Saturday, June 3, 2017

2017-12 Lancaster Virginia


Lancaster Virginia

Campground: Belle Isle State Park Campground 1632 Belle Isle Rd Lancaster, Virginia 22503. $35, no discounts. 50 amp elect./water. Nice bathhouse and two washers/dryers $1.25 ea. Lots of privacy between sites. No over the air tv stations. Good Verizon signal.

Distance traveled: 178 miles

map shows distance between New Burn to Lancaster Virginia
there was a stop half way between....

Again I took all the back roads, with the longest stretch being on hwy 13. I crossed over into Virginian from North Carolina by 9:30. The big surprise was going through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. What an experience. I had to stop at an inspection station to turn off my propane tanks which are usually on for the refrigerator, before going through the tunnel.

lots of historical markers throughout the Virginia "neck" area
this sign is a few miles from my campsite

Driving across the bridge section first, with numerous signs regarding speed, possible wind, and directions to stay in the right lane for all trucks and campers. The mouth of the tunnel looming ahead, I quickly began my decent into the rounded green tiled two lane whole bored under the Chesapeake Bay.  Tons of water, boats and ships floating overhead, a short drive and I'd be back out on the other side.  The two opposing lanes are close together and there's no room for error.  What an exhilarating feeling.

Lots of highway traffic with multiple lanes as I exit onto the north shore. (I counted 6-8 lanes in one direction at one point) the usual exit and entrance ramps merging into traffic, as I wound my way around, up and over concrete sky ways, past walled off residential areas and finally after about 20 miles of that I'm back to more country roads.

back on country roads

once grand farm houses

About 25 minutes before I get to the campsite, I see my first Walmart in over two weeks as most of the rural areas I've been in in South and North Carolina have few big box stores along the many small towns I've been going through. Only the occasional Lowe's or Home Depot at most.

Rhonda and Ron in the background

A Grand Adventure

I headed on over to visit with my friends, Ron and Rhonda Tobin (full names as I want to include them later one) in an adventure we took. Opps, I arrived too early and the lovebirds were still in bed. I could tell because of the way they were dressed as well as some most unruly hair. Goodness. What a way to start a day. But shortly we were on our way to a great adventure, in search of the “Field of Presidents”. I'd heard about it online and was eventually able to track it down to a basic location. It being only about a 45 minute drive from where Ron and Rhonda are doing some camp hosting this summer.

Field of Presidents, currently not open to the public

Our GPS was able to get us close, but not close enough. We even stopped a couple of bike riders who lived in the area, and they knew nothing about the exact location. So we drove up and down the street we thought it might be on and low and behold, off in the distance, we were able to see the white heads of the presidents, off in a field. Dare we go down the private road. The one with all the signs, saying, private property, absolutely no trespassing? As you may remember, I've done it before just to get a good story to tell all my readers. Now that I had two accomplices, Ron and Rhonda, we decided to drive down the dirt road to a large older mansion where there were also a number of heavy dirt moving trucks and equipment as well as a couple piles of dirt/sand/and gravel. Behind all that, peaking above some of the piles of dirt were the rows and rows of U.S. Presidents.

our first peak of the Presidents, hidden behind
mounds of dirt and gravel 

I knocked on the door of the old mansion hoping someone would let us go a bit further to see the field of presidents but no one answered. Before anyone arrived, we decided to take as many pictures as we could even from a distance. I quickly climbed to the top of one of the piles of dirt to get a better shot, zooming in to get as much of a close up as I could with my camera. Just then a young gal came out and told us we couldn't be there. She was the daughter and was house-sitting for her mother. Until just recently, they let folks get a closer look, but some folks didn't take care and now no one is allowed on the property. Security cameras having been recently installed, so she didn't want to take a chance and let us get a closer look as she would have probably gotten in trouble. We thanked her, no one was shot at, and I got a few shots of a most unusual road side attraction. Here's one link you can check out and of course do your own online search with “Field of Presidents, Croaker Virginia”. Thanks to my two accomplices, Ron and Rhonda for aiding and abetting me on my quest for another Blog story. What a fine adventure.

now this is what I call an Adventure!

Day two. Ron and Rhonda are working at a large 400+ RV park resort. With water park, boat rentals on a small puddle of a pond and row after row of Rv sites. Costing they tell me $100 a night. Some have even added wooden decks to their semi permanent sites, even though they are only renting the lot for the season. Lots of kids and folks walking and riding bikes on all the roads. I don't think this type park would suite my needs at all. Looks like they have between 20 and 30 couples working as camp hosts. Minimum wages with no perks.  But they are troopers and their campsite is free.

Christ Church, a classic cross shaped
Church of England architecture

They drove over to my campsite and after a review of things to see and do in the area, we decided on a visit to the historic Christ Church, the Steamboat era museum and the Martha Washington Museum. We would only get into Christ Church which has a modern museum on grounds, conference center and the historic church which was completed in 1735. It is the finest example of a symmetrical cross shaped church with the pulpit in the center of the church. High wainscoted box pews served each family as they looked up and over the pews to see the minister preach from the top of a three tiers pulpit. The simplicity, clean lines and fine brick work give this church an understated elegance. Having recently completed a second online course in architectural design, I think I was able to appreciate the design a bit more fully.

Historic Christ Church

brick kilns onsight 

each family would have their own enclosed pew

Ron and Rhonda with tour guide

Rv Issues

While traveling around the country, many Rv-ers use a mail forwarding service to get their mail. I use America Home Base out of Pensacola Florida. When I'm ready for mail to be sent, I usually check with a post office in the area by calling first to ensure they will accept “general delivery” mail. I did that a week or so ago and had my mail sent to the post office in Lancaster Virginia. When I went to pick it up, they said, sorry we have a new postal worker and they automatically sent it back.

The problem is that although many post offices around the country list on the government website that they in fact do accept “general delivery” mail, many don't. I had called ahead and was told they would accept my mail and hold it, even though they don't like to do it. The end result is I have important mail that is now being rerouted back to my home base and it will have to sent out again once I have confirmation they've received it. Delaying the receipt of the mail a good two to three more weeks. I am temporarily not a happy camper.

small shopping area, great coffee and lunch at The Local
servers were not overly friendly, but maybe they were

Back to touring, I drove over to Irvington today to see the Steamboat museum. Wouldn't it be nice if they had a full size steamboat to go with the museum? But they don't. Otherwise, they had some nice displays and the short history the steamboats plays in history before the railroad and cars took over the world of transportation. The town, such as it is, does have a great coffee shop and I stopped in a couple of the shops in town. One next door to the coffee shop is a clothing shop, featuring their own line of summer shirts and accessories. Men's shirts go for $100 a piece. But today, on one of the display tables, with their monogrammed crab on the shirts they were having a sale: two shirts for $100.

Talked to the owner, very nice guy. Showed me a picture of his vintage GMC motor-home he purchased a couple of years ago. Says he has never paid to stay in a campground, preferring to park in a Walmart or gas station for free on the few times he's taken it out. Now he wants to sell it and use the money for other investments. Who knows, maybe he's going to buy shorts and pants and put the crab logo on them too. Needless to say, I did not purchase any $100 shirts.

Steamboat museum

nice small shopping area

high quality displays with interactive

a couple of nice dioramas 

local homes and picket fences popular

The local art store “Objects, art and more” was chock full of some great art, jewelry and gift items. All top quality, I'd recommend anyone should check it out if your in the area. Some prices were high, but the quality made the price worth it in my opinion.

Objects, art shop

now that is one large house

large B & B, the Hope and Glory

"Objects" art store

David Witbeck,  "Lanford"  $10,900
a favorite of mine

I'll enjoy lunch today with Ron and Ronda before I head out to my next destination, Front Royal Virginia. Where I'm having my mail sent one more time... hopefully it will arrive this time.

Have a great summer....

More pictures:

1 comment:

Happytrails said...

That is an incredibly beautiful Christ's Church...I just love the history. I had never heard of the Field of Presidents... the little you were able to takes pics of was awesome. You saw a lot of history and beautiful old buildings...I bet the B&B Hope and Glory was a beauty to behold.