October 28 – November 1, 2019.
In my last post about the Carolinas, I wrote about my idea to head north along the east coast during the fall ultimately arriving in Pennsylvania where we would visit with relatives. It was a great plan until we started having van problems (I think I’ve alluded to this in previous posts). After a visit to a Ford dealership in Greenville, NC we found out we needed some pretty pricey work done and that it would take many days. So we headed back to Greg’s folks’ house in Denver, NC to unload the van and get another opinion.
Our second opinion was the same but now we had a two-week wait to get our needed part. The mechanic told us that we were good to travel while we waited so we loaded up the van again and resumed our journey.
We lost a little time, though, with the trip back to Denver, getting the estimate and then a quick trip to see Greg’s grandson, who we missed on our first go-around through the Carolinas a few weeks earlier. Although we did, and saw some great things, there were quite a few things I had planned that we couldn’t squeeze in before we had to be back for the van repair.
Because I think all this stuff we missed was so cool and because I spent so much time researching it all I’m going to tell you about some of it anyways. Here goes:
The North Carolina Estuarium
Not only did this sound like a cool museum they also offered free boat tours on three different rivers in the area.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore in the Outer Banks, North Carolina.
Both Greg and I have been to the Outer Banks before but we hadn’t experienced the area through the National Park system. We were looking forward to camping in the National Seashore as well as experiencing the many museums, lighthouses, wildlife areas, hiking, and kayaking opportunities in the area.
Fisherman’s Island National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia.
Fisherman’s Island is a small island off the tip of the southern end of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. You can only visit it by tour. The tour is free but it only happens on Saturdays at 8:30 am.
The Virginia Seaside Water Trails.
There were tons of kayaking opportunities on this trip but The Virginia Seaside Water Trails up the coast of Eastern Shore included lots of different locations with ratings and maps.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park in Maryland.
This site runs along 184.5 miles of the C&O Canal with hikes, views, and visitors centers. It is run by the National Park Service and of course, I love everything National Parks!
Granted we would have never fit all this stuff in before it turned too cold, but I now have it all marked on the map for next time we head this way.
Now, I’m going to let Greg tell you about all the cool stuff we did do…
The Great Dismal Swamp
Colonial Europeans who settled here didn’t really appreciate wetlands, and named this enormous marsh in North Carolina and Virginia the Great Dismal Swamp. They did value the timber, though. In the 1970s, after centuries of logging, this became federally protected land.
NASA Wallops Flight Facility
Established in 1945, NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility was an early test ground for rocket research. Many thousands of rockets have been launched from Wallops, and visitors can still come here to see the rockets take off.
Assateague Island National Seashore
Assateague is an interesting island refuge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway
In 1808 it became illegal to import African slaves into the United States. The deep south still relied on slave labor, though. In the years preceding the Civil War about 1 million slaves (a quarter of the slave population) was sold by northern states to buyers in the deep south. To avoid this fate many escaped using the Underground Railroad. Maryland has recognized one of the railroad’s conductors and some of the known stops on the escape route.
10 thoughts on “From Virginia to Maryland”
The display with the weather balloon made me realize if I saw one I would think it was a UFO. That is huge!!!
Really enjoy your blog! Thanks for sharing!
Debbie and Pat
The weather balloon was my favorite thing I learned about at Wallops. What we didn’t mention was that there was also a film about the facility. In it they explained all about the balloons including how they are made.
So glad you are enjoying the blog and thanks for following along! I hope you two have a wonderful holiday season!!!!
Too bad due to the van issues you were not able to visit all those places, but next time. Really enjoy reading your recap on a few places I’ve been to. You do a good write up on your visits and gives me ideas on where to go. I stayed at an Airbnb in July on Chincoteague to explore the area, it was so hot & humid needed that AC.
Thanks Tina! Part of the idea behind the blog besides just recording our adventures for ourselves is to inspire other people. It is good to know that we are giving you ideas!
I think we hit the East Coast (and right now the Gulf Coast) at the right time. We’ve experienced few bugs and although it has gotten a little cold at time the temperature has been mostly perfect.
I am thrilled to see you visiting places that were old work stopping grounds for me – the problem was I never took the time to get out of the buildings I was working in ! The Eastern Shore is pretty spectacular and with the new Harriet movie released, you were able to walk in her footsteps- can’t beat that one ! Happy Holidays……
I’m looking forward to seeing the Harriet Tubman movie – especially after our trip along the Byway and learning so many fascinating things about her. Once you get outside of all these buildings that we spend so much of our life in it is amazing to learn about and see all the wonderful stuff just outside the door. I hope you and Paul have a great holiday and everyone is somewhat sane and happy on our little end of Tye St.
The horses are indeed the stars of your post and explorations. Although everything about Harriet Tubman is fascinating and interesting to me as well. Maryland has a lot to offer, it seems like. While we’ve visited some of the cities, we never delved deeper. Another time! Just like you will be able to put that extra research to good use in the future.
I’ve only been to the Outer Banks once and had to leave prematurely, because a hurricane was barreling our way. It probably would have been too cold for you guys to visit this time around and I’d say Assateague was a darn good alternative. 🙂
The horse were definitely a highlight of this leg of our journey. I was so afraid I wouldn’t see any but the guy at the visitor’s center promised I would and he was right.
The Harriet Tubman trail was great. We had a few different choices of what to do after we left Assateague and I think we made the right one.
I’d like to get back to the Outer Banks. I’ve really been enjoying driving around the edge of the country.
My wife and I celebrated St. Patrick’s day one year by staying at a hotel on Chincoteague island. The food was great and REAL local (the garden outside the restaurant provided the salad stuff) and the owner’s farm other vegetables. But the Chincoteague oysters were the big hit. Big and tasty. That’s the only time I’ve ever had them. Not many make it off Chincoteague.
What an interesting place to celebrate St. Pat’s Day. Oysters and salad instead of corn beef and cabbage!