Two of the things that I love most about RVing are the unique sights we chance upon in the most unexpected places and the sometimes bizarre new tidbits I discover while visiting or planning to visit an area. On our trip up to Delaware for some friend and family time, Storm and I stumble across some fascinating and useful information about the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Although Storm is confident that driving the RV through the tunnels will be a breeze, as usual I am nervous and feel compelled to research the crossing in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises (like being turned around at the toll booth because the winds are too strong for RVs to cross). I am able to learn all I need from their website and armed with a link to their crossing status twitter and the $39 we need to pay the toll, I am ready to begin our passage.
While perusing the Bay Bridge Tunnel website, I learn that if a person wants to cross but is not thrilled about driving through tunnels themselves, the Bay Bridge Tunnel folks will actually provide a driver who will drive the person’s vehicle (sorry only cars, not RVs) across for them. Wow – talk about transportation service – and it is free! So if you have been longing to drive to the Eastern Shore but hated the thought of navigating this 20 mile crossing, pack your bags, give them a call and close your eyes as you are chauffeured over the bay!
As we exit the bridge, we immediately need to pull over and turn our LP gas back on before our fridge suffers a meltdown. We had turned off our LP gas tank before driving onto the bridge as a requirement for tunneling our way across. The first roomy pulloff after the bridge is the Eastern Shore Welcome Center where there is plenty of room for our RV and a bunch of others too! This huge parking area has a 48 hour parking limit (yippee – a night or two of free parking), a welcome center with restrooms and a wildlife refuge that borders the lot on the backside.
The Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge can be entered through a gateway to the park from the parking lot of the Welcome Center. While Storm chases Munzees across the parking lot of the visitor center, I scamper off down the refuge’s butterfly path hoping for some scenery. I am also hoping to scurry down the trail quickly enough that Storm won’t catch me in the lie that “I am just going to see where the path is” when what I am really planning is to see where the path goes. All the butterflies appear to have migrated away, but at the end of the path I blunder into a HUGE gun. Not what I expect on a nature path, but fascinating as this 16 inch gun was once used on the USS Missouri is now displayed in a bunker where I am able to get up close and personal with it. I do not have time to walk all of the refuge trails on this visit, but from what I can see this is worth a stop. Check their website for hours and hunting closures before your visit just to be on the safe side.
One more thing, Storm and I keep having weird experiences with emergency signs lately. For example, in Manteo our hotel had a sign on the front door that stated “In an emergency call xxx-xxx-xxxx OR in a real emergency call 911.” We jokingly inquired of the front desk person what a “real” emergency was and she seriously informed us “a fire.” At the Eastern Shore Welcome Center I see the sign pictured here while visiting the Rest Room. For an urgent situation, this seems awfully verbose to me. In an “real” emergency, I prefer clear and concise instructions like “PRESS RED BUTTON IN EMERGENCY.” That type of signage would be more apt to keep me from going astray and making the problem worse!