I was planning on doing a catch up post on Virginia Beach on my "down day" Thursday, but we were at Douthat State Park, in Millboro, VA., near the Virginia/West Virginia border. It's a spectacularly beautiful park, but while there we had no cell service (ATT), no internet service (Verizon aircard), no satellite service, and two stations on the antenna, WHEN it wasn't raining. It was a quiet two nights :-).
We had perfect weather while in Virginia Beach, right up until the last night. Monday we did a little exploring of the area, as the family members that lived there had to work. We decided to visit the Cape Henry area, down the road from the state park. The historic area is actually on the grounds of Fort Story military base, so if you come, be sure to bring a photo ID with you and be prepared to have your vehicle searched. It's no big deal, and the young men doing the search are pleasant, but very serious.
The Cape Henry Memorial commemorates the first landfall at Cape Henry, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, of colonists bound for the Jamestown settlement. After landing on April 26, 1607, they explored the area, named the cape, and set up a cross before proceeding up the James River. A stone cross, set up in 1935 by the Daughters of the American Colonists, stands in the quarter-acre site. The memorial marks the First Landing, the very beginning of what would become British North America and subsequently Anglo Canada and the United States of America. (wikipedia)
The Memorial also overlooks the scene of the Battle of the Virginia Capes, in which the French navy prevented the British from reinforcing General Cornwallis, and led to the Franco-American victory atYorktown. A statue of Admiral Comte de Grasse and a granite memorial honor those who fought in the battle. (wikipedia)
The Battle of the Chesapeake, also known as the Battle of the Virginia Capes or simply the Battle of the Capes, was a crucial naval battle in the American War of Independence that took place near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay on 5 September 1781, between a British fleet led by Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Graves and a French fleet led by Rear Admiral François Joseph Paul, comte de Grasse.
The battle was tactically inconclusive but strategically a major defeat for the British, since it prevented the Royal Navy from reinforcing or evacuating the blockaded forces of General Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. It also prevented British interference with the transport of French and Continental Army troops and provisions to Yorktown via Chesapeake Bay. As a result, Cornwallis surrendered his army after theSiege of Yorktown. The major consequence of Cornwallis's surrender was the beginning of negotiations that eventually resulted in peace and British recognition of the independent United States of America. (wikipedia)
The old Cape Henry Lighthouse. It was the first lighthouse authorized by the U.S. government, dating from 1792. It was also the first federal construction project under the Constitution, for an original contract amount of $15,200 (an additional $2,500 was required to finish the lighthouse).
Al and I walked up the 192 steps to the top of the lighthouse. Can you see the rest of the group, along with the dogs, waiting for us at the bottom?
The new Cape Henry lighthouse, constructed in 1881 and sits 350 feet southeast of the old one
The two lighthouses, and the cape memorial in the same shot. The cross is out of view on the left hand side.
We had also gone to visit the Adam Thoroughgood house, the oldest brick building in Virginia and one of the oldest in the country, but unfortunately it was closed. Oh well, win some lose some!
We all had dinner together at Max and Erma's, a restaurant down off of Virginia Beach's boardwalk area. It was very good and reasonably priced, we enjoyed it very much.
Tuesday was a chore day. I needed to get some laundry done, we took the dogs down to the beach for a last romp in the water, and picked up the campsite, putting everything away as we were leaving on Wednesday and it was going to rain on Tuesday night, quite heavily at times. After a last dinner together with the whole gang, it was time to depart and go our separate ways. The ladies continued onto Florida, and Al and I left for parts west.
Pictures of the dogs playing courtesy of my brother-in-law, Tim.
Wednesday was a travel day, from First Landing State park to Douthat State Park, where we stopped for 2 nights. As I said, it's a beautiful park, especially this time of year with the leaves in their full fall foliage mode. Unfortunately, the weather did not co-operate this time, it was raining for our drive, it rained heavily all night, and was still cloudy, gray and cold on Thursday. We did take a ride to see the Natural Bridge of Virginia. It was very touristy and actually crowded for a cold weekday I thought, but the dogs were able to come with us and it was something to do and neat to see.
The Natural Bridge, known as Natty B by locals, in the eponymous Rockbridge County, Virginia is a geological formation in which Cedar Creek (a small tributary of the James River) has carved out a gorge in the mountainous limestone terrain, forming an arch 215 ft (66 m) high with a span of 90 ft (27 m). It consists of horizontal limestone strata, and is the remains of the roof of a cave or tunnel through which the creek once flowed. Natural Bridge has been designated a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. (wikipedia). The property was once surveyed by George Washington, was owned by Thomas Jefferson, and is now owned and operated by a private company.
Cedar Creek, the unassuming body of water that formed the arch over millions of years, and dumps into the nearby James River
A re-constructed Monacan Indian village on display. There was an Indian guide dressed in a traditional raccoon coat, with the tails hanging down, that really had Chelsea very interested!
Lace Waterfalls, at the end of the gorge that we were permitted to walk to.
We found this guy fishing in the creek. He didn't seem to care about the people walking around, he was intent upon catching some lunch.
Some beautiful fall color
Friday was another travel day, the last for a couple of months now. We arrived at Green River Lake State Park, KY, our home while we are working here at Amazon in Campbellsville, KY. Our first days are Monday and Tuesday, when we go through a "social", testing and orientation/safety talks. Then we start in earnest on Wednesday. It should be interesting, and I'll post about our experiences here and anything we find interesting in the area as I have time. I'm expecting to be working hard! Today and tomorrow will be learning about the town and finding our shopping areas. The campground is very busy, it's a Halloween weekend and the sites are all decked out. I'll take some pictures as I go along!