September 30, 2006 - We're on our way to the caravan rendezvous in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Left home on Thursday the 21st for an Airstream rally in Sugarcreek, Ohio, then there was one stop in Meherrin, Virginia for a quick visit with the John Bergs and an even quicker visit with Dave and MaryLove Schumaker in Mechanicsville, Virginia before heading on to Rehoboth.
October 3, 2006 - Crossed the Chesapeake Bay yesterday using unusual tunnel and bridge complex from Norfolk. Had envisioned a long tunnel, but it was mostly bridge. The two tunnels that dipped below the ship channels were not as long as some of the tunnels we've gone through in the mountains. The toll was steep too - $28.00 - but bypassing the traffic density around Washington, DC was worth the extra cost.
The 123 mile drive up the Delmarva peninsula to Rehoboth Beach was easy and uneventful. Lots of undeveloped land and farmland for most of the drive. Delaware Seashore State Park was our destination - the rendezvous site for the caravan. Surrounded by water, the campground was nearly filled with fishermen who roll their wagons filled with fishing gear from their campers down to waters edge. To the east is the Atlantic Ocean, to the south and west, Chesapeake Bay. To the northeast is Delaware Bay and the southern shore of New Jersey. “Delmarva” is a composite word made up of the abbreviations of the three states - Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia - that share the peninsula. The strange village names appearing as we drove reflect the Indian tribes that once inhabited this remote area - Kiptopeke, Machipongo, Nassawadox, Wachapreague, Accomac, Assateague, Chincoteague, Metompkin, for example.
October 4, 2006 - Not much doing today while we await the arrival of a few more Airstreamers. We drove north to the town of Rehoboth Beach - found a Walmart and a coffee shop that offered Wi-Fi service. Although we're close to the beach, it's not possible to see the ocean without crossing a series of sand dunes, and that can only be done at designated spots. We chose one that looked deserted and found that getting to get to the water required walking about a quarter mile through deep sand. What a wide beach! Suspect that during the summer season the beach is crowded, but there was no one in sight this day. Pretty nice. It's probably a bit unusual to see the beach deserted on a beautiful, warm day like today. The pictures show me at the water's edge videoing the waves.
By 5:00pm most units were in camp, and our first caravan activity was a seafood dinner catered at the marina
in the park - a wonderful meal. Trays of steamed sea scallops, flounder, shrimp, clams, mixed vegetables,
and pie & cake for dessert, served on picnic table outside the marina. The other picture is of our friends Sid
and Sarah Watters arriving in the afternoon.
October 5, 2006 - This first full day of caravan activities began with a visit to the Zwaanendael Museum in the town of Lewes. This is a museum that highlights the early Dutch presence in the area. There was a Dutch colony begun here in 1631 at a place called Cape Henlopen. The objective was to establish a whaling station. The 32 original settlers were massacred by Indians. The settlement was named Lewes (pronounced "Loo-iss") by English settlers who came later, but the town still claims a Dutch origin. In 1931, the 300th anniversary of that first Dutch landing was celebrated by the building of the museum building, modeled after a similar shaped building in Holland. Many artifacts were displayed that have been recovered over the years from that first Dutch settlement. "Zwaanendael" in Dutch means "Valley of the Swans."
Following lunch at the Lighthouse Restaurant, we toured the Lightship Overfalls museum. A lightship served the same function as a lighthouse, but in areas where building a lignthouse was impractical. Named after the Overfall Shoals, a shallows in the mouth of Delaware Bay, this lightship marked the shoals to protect ocean going vessels traveling in and out of Delaware Bay. All ocean traffic to and from Philadelphia comes through Delaware Bay. Modern technology has displaced all the old lightships. The few that are left are now museums.
Our first caravan GAM was at the Arnold's motorhome - Jerry and Mary. With blustery wind and lower temperatures, we welcomed their invitation to sit inside. Bob and Marianne Batey, Herman and Ruth Cook, were also there.
October 6, 2006 - The weather deteirorated to a real storm during the night, rocking
the motorhome pretty bad. Our tour for the day was appropriately to the Indian River
Life Saving Station. The station's mission was to attempt to save lives from
shipwrecks during stormy days just like this. The Life Saving Services was
discontinued in 1915. Modern navigation systems have eliminated the need
for such facilities, and this station is now a museum. The ranger did an excellent
job of interpreting the station's history while the storm raged outside.
What a difference a couple of days make! From hot, sunny, almost smooth water and a wide beach to stormy, cold, rough water and no beach. The weather service just predicted waves of 13 feet for tonight. The caravan was scheduled for a boat ride out into the ocean hunting whales and dolphins, but the weather made that impossible.
At this evening's GAM, held in the Ulrich's motorhome, present were the hosts, George and Angie DeVaull, Bill and Gladys UIrich, Ed and Alice Zitzer, Jean Hecht, and the Bergs.
October 7, 2006 - The storm continued through the night with the wind howling, the motorhome rocking, and debris hitting the outer wall as we were blasted broadside. It was still storming at daybreak, and as the tide reached it's peak the water from the inlet poured over into the campground. Despite the weather, it was moving day, this time to Chincoteague, Virginia, a 77 mile trip. We forded about a foot of water to get out of the campground, but had a pleasant drive otherwise with the wind pushing us along. We encountered the high water again on the causeway going over to Chincoteague Island. At one spot breaking waves were sending spray all the way across the road. Everyone made it okay into Tom's Cove RV Park on the island.
The caravan was supposed to attend an Oyster Festival this afternoon, but the weather forced a postponement. That left us with a free afternoon to roam the island - in the rain. We had our 3rd GAM in an activities building in the campground. Present were Sid and Sarah Watters, Linda and Duell Robinson, Jack and Angela Jeffrey, Art and Carol Head, and the Bergs. Afterward we played Joker with the Robinsons. The wind was still blowing as we retired for the night. This was a bad storm. Everyone around is ready for it to be over with.