Saturday, April 3, 2010

Dismal Swamp & Roanoke, North Carolina

Yesterday we packed up camp and headed south once more, crossing the over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, 17.6 miles shore-to-shore including two tunnels to create shipping channels. With our four axels and 10 wheels, the toll was a hefty $28, but the alternative was a 3 hour drive back up to Baltimore and down the other side. The bridge portion was great - two parallel bridges, actually, 2 lanes wide and scenic. The tunnels, however, were one lane each way with no divider, a white knuckle ride with little more than a foot on either side, a foot over the roof, and trucks passing just feet away!

Here is some of the lower section of bridge, with fishing boats amongst the pilings:
We blundered our way through Norfolk, Virginia, and emerged to drive alongside the Dismal Swamp, and stopped for lunch at the like named state park. It was hot - almost 80 degrees, and the bugs were out when we walked some of their beautiful new boardwalk.

We then drove out to the coast of North Carolina, watching the temperature fall as we approached the ocean, settling out at 60 degrees. We crossed over onto the Outer Banks, and picked up some local fresh shrimp and boiled crab for dinner. Our drive took us through the beach resort communities of Kitty Hawk and Nags Head before crossing over onto Roanoke Island where we are now camped at The Refuge campground.

This is the first campground we've chosen where we are very close to our neighbors, and there are no trees around us. Not what we were hoping for, really. Looking out the windows on either side we see our neighbors, Its more like being in a marina than a campground. The place is full, and there are other dogs, so we will be dealing with barking from Toby and Kinsey, who are not yet used to so much other activity. Looking east, however, it is gorgeous, low marshland and Roanoke Sound just a tenth of a mile away, accessible from our bumper by a small canal. We'll be here for a few days, then probably look for somewhere more secluded.

Here I am working on a pile of crabs. Its messy work, but they are truly delicious. Now I understand what all of the fuss is about!


  1. Dear Matthew, your post a great and my mouth waters at the thought of eating these crabs!

  2. Damn it! You are making me hungry with all these delicious seafood dinners! It's good to see the ole double grill getting some good use, I still need to pick up one of those...

  3. Matthew and Nancy: Crabs/Clams with no mention of beer. Close quarter campgrounds. I'd expect that now that the 'season' as begun. Plus, the snowbirds are starting their travels North. I'm shooting for middle of last week of April to head for Hillsville. Got tractor secured on trailer yesterday and planning my packing. Heard from Greta today. They are headed for Ithaca tomorrow. E mailing you tractor tie down. Be safe. Love, Uncle Jake