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The End Of One Journey, The Start Of A New One!

This is the post excerpt.

This is the very first blog of our new journey through life.  We have just finished selling Leu Cat, our Lagoon 44 Catamaran sailboat which we spent 10 years sailing around the world, and have bought a Tiffin Allegro Bus to explore North America.  We are very excited to begin this new journey and look forward to sharing it with you.

Before we begin, we wish to share with you some very sad news.  The new owners of Leu Cat, Susan and Doug, have just emailed us to say that Leu Cat is no more.  We sold Leu Cat on August 30th and she was anchored in the lagoon at Sint Maarten.  Unfortunately, the massive hurricane called Irma swept over Sint Maarten just a few days later and destroyed much of the island and hundreds of boats, including Leu Cat.  Here is the message that we received from Susan and Doug:

“It is my sad task to tell you that Leu Cat is a total loss from Hurricane Irma. According to the last AIS transmission, she ended up against the Skipjack Restaurant on Welfare Road at the short bridge to Snoopy Island at 5:05 am on Wednesday, Sept. 6. That was almost immediately after the hurricane hit St. Maarten. With that information, Ian found her at that location today under a pile of wrecked boats with only the flags on the forward hulls visible to identify her. She is in small pieces as she was blown through the causeway bridge. We are saddened also to know that he lost his Leopard catamaran (which was a business in addition to his surveying) as well.”

We were so saddened to hear this tragic news.  Susan and Doug are such nice people and this is the last thing we would want for them.  Fortunately, they did purchase hurricane insurance so they should recoup much of their loss.  Also, we are saddened because Leu Cat was such a wonderful home, sailboat and companion to us as we sailed around the world.  If you are interested in sharing the adventure we had with her, you can go go to our blog site by Click here to go to our sailing adventure blog site

In the days to come, we will be sharing with you our new adventures as we start our exploration of North America in our new home.  We have yet to name her and are open to any suggestions that you may have.  We will post photos of her in the next few days as the dust settles from our outfitting her.  She is a beauty!

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Year 2 Day 143 More Jamestown and Yorktown

Originally, we had planned on spending a day at Colonial Williamsburg.  It is the historical district of Williamsburg where they have preserved or restored many original colonial era buildings and homes.  However, we enjoyed these last couple of days exploring Jamestown and Yorktown so much that we decided to skip Colonial Williamsburg and return to see parts of the museums at Jamestown and Yorktown that we missed.  Our logic was that we had been to Colonial Williamsburg before when we lived in Delaware way back during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and it most likely has not changed that much since then.  With this being our last day before we move on to spend a couple of weeks in the Washington DC area tomorrow, we wanted to fully explore Jamestown and Yorktown since we enjoyed what we did see so much.  Thus, this morning we hopped into our cute little Fiat and put-putted down the road, headed off to the ferry to cross the James River one more time.

We first stopped at the Jamestown Museum and finished wandering through their galley of time, taking the time to more carefully read and enjoy those exhibits we had missed.  After lunch in their cafeteria, we then drove over to the Jamestown National Park, where the actual site of Jamestown is located.  While it is a national park, it is also an active archeological dig site and when we were there, we watch a few people carefully doing a dig.  Despite what we were told at the Museum, the National Park Service has recreated parts of the original site including the wooden walls that surrounded the original settlement.

The original settlement was situated on a piece of ground that was between the James River and a swamp.  Not the best place to live and the swamp and brackish water of the James is what led to the deaths of so many of the settlers.  You can see the stockade in the background toward the left.

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This is what the stockade looked like in 1607.  It took them 19 days to build and you can see the poles and pegs that connected the individual logs together.  Two years later, they rebuilt the stockade using split wood.  You can see what that stockade looked like in the pictures I posted when we first went to the Jamestown Settlement Museum a few days ago.

Here are some of the information signs that I captured.

Here is the church that was built in 1906.  However, it was built over the foundation of another church, which was built in 1617,  They are in the process of doing an archaeological dig inside this church to uncover artifacts of that earlier period.

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Here another area that is undergoing ab excavation.20180523_125724

A mockup of what the original settlement looked like back in 1607.20180523_130310

The crosses mark locations where some of the settlers were buried.  They were buried inside the stockade for fear that the Native Americans would desecrate the graves if dug outside the stockade.20180523_130146

We next drove back to Yorktown to revisit the museum there.  As we entered, we discovered we were just in time to take in another lecture, this one being on Alexander Hamilton.  A few years ago, I read Ron Chernow’s biography on Hamilton and really enjoyed it.  Thus, we both were anxious to hear the lecture.

The lecture was wonderful, albeit short, only about 35 minutes.  It refreshed my memory on some of the details of Hamilton’s life that I had forgotten.  He was a most remarkable person and played such an important role in the founding of our country.  This included being the principle interpreter between Washington and General Rochambeau, the French commander of French Troops in America during the Revolutionary War.  He also wrote 51 of the 85 essays that composed what become known as The Federalist Papers.  These were written with John Jay and John Madison to promote the ratification of the Constitution.  Hamilton is probably best known as the one who set up the First National Bank of the United States and created our country’s currency and help extinguished the huge debts that each of the 13 colonies had as a result of the long war.  He did so much more but a discussion on that may, someday, be part of another blog.

After the lecture, we then went into the museum’s galleries and enjoyed exploring them.  The galleries are set up along the critical time periods of the Revolutionary War and contain a variety of multi-media, extractive exhibits that are wonderful.  There are also a number of movies that you can sit in on, including one where the seats shake with each cannon that is fired and where the wind blows on you as the sea battle between the French and the British takes place near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.  It was pretty cool!

Here are some of the photos I took of a couple of the multimedia exhibits.

By now, it was late in the afternoon but we still had one more stop to make.  Thus, we hustled back to the ferry, crossed the James River one last time and arrived at the Edward’s Virginia Smoked Ham store in Surry, Virginia.  This is the home store where Edward’s was founded.  It is a famous chain of outlets that distributes various types of Virginia Smoked hams which are made in Surry.

We left armed with a bundle of hams and a pocket that was cleaned out of money.  Nevertheless, we had big smiles on our faces knowing that these rich and succulent hams were now in our possession.

What a day!

Year 2 Day 142 Yorktown

This morning we headed off for Yorktown.  It too is situated on the same peninsula as Jamestown but unlike Jamestown, it is located on the York River side of the peninsula and near where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay.  Jamestown is located about 30 or so miles up the James River.  While Jamestown was founded well up James River to be well hidden from the Spanish entering Chesapeake Bay, Yorktown is more conveniently located for ships entering the Chesapeake Bay from the Atlantic Ocean.  It was this easy port access for landing troops and supplies that lead the British to select it as a base of operations.

The National Park Service maintains the battlefield and offers a fairly simple museum on its grounds.  When we arrived, we first explored the museum and then decided to take the driving tour of the battlefield.  The Park Service has road makers along the way, noting various stops where historically significant activities took place.  Mary Margaret read the history of each stop after which I ran out and took pictures.

We then drove into the village of Yorktown which had a distinct touristy feel for us.  While somewhat quaint, it really was not our cup of tea.  After a nice lunch, we drove over to the American Revolutionary War Museum.  This is part of the same historical foundation that runs the Jamestown Settlement Museum that we loved so much yesterday.  Following the same format, this museum had a wonderful series of galleries to wander through along with outside reconstructions of an American revolutionary army camp and a small farming village.

Our timing was wonderful because as we started to explore the museum, a historian met us and invited us to attend his lecture on the battle of Yorktown that he was about to start.  It was a real treat to attend and we learned a lot of background information that we might have otherwise missed.

Once the lecture was over, Mary Margaret and I decided to split up since our time was now short and there was so much to see.  I went outside to explore the reconstructions while she explored the galleries.  We met back up at the theater where we both attended a film about the history of the revolution but it paled in comparison to the lecture that we had earlier attended.

I will offer a brief write up of what we learned during the lecture and, in the process, sprinkle some of the photos I took today so you can see what I am trying to describe.

Yorktown was made famous by the defeat of General Cornwallis and his British troops by General Washington and his combined army of American and French troops back in 1781 which was the last major battle during the Revolutionary War.

By the summer of 1781, the United States had been at war with England for over six years. The first shots had been fired in April 1775 on the village green in Lexington and at North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. Merely sustaining the army had been a major accomplishment for the Americans, who did not have much money, food or clothing. The winters of 1777-78 at Valley Forge and 1779-80 at Morristown were particularly devastating, with many soldiers freezing and starving to death, and some giving up and returning home.

In the summer of 1780, the Americans received a major boost to their cause when 5,500 French troops, commanded by Comte de Rochambeau, arrived at Newport, Rhode Island. France had been sending supplies to the United States all along, but after France and England declared war against each other in 1778, French King Louis XVI sent troops and naval assistance to the United States to engage the enemy.

When Rochambeau’s forces arrived, the British were operating on two fronts. General Clinton, commander of British forces in North America, was occupying New York City after a largely unsuccessful attempt to control the northern and middle colonies. General Lord Cornwallis was leading through the southern colonies an army that had already captured Savannah and Charleston. The main American army under Washington was stationed along the Hudson River above New York City.

In the spring of 1781, Washington traveled to Rhode Island to meet with Comte de Rochambeau and plan an attack on Clinton. A French fleet was expected to arrive in New York later that summer, and Washington wanted to coordinate the attack with the fleet’s arrival. As planned, Rochambeau’s army marched in July and joined with Washington’s troops outside New York City, only to learn that the French fleet was sailing to the lower Chesapeake Bay.

Washington changed his strategy to make Clinton think he was planning to attack him, while instead sneaking away to the south to trap Cornwallis. In order to fool Clinton, Washington had his men build big army camps and huge brick bread ovens visible from New York to give the appearance of preparations for a stay. Washington also prepared false papers under his signature discussing plans for an attack on Clinton, and let these papers fall into British hands. Leaving a small force behind, Washington and Rochambeau set out for Yorktown in mid-August. By early September they were parading before the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, and they arrived in Williamsburg, 13 miles west of Yorktown, in mid-September.

Cornwallis was in Yorktown because he had been ordered by Clinton during the summer to provide a protected harbor for the British fleet in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Cornwallis chose Yorktown because of its deep-water harbor on the York River. His army spent the latter part of the summer fortifying Yorktown and Gloucester Point across the York River.

The French fleet, as part of the overall plan, entered the lower Chesapeake Bay in the end of August and disembarked 3,000 French troops to wait for Washington and Rochambeau in Williamsburg. On September 5, they encountered the British fleet in a naval engagement known as the Battle of the Capes. The British suffered damage to their ships and returned to New York, while the French, commanded by Admiral de Grasse, remained in the lower Chesapeake and established a blockade.

By the end of September, approximately 17,600 American and French soldiers were gathered in Williamsburg, while 8,300 British soldiers were occupying Yorktown.

The British forces included a small number of German auxiliary troops hired to help fight the war. Cornwallis recognized the odds were in the allies’ favor, and he sent Clinton a note asking for help. Clinton responded that a British fleet with 5,000 men would sail for Yorktown from New York on October 5.

Cornwallis had his men construct a main line of defense around Yorktown that consisted of ten small earthen walled forts (called redoubts), batteries with artillery and connecting trenches. The Americans and French marched from Williamsburg to Yorktown on September 28 and began digging a trench 800 yards from the British defense line to begin a siege. By October 9, the allies’ trench was finished and their artillery had been moved up. Firing at the British continuously, they had virtually knocked the British guns out of action by October 11. Cornwallis had the additional misfortune to learn at that time that Clinton’s departure from New York had been delayed.

Battle of Yorktown Map

During the night of October 11, the allies began a second trench 400 yards from the British. The next days were spent bringing up artillery and strengthening the new line. The new line could not be completed, however, without capturing British redoubts 9 and 10. On the night of October 14, 400 French stormed redoubt 9 and 400 Americans stormed redoubt 10, capturing them in less than 30 minutes. Nine Americans and 15 French died in this brief and heroic action.

On October 16, the British tried two desperation moves. Early that morning they attacked the allied center, attempted to silence a French Battery, but the French cannons were firing again in less than six hours. Late that night they tried to evacuate Yorktown by crossing the York River in small boats to Gloucester Point. However, a violent storm hit the area at midnight, scattering the boats and forcing an abandonment of the escape.

Realizing the situation was hopeless, Cornwallis sent forth a British drummer on October 17, followed by a British officer with a white flag and note indicating a request for a cease fire. A number of notes passed between Cornwallis and Washington that day as they set the framework for the surrender. The next day, October 18, four officers–one American, one French and two British–met at the Moore House, one mile outside Yorktown, to settle surrender terms.20180522_125618

On October 19, most of Cornwallis’ army marched out of Yorktown between two lines of allied soldiers–Americans on one side and French on the other–that stretched for more than one mile. The British marched to a field where they laid down their arms and returned to Yorktown. They did not know that on that very day, Clinton sailed for Yorktown from New York with 5,000 troops.

News of the British defeat at Yorktown spread quickly. Celebrations took place throughout the United States. London was shocked. The British prisoners were marched to prison camps in Winchester, Virginia and Frederick, Maryland. The American army returned to the Hudson River, while the French army remained in Yorktown and Williamsburg for the winter. Clinton and Cornwallis eventually returned to England where they engaged in a long and bitter public controversy over who was to blame for the British defeat at Yorktown.

Though the British still had 26,000 troops in North America after Yorktown, the political resolve in London to win the war was nothing like it had been before Yorktown. The war had been lengthy and costly. Replacing Cornwallis’ captured army was a questionable proposition, particularly because the British also were engaged in military struggles in India, Gibraltar, the West Indies and Ireland. Thus, the British Parliament in March 1782 passes a resolution saying the British should not continue the war against the United States. Later that year, commissioners of the United States and Great Britain signed provisional articles of peace. In September 1783, the final treaty was signed which ended the war and acknowledged American independence.

Here are a few of the photos of the colonial farmstead that was reconstructed at the museum.

 

 

Year 2 Day 141 Jamestown Settlement

 

Today, we took the ferry across the James River and explored Jamestown.  Well, we actually never made it to the Jamestown National Park, where the original Jamestown was established.  We hope to stop there tomorrow on our way to Yorktown.  Where Jamestown original stood is an archeological site and we have been told there is nothing to see above the ground since none of the structures no long exist.  Instead, we explored the Jamestown Museum and reconstructed settlement.  I must say, this is the one of the best, if not the best, museum we have ever visited anywhere in the world.  That is a statement I do not make lightly.  If you are ever in this part of the US, it is well worth the effort to come over to Jamestown and visit this.  What make this museum so special is that it is a combination of outstanding and accurate outdoor reconstructions; a series of docents dressing in period costumes who are very knowledgeable, patient and friendly; a series of large indoor galleries that you walk through that are based on distinct periods of time that are relevant to Jamestown and the area surrounding it.  It presents information from various views: the English, the Native Americans, and the slaves.

Before I post the pictures of what we saw, I will present a brief history of Jamestown and its significance to us in the US.  Much of what I present below was just plagiarized from http://www.history.com after vetting it using three different sources and from what we learned during our visit.  I have augmented it with some of my own insights.

After Christopher Columbus’ historic voyage in 1492, Spain dominated the race to establish colonies in the Americas, while English efforts, such as the “lost colony” of Roanoke (1587), met with failure. In 1606, King James I granted a charter to a new venture, the Virginia Company, to form a settlement in North America. At the time, Virginia was the English name for the entire eastern coast of North America north of Florida; they had named it for Elizabeth I, the “virgin queen.” The Virginia Company planned to search for gold and silver deposits in the New World, as well as a river route to the Pacific Ocean that would allow them to establish trade with the Orient.

Roughly 100 colonists left England in late December 1606 on three ships (the Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery) and reached Chesapeake Bay late the next April. After forming a governing council—including Christopher Newport, commander of the voyage, and John Smith, a former mercenary who had been accused of insubordination aboard ship by several other company members—the group searched for a suitable settlement site. On May 14, 1607, they landed on a narrow peninsula–virtually an island–in the James River, where they would begin their lives in the New World.

Known variously as James Forte, James Towne and James Cittie, the new settlement initially consisted of a wooden fort built in a triangle around a storehouse for weapons and other supplies, a church and a number of houses. By the summer of 1607, Newport went back to England with two ships and 40 crewmembers to give a report to the king and to gather more supplies and colonists. The settlers left behind suffered greatly from hunger and illness since they arrived well after the planting season had begun and they did not have time to build a settlement, clear the land and till fields to grow crops.  It was only through trading with the Algonquian tribes that dominated the area that kept the small settlement alive.  The Native Americans in the area were organized into a series of smaller local tribes, each with one or more chiefs.  However, they were part of a larger, well organized society which was controlled by the head chief, Wahunsenacawh.  He was called Chief Powhatan by the English and it was he who determined that his nation would welcome the English for purposes of establishing trade to enrich his people with the remarkable iron goods, arms and other goods that were not part of their society.  It was their trading food with the settlers that kept the settlers alive through the first winter.

However, not every local chief supported the position taken by Chief Powhatan.  This was especially true of those chiefs whose tribes were in the most contact with the English.  This was because of the societal differences between the two groups and the customs and beliefs they were raised with.  Also, there was political infighting between Chief Powhatan and his brothers, especially his youngest brother, Opechancanough.  Opechancanough argued for attacking the settlers and eliminating their presence in their lands.  This led to periodic hostilities between the Native Americans and the settlers.

John Smith was critical in establishing a positive influence with Chief Powhatan.  He played a major role in minimizing hostilities while in Jamestown.  However, he was forced to return to London after receiving very serious gunpower burns in late 1609.  Without his presence, the relationship with the Native Americans deteriorated so much that trading ceased and skirmishes increased.  Without adequate food for the winter, the settlers suffered starvation and disease and many died.  Things were so bad that some unburied the dead and cannibalism occurred.

Just when the surviving colonists decided to abandon Jamestown in Spring 1610, new settlers with supplies arrived from England, eager to find wealth in Virginia.  This group of new settlers arrived under the second charter issued by King James I.  This charter provided for stronger leadership under a governor who served with a group of advisors, and the introduction of a period of military law that carried harsh punishments for those who did not obey.

In order to make a profit for the Virginia Company, settlers tried a number of small industries, including glassmaking, wood production, and pitch and tar and potash manufacture.  However, until the introduction of tobacco as a cash crop about 1613 by colonist John Rolfe, who later married Powhatan’s daughter Pocahontas, none of the colonists’ efforts to establish profitable enterprises were successful.  Tobacco cultivation required large amounts of land and labor and stimulated the rapid growth of the Virginia colony.  Settlers moved onto the lands occupied by the Powhatan Indians, and increased numbers of indentured servants came to Virginia.

The first documented Africans in Virginia arrived in 1619.  They were from the kingdom of Ndongo in Angola, West Central Africa, and had been captured during war with the Portuguese.  While these first Africans may have been treated as indentured servants, the customary practice of owning Africans as slaves for life appeared by mid-century.  The number of African slaves increased significantly in the second half of the 17th century, replacing indentured servants as the primary source of labor.

Upon the death of Wahunsenacawh in 1618, his next younger brother Opitchapam officially became paramount chief. However, Opechancanough, the youngest brother, had achieved the greatest power and effectively became the Powhatan.  Relations between the Native Americans and the settlers quickly got worse when the settlers started establishing new settlements in the area.

In March 1622, the Powhatan made a major assault on English settlements, killing some 350 to 400 residents (a full one-quarter of the population). The attack hit the outposts of Jamestown the hardest, while the town itself received advance warning and was able to mount a defense.

In an effort to take greater control of the situation, King James I dissolved the Virginia Company and made Virginia into an official crown colony, with Jamestown as its capital, in 1624. The New Town area of Jamestown continued to grow, and the original fort seems to have disappeared after the 1620s. Though the Powhatan people continued to mount a resistance (Opechankeno, by then in his 80s, led another great rebellion in 1644), the colony continued to grow stronger, and his successor Necotowance was forced to sign a peace treaty that ceded most of the Powhatans’ land and forced them to pay an annual tribute to the colonial governor. In 1698, the central statehouse in Jamestown burned down, and Williamsburg replaced it as the colonial capital the following year.

Here are the many photos we took while exploring this wonderful museum.

THE FERRY WE TOOK TO CROSS THE JAMES RIVER

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THE ALGONQUIN VILLAGE 

THE SUSAN CONSTANT, THE GODSPEED AND THE DISCOVERY

jAMESTOWN RECONSTRUCTED

MORE OF JAMESTOWN

 

 

 

Year 2 Day 140 Chippokes Plantation

 

There is so much neat historical significance in and around this area that I just do not know where to being.  First, we have Jamestown, the first permanent English community that was founded in the US, way back in 1607, 13 years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock up in Massachusetts.  Then we have the Chippokes Plantation, whose land we are camping on, which is the oldest, continuously farmed land in the US, specifically for 399 years!  We have Yorktown close by, where Cornwallis surrendered to the combined America and French forces which led to the end of the Revolutionary War and the birth of our nation.  We also have Colonial Williamsburg near us. Colonial Williamsburg has a living history museum where three streets of the original Williamsburg have been preserved with houses and shops dating back to the Colonial period of the US.  Finally, we have the most interesting story of the ship Sea Venture that sunk in July 1609 during a storm after striking a reef on the eastern shore of Bermuda.  It is significant to this area because it was part of the second group of supply ships that were headed for Jamestown.  The survivors of that wreck ended up building two ships from the wreckage and in 1610, arrived in Jamestown with their harrowing tale.

 

I am not sure I will have a chance to adequately discuss all of this history in the short time we are here but I will give it a yeoman’s effort.  Today, I will discuss the Chippokes Plantations since we are camping on its grounds and Mary Margaret and I went this afternoon to explore it.

 

As it turns out, the Chippokes Plantation is the oldest continuously farmed plantation in the US and has retained its original boundaries since it was established in 1619.  This was a year before the Pilgrims, sailing on the Mayflower, landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

 

It was established by Captain William Powell.  He was Lieutenant Governor of Jamestown at that time.  The records are not clear if William Power landed with the first fleet of ships that were sent from England in 1607 (the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery) and founded Jamestown or arrived with the second group of supply ships in 1609.  However, it is clear that he did establish Chippokes Plantation, which is located right across the river from Jamestown.  In 1619 Powell established the plantation and named it after the local Algonquian Indian Chief Choapoke, who he killed in a 1610 raid in retaliation of an attack that Chief Choapoke led on Jamestown a few days before.  Chief Choapoke had his village on the land that became the plantation.

 

Powell was later killed in early 1623 in an Indian ambush and the plantation was passed on to his son, George.  George soon sold it and it has changed hands frequently through time.  Unlike many large plantations along the James River, it was never a family seat during the 1600 and 1700s, but, served as a secondary plantation managed by overseers or farmed by tenants.

 

Today, the plantation has a number of historic buildings, the earliest dates back to early 1800s.  The first house we visited is called the River House.  Built in two phases starting 1830s and then expanded during the 1840s.  The house was gutted in a restoration attempt in the mid-1900s but never completed.  Here are the pictures I took.

 

Next, we went to the Jones-Stewart Mansion that was built in the 1850s.  It was fully furnished with period antiques but we were not allowed to take pictures inside.  I have posted the picture we took from the outside.20180520_152550

 

We also visited the kitchen outbuilding.  The docent was dressed in period dress and gave us a personal description of cooking activities that occurred here.  It was wonderful.

 

Tomorrow, we hope to explore Jamestown, weather permitting.

 

 

 

Year 2 Days 138 and 139 Chippokes Plantation State Park, Jamestown, VA

 

Yesterday, it poured, poured and poured some more.  While where we had set up LeuC was relatively dry, just a few feet away, where our fire ring and picnic table were located, was under water.  We had received Flash Flood warnings for the next two days and the warnings were accurate.  Needless to say, we spend yesterday hunkered down, nice and dry within the very comfortable ambiance that LeuC provides.

 

This morning, between rain bursts, we bundled up LeuC, made a quick drive over to the dump station to discharge our accumulations of our grey and black water tanks.  We also hooked up our little Fiat to LeuC and made an escape down the road.  We regretted leaving the Falls Lake’s Rolling View Campground without having much of a chance to explore it and its surrounding areas.  However, the rain was just too much of a wet blanket to get out and explore.

 

Our goal today was to continue our drive north with our destination the Chippokes Plantation State Park, located right across the James River from Jamestown, Virginia.  It rained during the entire 3.5 hours of our drive.  Most of the time, the rain was just a drizzle, but it kept our speed down some, especially on the miles of country back roads we had to take to get to our campground.  These backroads did not have any shoulders, had overhanging branches, and tons of sharp curves.  Our RV’s GPS kept on “dinging”, announcing warnings of “sharp curves ahead”.  Even though the speed limit ranged from 45 to 55 MPH, I had to keep LeuC’s speed down to the 35 to 50 MPH range to keep her on the wet roads.

 

When we arrived, we discovered that our campground is very “sweet” and is nestled within another deciduous and pine forest.  If this state park is any indication of what the rest of the state parks of Virginia are like, they are doing an awesome job!  We have a very large pull-though site with 50 Amps of power, water, a large gravel area next to us which houses a nice picnic table and a fire ring.  Sweet!

 

We are located on a former plantation which is in the heart of the Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg historical areas.  Even with rain being forecast during our stay here, we are definitely going to spend some serious time touring these areas!

 

 

Year 2 Days 136 and 137 Falls Lake Recreational Area, Wake Forest, NC

 

Yesterday, we continued our leisurely journey up the southeastern seaboard as we drove another 3.5 hours from our campground in rural South Carolina to our new campground near Wake Forest, North Carolina.  Driving along the rural roads of South Carolina was, at times, a bit of a challenge because the lanes were very narrow, there were no shoulders along the lanes and the trees draped over the road, hanging lower than LeuC’s height.  Thus, to avoid hitting limbs and leaves, we had to drive down the middle of the road.  That worked great as long as we were on a straightaway and no other vehicles were coming toward us.  However, whenever we approached a curve or we could see a car or truck driving toward us, we had to return to our side of the road and slow down to let that vehicle pass us before the next limb arrived to knock our bus.  This went on for about 30 miles, until we reached the entrance ramp of the I-95 freeway.

south-carolina rural roadsThe rest of the drive was easy-peasy even though we had to drive through a couple of areas with construction and the traffic was remarkably heavy for a Tuesday.

 

We arrived at the Rolling View Campground, which sits on a peninsula that juts out into Falls Lake.  It is one of a number of campgrounds within the Falls Lake Recreational Area that is located between Wake Forest and Durham, North Carolina.  It is another very nice park and we are nestled in a wonderful site, deep in the middle of an oak and pine forest.

 

Today, we decided to mostly hunker down as a massive front is slowly moving over us, dropping huge amounts of rain.  We were able to sneak out for lunch before the rain hit, using our little Fiat to drive over to Durham where The Pit restaurant is located.  Our son, David Paul, had suggested that we just had to sample some Carolina BBQ before we left the Southeast.  Thus, we bellied up and I ordered some smoked ribs covered in a sweet BBQ sauce.  The ribs were good but a little dry for my taste since they are cooked overnight in a low temperature smoker.  They were smoky good but I prefer my ribs on the moist side.  What was excellent was the Brunswick stew that was served as one of the side dishes.  The last time we had Brunswick stew was over 40 years ago and we had forgotten how tasty it was. The hush puppies and mac and cheese were also excellent.  Mary Margaret had a delicious plate of fried chicken strips that were crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside.  It was all washed down with a local draft brewed red ale.  Yum!

 

We rolled out of The Pit and barely made it back to LeuC before the rain started.  I was fortunate to have the rain stop for a couple of hours as the sun set which allowed me to start a campfire and enjoy my nightly Cuban and a dram of Scotch while some wonderful classical music played on my cell phone. 20180515_191135

 

We will be here for 4 nights before moving on to Jamestown, Virginia.  Live is good!