Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Chapter 6 - Hatteras to Williamsburg, Virginia

June 5th, Day 9: Our drive from Cape Hatteras up to Williamsburg, Virginia was only around 162 miles and when we pulled into the Williamsburg KOA we were a bit nervous that our 11:00 am arrival was too early and our site might not yet be available. As it turns out and considering that today was Sunday and the weekend campers were returning home, the campground was at the most only 50% occupied. As a result we were able to land a great location complete with a concrete pad.  No rain puddles to worry about.  The campground was also loaded with beautiful trees and paved roads.  Furthermore we were located only a few miles north of Williamsburg and not that far from the other two historical sites that we planned to visit tomorrow, the Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown. Our plan this afternoon was to simply drive down into Williamsburg to get an overall view of this old historical city, do a little shopping, and then spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing at our campsite. One thing that we have come to realize especially after spending three months last summer on the road and living in our small travel trailer, is that at our age we just can not be on the go-go-go all of the time. We will leave that for tomorrow.

June 6th, Day 10: We were quite aware when we headed for historic Williamsburg at 8:00 am this morning that we would probably find nothing open. But, we would also find the parking lots almost empty and no crowds walking the streets. The sun was shining brightly and the hot afternoon temperatures had not yet arrived. Perfect. Check out this photo to the right of Kathy and Cabo.
The original settlement in Williamsburg began in 1638.  The land on which it lies is around the half way point and at the high ground between the James River to the south (location of the Jamestown Settlement) and the York River to the north (location of Yorktown). There is a map at the end of this chapter showing the location of Williamsburg. Williamsburg was for awhile the capital of Virginia but during the Revolution it was felt that its location was to easy a target for the British and the capital was moved to Richmond. The town is full of lovely old homes and a shopping area in the center of town that is full of high class stores located largely in buildings constructed or reconstructed as the case may be, to look like 18th century buildings.  The effect is wonderful and it is no surprise why tourists are drawn to this charming old city.  The photograph to the left above shows the Governor's Palace which was the home to seven British Royal Governors prior to the American Revolution.  Construction of the "Palace" began back in 1706. 

Kathy and I visited Williamsburg back in 1999, and at the time we had the extra time to visit most of the tourist attractions in and around town.  Today considering the hour was early (most all of the lovely gift stores and high end clothing stores were closed) and we had Cabo with us, we were content just to walk around the city and enjoy the beautiful sites.  This photograph to the right shows Kathy enjoying one of the many gardens around the area.  In this case the garden was loaded with herbs. It was behind a great looking (but closed) restaurant.  What a treat.

Next we drove south out of Williamsburg to the site of the original Jamestown Colony, a distance of around eight miles.  While the drive down and back and around the historic Jamestown Island was really very pretty, we were disappointed to learn that most of what can be seen and learned about the original colony was being shown in a large indoor museum called the Jamestown Settlement.  We did not visit the museum due in part to time constraints, but also because innocent, quiet, and totally harmless very small dogs were not allowed inside the building.  The only photo that we took during this portion of our visit was of a car ferry out in the James River and the only reason that we found this interesting is that our neighbors in the Williamsburg KOA had told us that they had recently crossed over on the ferry to get to the KOA.

And finally on this whirlwind tour of this Virginia Peninsula we drove the 15 miles or so up to Yorktown to visit the site of the last major battle of the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Yorktown. The Battle of Yorktown was fought in October of 1781 between the American Continental Army under General George Washington combined with the French Army against the British Army commanded by General Charles Cornwallis.  The British surrender effectively ended the Revolutionary War. While here again we could not visit their museum, we did have the opportunity to drive through the battlefield site and read the many informational signs describing the various stages of the battle.

This final photo taken of Kathy sitting on the front steps of the Moore House, originally constructed in 1767, was the site of the final surrender of the British to the Americans on October 17, 1781. While it kinds of goes without saying, history seems to come alive when one visits these historic sites in our country.

We retuned to our campsite in Williamsburg around 3:30 pm but not before stopping at the historic Walmart in Williamsburg (just kidding about the historic part) for our always needed supplies.  We need to shop almost daily because our refrigerator is so tiny.  The map below shows the location of the three sites we visited today on the Virginia Peninsula.

For dinner I cooked outside under our awning. Hamburger for Cabo and I and two large mushroom looking things for vegetarian Kathy.  It was a good day all in all.  Our original plan for tomorrow was to backtrack to Virginia Beach and then cross the bridge/tunnel crossing the Chesapeake Bay and continue driving north up the coast to our previously selected campground up near Rehoboth Beach.  Unfortunately I could not get the campground to answer their phone (and Verizon cut in a few times reporting no such number exists) or my several emails, so Kathy and I assumed they may have closed their business.  We tried to find another campground in the area that we liked but gave up.  We finally changed our plans and made a reservation at a very nice and highly rated campground located just north of Washington.  It was more or less in line with our decision to make a giant sweep around the New York City area to avoid the heavy traffic.  Let us hope that we do not get snarled up in traffic in the Washington area, but we'll see and it has happened before and we have made it through. To be continued . . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment