Thursday, February 6, 2014

US50 Phase 1: Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Sep 22
Spent the morning at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime museum. (And finally limbered up the camera!)

On the way there I came within a couple thousand feet of the southwest corner of Delaware but did not feel the need to detour just to say I had been there. Maybe some other trip, though I’m not too sold on this east coast stuff at the moment, too many people.

I also drove through Cambridge (The Virginia one of course, not the Boston one made famous by all the ‘This Old House’ projects filmed there over the years.) before leaving the highway at Easton and working my way across to Saint Michaels on the Chesapeake Bay. The road to Saint Michaels is a modest two-lane with very heavy traffic. Heavy enough that what the locals consider a big enough gap to pull out into traffic is enough to put skid-marks in a visitor’s pants! Kind of reminds me of driving in Caracas Venezuela where lane markings, stop signs, traffic lights and traffic laws, and sometimes common sense, mean little more than nothing.

But the Chesapeake Bay Maritime museum is a combination museum, boatshop and boatbuilding school and a pretty cool place well worth a visit. Dad would have loved to be wandering the place with me, and perhaps he was. Before I left home I tucked his work gloves, the last pair he used before he died, into the van with me so I could take him along. Those gloves say Dad to me even more than photos of him and I know he would have so enjoyed traveling the country again.

Part boat shop
After spending a good while at the museum I worked my way back through the kamikaze traffic to the highway (US 50 of course.) then followed it over the Bay Bridge to Annapolis and DC. Despite similar names this is not the same bridge as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, this one is at the north end of the bay and I was all set to pay the $5 toll, but apparently you only pay when leaving Annapolis and heading east. I guess they want to keep you in. . .

Part boatbuilding school
I seem to be following a theme so far on this trip. I got into the mall area of DC (Kind of an obligatory stop when you’re this close.) and found out it was the Library of Congress’s book fair weekend! The place was crawling with people and cars and bereft of parking spots so I drove around, saw what I could see through the windshield, then headed west into Virginia.

and Part museum
If I thought I was going to be able to relax and breath as I headed west out of DC I was wrong! I used to live right here back in the dark ages of the early 70’s but it's not the same place at all! Where you used to be able to breathe a little once you got west of Manassas, is now wall to wall city and it goes on almost all the way to the Blue Ridge Mountains!

I kept right on running (Though I wasn’t running so much as growing roots at one point as I tried to get clear of an unexplained traffic tie-up on the outskirts of DC.) until I got to Winchester VA. And to be fair, I saw a few empty fields in between the housing and shopping developments just before I got there.

Just on the west side of Winchester is the Candy Hill Campground. Even though it was a Sunday and people should have been home getting ready for the workweek and not out camping, it was pretty full, including a large contingent of Mennonites, but there were still sites available.

Turns out the local apple harvest festival was going on through the rest of the eweek. . . I hope this festival crap isn’t going to be a recurring theme on this trip!

Big boats - Big tools!
The rich cousins --- I knew I should have been nicer to them!
I was parked next to a couple from Sweden driving a German motorhome that they had shipped over to Baltimore nearly a year before. They were actually wrapping up their trip of the US and Canada and heading back to Baltimore in a few days to put their rig on a boat for the ride back to Europe.

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