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On to Deleware

Delaware from N. Carolina

On to Delaware

On September 5, 2015, I left New Bern for Delaware and all the little states in the northeast. One of the campers told I needed to see New Castle and Odessa which were two of the older cities along the coast., so that was my goal for the next few days.

I followed Rte 264 to Roanoke Island and Nags Head, talking Rte 12 on the Outer Banks going north, heading to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Considering the bridge was along the coast, ti was a great excuse to go across it, this time on a motorcycle instead of a car.

Kitty Hawk, NC

On my way to Norfolk, VA I went  through KItty Hawk, NC which is located on the Outer Banks. I kept looking for a place which would have something to do with the Wright Brothers but all I saw were signs advertising businesses. Then the weather turned from sunny and windy to raining and windy. Even on a trike, you don’t waste a lot of time getting away from the beach area in a storm. Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to figure out why they Wright Brothers used that area. The winds were strong enough to almost blow me off my bike on several occasions. I could imagine the Wright brothers taking off from one of the large dunes with the strong winds behind them, gliding to the next dune…or maybe even crashing into one of them.

I got off the Outer Banks on 158 north trying to outrun the storm. Even though I was still following the coast, but it was less windy a few miles inland. I did have to stop and put on a rain suit but that was okay…I needed gas anyway. During my trip, I did learn to fill up when I wasn’t sure how far it was between towns on the road I was traveling. It wasn’t until late afternoon that I crossed the state line from N. Carolina into Virginia.

Chesapeake Bay

I did make it to Norfolk where the Chesapeake Bay bridge-tunnel begins, even with the weather, but it was 4 PM and I didn’t want to ride the bridge after dark. The views from the bridge need to be seen during the day where you can actually see the magnificence of the construction.

The bridge is 17.6 miles long and consists of bridges and tunnels crossing the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, the Hampton Roads Harbor and the mouths of the James and Elizabeth Rivers, it goes from Norfolk, VA to Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge. If you want to be exact, from Virginia Beach to Cape Charles. If you count the approach spans it’s really 23 miles long but it only take 30 min. to cross it if you don’t stop. It is a toll road costing from $14 to $18 depending on the time you are using it. The road will close during high winds and waves on the bay.

Some interesting facts about the bridge-tunnel

The bridge-tunnel includes 12 miles of low level trestle bridge. It is so low that when it’s storming, you can have waves which splash up over the roadway. There are two 1 mile tunnels, 2 high bridges, 2 miles of causeway and four man-made islands, one of which has a restaurant on it where you can stop and eat.

The tunnels are from 25 to 100 feet under the water. Prior to the bridge-tunnel being built, there were ferries which carried cars across the bay. The bridge-tunnel were to allow quicker travel times at less cost. The tunnels were put in to allow ships to access the ports on the bay.

Crossing the Bay

September 6, 2015

It was worth the $15 it cost to go across the bay. I stopped and ate breakfast on the bridge, in not real hurry to get any where. Considering it was Sunday, there wasn’t a lot of traffic that morning. The bay was rough with a storm coming in off the ocean. I got to watch the small storm pass as I got closer to the northern shore.

I had to stop on Fisherman’s Island. Looking back, that is the end of the bridge-tunnel.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-tunnel from Fisherman’s Island

Chesapeake Bay Bridge from the other side.

Ocean City, Maryland

From the bridge, I followed US 13 into Maryland where I turned back to the coast on US 113, heading to US 1 through Ocean City. Like Myrtle Beach, I wasn’t impressed with the tourist town. Maybe it was because I’d lived in a tourist area for 30 years and was jaded from that. The traffic was horrendous and there were no parking spaces unless you paid $10. It wasn’t worth the $10 to get out and walk around on a beach to me so I kept going up the coast.

Delaware

Lunch for the day was a stop in Lewes. I gassed up and kept going norht. Finally I got to 9N aware I needed to get off US 1, into Delaware, leaving the beaches at Rehobeth Beach. It was one beach I’ll never forget. It was where I got the worst sunburn I ever had.

I went on a trip with our church youth group. We went to the beach after going to Washington, DC. This was my first time at the ocean so I went swimming, but as it got later in the day, our group couldn’t find the pastor and part of our group. We went to where we were supposed to meet them, but no one was there. The bad thing about the beach was that there was no where to get out of the sun. I ended up with major blisters on my shoulders and legs. It was an uncomfortable car ride back to NW Pennsylvania. It was the last time I ever spent more than 30 min. on a beach without having access to shade. I may have only been 16, but I did learn a valuable lesson.

I will tell you to beware of water on Rte 9. It is a narrow road going through a lot of marshes, I got behind a group of three other motorcyclist who were going to the same direction as me which was nice until I had to stop and get some pictures. What you don’t realize is that this is a well traveled road which looks like a back road, making you believe you are lost. This was one time when I was glad for my GPS as it let me know I hadn’t gotten off on the wrong road.

Delaware lowlands route 9What you don’t see in this picture is that I’m standing on a bridge. It was one of the highest places around me. The grass is tall and comes right up to the edge of the road.

Birds on island Route 9 in Delaware

If you look, you can see two birds in the tree. They looked like hawks or eagles. I’m 5’9″ standing on the road to take this picture. That gives you an idea of how low the road is and how tall the grasses are.

At MIddletown, Delaware, I stopped for the night. It was a quaint small town like many other towns you can find all over the region. The person who checked me into the campground reinforced the need to see New Castle and Odessa as great examples of Edwardian towns. I now had my plan for the next day. It meant backtracking to get to Odessa, but that was fine. The area was worth backtracking to see the historical buildings and towns.

 

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