Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We'll Cross that Bridge....................

We left DC with the goal of adding Delaware to our state map on our way to the Outer Banks. This route required us to cross two very big toll bridges but since we would be spending a free night at Wally World we decided to go for it.
The first bridge was the William Preston Lane Jr. Bay Bridge which crosses Chesapeake Bay just east of Annapolis to the Eastern Shore and the Delmarva Peninsula. This 4.35 mile bridge rises 186 feet above the water. It was originally just a single span with two way traffic, but a second bridge was added to separate east and west bound traffic. Nanc tells me there is quite a view from the top but I was real focused on the road.
To add Delaware we stayed at the Seabrook Wally World that was just 100 miles from DC. Since we arrived so early we disconnected the car and drove to Rehobeth Beach. We had a nice stroll on the boardwalk and enjoyed the warm ocean air.
The next morning we crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. This 23 mile engineering marvel crosses the water where the Atlantic Ocean meets Chesapeake Bay and connects the Delmarva Peninsula with Southeastern Virginia. We crossed it many years ago when there was only one bridge with two way traffic and we were glad to see the newer southbound bridge was wider than the original. It was wide enough that I actually got to enjoy the view as we literally drove across the ocean.
There are four man made islands where the road goes into the two tunnels that were required so there would be no limit on the height of the Navy ships sailing from the base in Norfolk. The tunnels have two way traffic and going through them was just a little intense.
We weren't yet done with the bridges as we had to cross the three mile Wright Memorial Bridge to get to the Outer Banks from the North Carolina mainland. This is another bridge that was once a single two way traffic span but now consists of two bridges. It was a real piece of cake after the previous two.
And finally one last bridge to get us on to Hatteras Island. The Hebert C. Bonner bridge is a 2.5 mile span that crosses Oregon Inlet between the Atlantic Ocean and Pimlico Sound. It has been through several hurricanes and in 1990 a dredge hit it and knocked a section down, isolating everyone on the island until ferry service could be brought in. This bridge is due for replacement because erosion is constantly changing the shoreline. It has two way traffic.
The last part of the trip is down highway 12 on Hatteras Island. Here the road is so close to the Atlantic that it is often covered in water and sand. There are some spots where the island is so narrow that you could hit a nine iron into the ocean on one side and into the sound on the other. That is why we love this place, it is so isolated that you won't find a Wally World or, for that matter, many other chains. We arrived at the Sands of Time Campground to find they were having a fish fry that evening so we joined in and got to meet a few other residents.
To our Pacific coast readers it may be surprising that you can actually go into the Atlantic even in October and not freeze your ### off. The water was fine, the fishing was great, but the catching left a lot to be desired. We are looking forward to a month of just kicking back at the beach and hoping the catching gets better.

1 comment:

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

Really informative post! We may retrace your route backwards this spring! Try using cut bait and 6/0 circle hooks.