Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Winnona goes UNDER the sea

Thursday October 3, 2013
Assateague National Seashore
Anvil Campground Williamsburg



On a simply glorious perfect day, we are forced to leave the National Seashore.



There is a mini exodus at about 10:30.  Most folks left yesterday.  We are putting the car on the dolly as the four remaining file out in a line of RVs.  Wish I’d had my camera.  Poignant picture.  I’m pretty sure we are the last to leave.  Not unusual. We are going past the check in booth at about 10:50.  Deadline for a police escort is 11:00.



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Big barriers and a police stake out are the last things we see of this beautiful place.   The horses and Sitka deer and turkeys and herons and egrets and others have it all to themselves.



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I’m seriously sad as we pull away.  What is the point of all this?  It seems such a game to me.  One that the voters won’t even remember come mid term elections in 2014.  I’ve written my congressman, have you?  Maybe the voters don’t actually care.  There sure doesn’t seem to be much of a constituent uprising.  But I care and I’m very sad to be leaving here before my time is finished.   This place has taken hold of my heart.



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My last views of the wetlands are as we cross the bridge to mainland Maryland.  I miss them already.  I’ve discovered that the mid Atlantic coast really is the home of my heart.  It is the place I get most teary eyed about. Especially an unchanged spot like Assateague or Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge or False Cape State Park to which you have to backpack if you want to camp.  Bugs, heat, humidity yes but give me a spot on the ocean and I’ll deal with it all.


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From here we are on our way down the Eastern shore of Maryland and into Virginia to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  This peninsula is called DELMARVA because the northern most part is in Delaware, the middle is Maryland and the bottom Virginia.  I guess when they were drawing up the state boundaries everyone wanted a piece of the Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay.   Can’t blame them.


The bridge tunnel is truly an engineering marvel.  It goes from Virginia’s Eastern Shore to Virginia Beach on the Mainland.  It goes over and under open waters where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. It will be 50 years old next year.  Wonder what kind of a party they will have for it?  Free travel?  HA! 


The Bay Bridge Tunnel is 20 miles long.  The crossing consists of a series of low-level trestles interrupted by two approximately one-mile-long tunnels beneath Thimble Shoals and Chesapeake navigation channels.



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This is going to be very exciting for Winnona after her ride over the sea on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry just a short time ago.


Here we are, tunnel #1 – Winnona goes under the sea.  These lanes look mighty narrow to me.Leaving Assateague_Anvil Campground 026



Down down we go.

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and then light at then end of the tunnel and up to another bridge.

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We approach the second tunnel

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We can see the mainland now

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Manmade islands, each approximately 5.25 acres in size, are located at each end of the two tunnels. There are also high level bridges over two other navigation channels: North Channel Bridge and Fisherman Inlet Bridge. Finally, between North Channel and Fisherman Inlet, the facility crosses over Fisherman Island, a barrier island which includes the Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge administered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Of course it too is closed.

We pay $28 for our 4 axels to cut off nearly 100 miles to go around the top of the Bay at Annapolis.

We pick up Route 64 through Norfolk and the traffic is nuts.


Fifty five SERIOUSLY??  Heading for a tunnel where I am positive, from past experience, the traffic will be nearly stopped.

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Right again!  Time for another tunnel.  This one goes across the James River at what is known as Hampton Roads.  Thus it is the Hampton Roads tunnel.   It’s a single tunnel connecting the Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Chesapeake/Suffolk area with the Hampton/Newport News/Williamsburg area. The whole mess is known as the Tidewater Region. 

There was formerly a toll for the tunnel but wonder of wonders, when they paid it off, they made it free.  I guess in 50 years they haven’t paid off the CBBT.  Or the tourists coming to Virginia Beach on the HRT complained a lot more than they have about the current shut down.

Winnona goes under the sea for a 3rd time in one day!  She’s amazing isn’t she??


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Much shorter tunnel.

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And then we are out.  

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We pass Hampton and Newport News and following the campground’s excellent signs, we find our way to Anvil Campground where we will spend 4 nights visiting Colonial Williamsburg for the first time in many years.  We have driven an uncustomary 185 miles from Assateague to Williamsburg.   We are tired.


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We opt for a standard FHU which is the least expensive at a Passport America rate which comes out to be about $30 a night.  The site is narrow and fairly short.  More expensive sites are wider and longer.  The campground has been family owned for 60 years and they provide exceptional customer service.  Anything you need or want, they will work to get it for you.  There is a shuttle which comes to the campground entrance to pick you up and take you to the colonial area.  They have discounted tickets to Colonial Williamsburg.  We are able to get a ticket good from now until the end of the year for $40 each.  That’s the normal price for one day.  Now that isn’t all the campground.  Colonial Williamsburg is running a fall special for folks over 50.  But we do get $3 off the special price by buying the tickets at the campground.


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Even though quarters are tight and I’m not usually a private campground user, I like this place very much. Until I am totally surprised to find that there is a train track about 6’ behind our rig and when the trains come by every 2 hours all day and ALL NIGHT, the entire coach shakes.  Either I didn’t do my homework or this wasn’t mentioned in reviews I read.  Probably the former.  Who could neglect to mention this?   You can take a more expensive site on the opposite side of the one street through the campground and perhaps you could avoid the shaking but that’s not far enough to avoid the noise and your rear would then be right next to the main road.   Never the less, as you can see from the duckie view, the campground is packed.


It’s a lovely little family campground.  Neat, tidy, and cute.  But the train is a killer for me.  Even earplugs and white noise won’t put a dent in this.  But I’ll be gone nearly all day each day we are here so it’s only my sleep that will suffer.


  1. I will do anything to avoid the Chesapeake Bay bridges and tunnel so I give them a wide berth. I don't like being under the water for that long a time. I write the President and my Senators so often I'm sure they hit "Delete" when they see who it's from!

  2. Sad, sad, sad, to have to leave Assateague. There is absolutely no sane reason for this to have to happen. A co-worker's parents had plans to visit Utah and Arizona this week and had to cancel. A friend is in France and planned to visit WWII memorial sites and the US sections were closed!

    I do hope that you enjoyed Colonial Williamsburg. I love that place and was down there in July. Not as crowded as it used to be which is startling. I do not want CW to decline. I plan to take my grandchildren when they are old enough.

  3. Only your sleep!! Haha... have always wanted to go where you are going, so anxious to see your blogs for the next 4 days!! Sorry you had to miss the beach/wetlands... they were lovely...

  4. Too bad:(( Today we could not even get into a falls sight due to the closure.

  5. Sorry for the late comment, just trying to catch up on some blog reading. So sorry that you had to leave Assateague, it is truly a shame that all the National Parks have been closed. We are happy to not be traveling through the States at the moment as we would be heartbroken not being able to have access to these amazing parks.

    The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is an engineering feat for sure. Kevin and I traveled over and under it on our honeymoon 29 1/2 years ago and what a beautiful drive we had.


  6. There's a protest going on in the Smokey Mountain National Park…. oh, yes m'dear.. there are plenty of hopping mad Americans… I have only gone on Facebook to Congressman's pages… you ought to read the comments…

    What's asinine is their refusal to answer the people….. questions like … why? and, are you going to give your salary away? END THIS SHUTDOWN … and so forth. they just answer with more rhetoric…

    You're leaving with those barriers going up is just … if that's not unconstitutional, don't know what is…. we pay for that Park… and the people who run it… we the God danged American people… police escort?

    80 … .EIgHTY Tea Party Republicans are holding this up… 80 …. EighTY … good church goers one and all… one such was spewing about how welfare recipients don't need air conditioners…. or cell phones. prepaid cell phones are way lots cheaper than land lines… and a lot of poor people are given fans… faNS in 100 plus degree weather… but the good god fearing church goers … think they have worked for their ACs and by damn …. the poor people can too. who they hell do they think pays for the uninsured? the church goers? yes… they do .. we all .. they go to ER and WE the people pay for it…


    Well… so I ranted on your blog… I've ranted enough on mine that it's too hot to type any more… drives me insane…. my kids' lives are on hold … EIGHTY and our 6 figured salary for life Speaker of the House cows down to them…. you do NOT close down the government for disagreements … unbelievable...

    don't get me started… ;)

    and… oh, that Bay Bridge … I do remember it. I loved it… like being out in the middle of the ocean. the tunnels? was ready for them to be over with …

    Winona is indeed amazing … Homer and I got lost in Newport News and not a good lost… ended up in … get me out of here territory… but a very pretty and unique area… did I just do a blog post? I would apologize but you started it… blasted shutdown… unbelievable…

    do not like to camp near trains that run every two hours. not good

  7. That really is sad that you were forced out of Assateague, and now trains. . . up close and personal! We don't mind trains, but that's just a little too close for comfort. Good thing you'll be out and about each day.

  8. We were in Williamsburg in May and stayed at American Heritage RV Park, it was wonderful. We drove through Anvil and did not think we could tolerate the train at night. We loved Colonial Williamsburg, be sure to follow the daily schedule and participate in the reenactments they are very interesting and made us proud to be Americans.

  9. So sorry you had to leave Assateague early. My father in law had never been over the Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel and always talked about it, when we drove his ashes from FL to NY we took him over, ever since has been a bit poignant to go over. Hope you get some rest, trains are fine but not when they're shaking the coach.

  10. I knew about those trains at Anvil, if I had known you were going there I'd have told you. Sorry I'm a day late and a dollar short.

    I'm not going to rant about the shutdown, just sorry that you had to leave. It's so unfair.

    I drove across that Bay Bridge Tunnel one night during a winter blizzard (in a car), that was quite an experience. It wasn't fun like your drive.

  11. We frequently find reviewers on RV Park Reviews who don't mention trains running by campgrounds night and day--it doesn't seem to bother some folks???

  12. Winnona is braver than I. My claustrophobic gene kicked in just reading!

  13. I am so sorry you had to leave your beautiful campsite with the wild horses at your door. What a stupid mess our county is in. The good news, is that I'm sure you'll go back!

    You are braver than me. I cringed just looking at your pictures of that narrow tunnel. Too narrow for me to be in a motor home. I think I would have chosen the 100+ mile detour.

    The campground seems like it's in a great location but 6 feet away from the tracks is a bit too close. I think I would spring for a site further away, but I think I would consider it to be close to Williamsburg.

  14. Way to hold your breath, Winnona!

    Carolyn is spot on about this shutdown.

  15. I am with Carolyn too! and yes I have written my congressman- he has opted not to run for re-election.

  16. So sorry you got kicked out of the seashore over all this gov BS. And then into tight quarters with trains, yuck. Those tunnels would freak me out.

  17. We make an extra effort to avoid tunnels and would not think twice about driving the 100 miles difference. I have to say you made it seem easy peasy for Winnona to drive right through--gotta acknowledge David for being the fearless one at the wheel.

    Sad to see you leave the coast but I know you will have more terrific coastal experiences in the months ahead.

    I am one of those who love to hear trains day or night. The shaking might be another story, however.

  18. So sad they closed Assateague on account of the bs in Washington-a ridiculous game if you ask me. Winnona is amazing on land and under sea :) Great campground deal...except the trains!!


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