Eastern Shore Trip – March 20-22, 2010

For Daniel’s birthday in March of 2010, we took a trip to Virginia’s Eastern Shore, an area we were both curious to see.


On our way to the Eastern Shore, we stopped to find a few geocaches in the very nice little park around Lake Maury on the grounds of the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News. The park had extensive walking trails that were well-used by the community; we passed many people out for a stroll or a jog. I admired these trail markers; I had never seen low, carved and painted stone markers like these before. I suppose a little snow would bury them but they are handsome.



The trails included numerous wooden bridges over the many fingers of the reservoir. On this bridge we met a couple tossing bits of white bread to a critter in the water (see next picture).


I think they called it an alligator turtle. I had never heard of such a thing but you can see from the long tail and flat head how it gets its name.


Approaching a bit of bread.


Snack attained.


Swimming towards the next tidbit.


I admired this long, arched pedestrian bridge.




We rented a cute old house in Cape Charles, a tiny town on the Chesapeake Bay side of the Delmarva peninsula. The dining room floor shook when we walked across it, rattling every dish in the sideboard, and there was an odd odor emanating from the cellar, but otherwise we found the accommodations very agreeable. The kitchen was clean and reasonably well-equipped as rentals go, the porch was a nice place to sit and eat our brunch, there was wireless internet, and I slept very well here (though I think Dan did not). I’d be happy to go back.



I was amused by the palm out front. You don’t see those in Charlottesville.


We spent a day rambling over the Eastern Shore with no particular plan, finding thirteen geocaches as we went. One cache, called “The Flying Cow,” brought us to this little airfield . . .


. . . where we found the cache stashed in this stainless steel box that I take to be abandoned dairying equipment of some kind.


We spent some time at Kiptopeke State Park on the Chesapeake Bay. In warmer weather it would be a nice place for a swim.



A curved line of dilapidated concrete ships (as in, ships made of concrete, not ships for moving concrete) provides a breakwater that protects the sandy beach.



They’re ugly but effective.


On one of the inland paths in the park, we found a geocache which required us to document our visit with a photo. (“Take a photo of yourself at the cache location holding your GPS” is a standard request.) This path made a huge loop through a field that was getting filled in with yougn pines.


Another path in the park followed a dirt road.


This boardwalk-path climbed a steep sand dune.


After leaving Kiptopeke, we drove up to Chincoteague, where a geocache called our attention to Captain Chandler’s message. We found this stone not in a cemetery but on its own at the end of a road that ran from the center of town out to a more rural area.


The original stone. I don’t know why the duplicate was made.


I took this photo back in Cape Charles, standing on the town pier and looking back at the beach. It seems to be a modest resort town, with some large and nice houses but not very crowded or sprawly. Commercial development was minimal and mostly concentrated on one bayside street.


We did an “Earthcache” in Cape Charles. An “Earthcache” is a special, educational type of “virtual” cache where there is no container to find; you go to the coordinates and typically answer questions about the location and take a picture to prove that you were there. The questions on an Earthcache are usually all about the local geology and topography. The Cape Charles Earthcache directed us to study a large didactic exhibit all about the Chesapeake Bay bolide, a meteorite that hit thousands of years ago.


I was most impressed by the fact that the meteor impact sent a tsunami of ocean waves as far away as the Blue Ridge. It is amazing to think of huge ocean waves crashing against the base of the mountains.