Trip to Maine '12

Williamsport, MD to Virginia Beach, VA

We left a 8:30 to get a headstart on the Sunday traffic. We left the trailer hooked up to the truck which save us time. As we left the mountain area, we passed under the Appalachian Trail. This sign marked the path.

 
 
Our route today took us around Washington, DC and south to Norfolk, VA. Traffic wasn't too bad this early, so that was good.

 
 
We crossed over the Potomac River and made our way on the beltline around Washington. We came upon a traffic slowdown at Fredericksburg as we crossed the Occoquan River--a tributary of the Potomac River.

 
 
The problem was 5 lanes of traffic that merged into 3. It didn't last long and we were up to speed again. It was an overcast day with a temp of 76 degrees and rain in the forecast. It started to sprinkle on us as we crossed the Rappahannock River.

 
 
We traveled these same rivers by boat on our trip to Chesapeake Bay last year, so it was interesting to see them by land. Auggie snuggled into his bed in the backseat for the ride.

 
 
We hit another traffic slowdown around Richmond. The rain continued to nag us as it came down lightly, but steadily. As we neared Newport News and Norfolk, it started to rain more heavily. Oh great! Traffic started to build up as we approached the Hampton Roads Bridge and Tunnel. I was a little nervous about the tunnel-- going under Chesapeake Bay with all that water above me--and Bob was nervous about the bridge. Bob said, "At least it won't be raining in the tunnel." That was one positive thing! We entered the tunnel at 1:30 and were out by 1:36.

 
 
The tunnel is is the 3.5-mile (5.6 km)-long Hampton Roads crossing for Interstate 64 and U.S. Route 60. It is a four-lane facility comprising bridges, trestles, man-made islands, and tunnels under the main shipping channels for Hampton Roads harbor in the southeastern portion of Virginia in the United States.

 
 
It was a pretty cool ride through the tunnel and we were out in no time.

 
 
As we crossed the bridge, we could look out over Hampton Roads, the waterway between Hampton and Norfolk. From there through the rain, we could see the Norfolk Naval Yard and the ships sitting there.

 
 
We had very little traffic going eastbound with us through the tunnel, but the westbound traffic on the bridge was backed up for 9 miles.

 
 
At least, that's what the traffic report said and we were witness to. We were glad to be going east! We had 3 strikes against us today--traveling through or near large metropolitan areas with heavy traffic, traveling on a Sunday, and RAIN! Oh well! It is what it is. We arrived in Virginia Beach at 2:15 and found our campground, Virginia Beach KOA, after a missed turn and a stop for gas.

 
 
While we were at the gas station, Bob noticed that there was a bulge on the whitewall of one of our tires. Now we have to shop for some new tires. We don't want to have a blowout on the road! That we'll work on tomorrow. The rain did not let up as we found our site in the campground. We traveled 278 miles today.

 
 
We donned our raincoats and set up the campsite. We spent the rest of the afternoon making our plans to spend some time in the Outer Banks--Hatteras and Ocracoke. That would be our next "extended stay" destination. Once it stopped raining, Auggie got his walk. We had dinner indoors tonight and waited for better weather tomorrow.

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