Day 5, October 15, 2003: Virginia Beach, VA to Rehoboth Beach, DE
Left the "Diplomat" motel a little later than intended. The motel has surely seen better days. It is a multi-story building, five if I recall, right on the ocean but shows a lot of wear and tear and not all of it came about as a result of Isabel. I guess I shouldn't complain too much since the room was cheap and didn't seem to be dirty. I snapped a picture of the sunrise from the balcony and it was quite clear which got me to wondering about the old rhyme about red skies vs. clear skies and when sailors should be delighted or warned. If I remember correctly this should mean that it will get worse later on.
Just north of Virginia Beach is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel which crosses, naturally, Chesapeake Bay. It dives underwater twice on the way across, presumably to allow the largest ships to cross over while a couple of high-level sections allow smaller ships to go underneath. It was wickedly windy during my crossing but at least yesterday's rain is gone.
By 9:30 I was in "Historic Cape Charles" which stuck me as a place with nothing but history. The present was grim and appeared that it was on the way to becoming a ghost town with nothing but boarded up businesses to show.
Later I drove out to Chincoteague Island to look around. A rather pleasant place which made me feel a lot better than Hilton Head had earlier. At least this place has not been taken over, at least not totally, by either old or new money. In other words it was a mixed/real community. If you've heard of this place at all it probably is in connection with the annual pony roundup. On the way out I drove past Wallops Island, the NASA site, and intended to stop at their museum but as luck would have it, it was closed. Don't know if this was merely an example of my bad luck with schedules or some sort of security-related development.
I crossed over the dividing line into Maryland at around noon and shortly thereafter I was in Delaware. The sudden passage through three states was entirely due to old political dealings which sliced up a rather short peninsula among three of the original states. The peninsula is, to this day, pretty sparsely populated (at least compared to what lay on the mainland) and remains quite rural/agricultural. Stopped at the Indian River Life-Saving Museum to look around. The old Life-Saving Service has quite an interesting history in this area. The wind was so wicked during my stop that it was about all I could do to open the door on their modern gift shop / entry building. Of course had I chosen to open the other door it probably would have been blown off its hinges. Wonder what that could mean for my "voyage" tomorrow?
I holed up in Rehoboth Beach, DE for the night in preparation for catching the Cape May Ferry in the morning.