N OVA S COTIA N OVELTIES
September 12 to October 23, 2002 Do it Yourself Road Trip D RIVING D AY
Day 1 - A day for pushing our way north to Emporia, Virginia — we did not really stop anywhere other than for gas and potty breaks! We made good time and covered the 554 miles in about 8 ½ hours. Our motel was satisfactory and our dinner at Western Sizzler was acceptable. D ELAWARE C H SAPEAKE B AY Day 2 - We got up and out by 7 AM this morning heading for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel hoping to beat the commuter crowds. Except for having to stare right into a blindingly brilliant sunrise, the trip was easy and we reached the start of the bridge by 8:15 AM. This engineering marvel is really quite startling — it ’ s very strange indeed to just start out over the waters of Chesapeake Bay and then suddenly see the bridge disappear and suddenly reappear a mile in the distance with no visible connection between the two parts! We learned that the Bay is an average of 21 feet deep and that the depths over which the bridge travels are 25 to 100 ft. The first portion of the bridge (17.6 miles) was completed in l964 and cost the incredible sum of $200,000,000! The south leg was finished in 1999 and cost $250,000,000! Four artificial islands were constructed as bases for the tunnels. The two tunnels are about 1 mile long each. We stopped at the guest plaza which comes before the 1st tunnel and looked around and inside the little restaurant and gift shop. Pat bought a couple of souvenir booklets on the bridge and the Chesapeake Watermen. D ELMARVA P ENINSULA Next, we started up the skinny finger of land that leads from the bridge to the Delmarva Peninsula. This is flat but pretty farmland with some pretty wonderful old farmhouses and estates dating back to the 17th century. This area has suffered a severe drought this year, a fact borne out by the burned cornfields everywhere. The corn was never able to develop at all and there are acres of dry, brown stalks telling the melancholy tale. The crop which seemed to be doing okay was soybeans — these plants were usually deep green and healthy looking. Dotted along the road were little produce stands, exhibiting watermelon, cantaloupes, peaches, tomatoes, and squash. When we entered Maryland, nothing really changed — this state ’ s eastern shore is also quite rural. We were surprised to see what a good road carries the traffic through this area — divided two-lane highway. Though the area is rural, we saw little or no livestock, though Virginia seems full of chicken farms.
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