shore is “defined by two elements: the fertile land and the water”.

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I looked forward to going over the 17.6 mile Bay Bridge Tunnel and was happy to find that it had a visitors center and pier midway across the bay.  Well you know me … I just had to stop and walk all the way out to the end of the pier before heading on my way.

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It fascinates me that cars travelthrough a tunnel under the water in the break between the two rock edges.

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Once back on the road, and knowing that I’d have much more time to explore the Eastern Shore the next day, I pushed on up to Bethany Beach, Delaware.  After a short but wonderful visit with dear friends, I set out to explore a bit.  On a borrowed bike, I hit a pretty bikeway which ultimately led me to the Indian River Inlet Bridge.

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The view of the ocean and the Delaware Seashore State Park was beautiful.

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Every bike ride should end with a cold beer, at least in my opinion, and I found that, and fish tacos, at Hammerheads Dockside. It was just the fuel I needed for the ride back over the bridge.  After that, it was a quick visit to the beach and time to settle in for the evening.

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The next morning, I was up early for the drive back down the Eastern Shore.  I stopped in Cape Charles, a town founded in 1884 as the southern terminus of the New York, Philidelphia, and Norfolk Railroad.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this train town also boasts a water tower that looks like a lighthouse.

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I found my way down to the bay and within minutes, I was out of my shoes, had rolled up my pants, and was enjoying the feel of the sand and the water.

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The next stop was the Eastern Shore Wildlife Refuge.  “Located at the tip of the Delmarva Peninsula, this area is one of the most important avian migration funnels in North America. Each fall, like colorful clockwork, the refuge is the scene of a spectacular drama as millions of songbirds and monarch butterflies and thousands of raptors converge on their voyage south”.

In addition to photography, the refuge offers the visitor opportunities for fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, and education.

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I wish I’d had a kayak with me this day!

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All to0 soon, it was time to start the trip back home to the mountains.  While disappointed to leave the water and marine life, it was time to get home to prepare for my first post-wreck bike trip.

Next Up:  Kentucky

2013 Bike Adventure: Onward to Delaware!

Having never been a late sleeper, I was out of the house early and taking photos of the creek that Barbara and Glenn live along side.

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Knowing that I planned to leave at 11am, Glenn offered to take me for a morning jet ski ride on the river and the Chesapeake Bay.  What a blast!  By 9:30 am we were flying across the water.  I came up off the seat several times, and I was laughing so hard, I’m sure that Glenn was wishing he had ear plugs.  I’m so glad that I didn’t take my camera!!  What a treat that was for me, and Glenn gave me a great tour.

It was a hot, humid, and 94 degree morning when I pulled out and headed for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  Thankfully the road (Rts 381 and 382) were shaded, and like a roller coaster, and made for fun riding.  Despite the shade, I was still a bit over heated and dehydrated, and decided to stop for lunch at Rips Country Inn near Bowie, Maryland.  Endless water, unsweet iced tea, and a bacon cheeseburger had me refuled and rehydrated for the ride over the Bay Bridge.

It took about 15 minutes to get through the toll line and before I knew it, I was on the 4.2 mile long bridge.  The bridge, built in 1952, wth the second span added in 1972, rises 186 feet above the water and I can not tell you how badly I wished I could have stopped to look the all around and below.

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The whole way over I was grinning from ear to ear and the folks in nearby cars would roll down their windows to laugh with me (or at me).  If I’d had the time, I would have turned around at the end and gone right back over.  As it was, I pulled over as soon as I was able and took some pictures.  I definitely need a better zoom!

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Once over the bridge, I continued east, heading for Bethany Beach, Delaware.

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I rode by cornfields …

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and more cornfields …

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and even more cornfields.

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I finally arrived in Bethany Beach, thirsty and ready for the end of the day beer.  And that’s when I knew I was in the right place:

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I am so grateful that Jan and Neal offered me the use of their home away from home in Bethany.  As soon as I opened up the house, and turned on the water, and a/c, I was out and on the hunt for food and drink … despite the multiple alerts about an upcoming storm.  What the heck, I thought? I’m not going far.

As soon as I settled in at the bar at Magnolia’s, the skies opened!!  Lightning, thunder, and pouring rain gave me the opportunity to get to know the folks next to me.  They were 20 year visitors to Bethany Beach and in addition to buying me a beer, offered information about fun things to do while there.  Once outside, I had to push the bike out of the slight downhill spot I parked it in, rode back to the house in the rain, and settled in for the night.

I realize that this particular post may not make for exciting reading.  One of the reasons I started blogging was to have a journal of my rides to share with family and friends.  Thanks for joining me on this ride!