As we write we are on the beach in Kiptopeke State Park, VA near Cape Charles. Nine World War 2 concrete ships are cleverly moored to create a breakwater that protects a lovely, safe beach and little harbor. This is a very busy State Park and very well run. To reach here from Roanoke Rapids entailed driving across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel which is 18 miles long and cost us a toll of $28. It was a nerve wracking, white knuckle drive through the tunnels – all three of them; they are a two way narrow road with no barrier! The drive into the tunnels becomes very steep and with all our weight it was not easy to go slow; and boy, is it scary when you see a 53 foot articulated Big Rig barreling towards you? In the process of purchasing a much needed E-ZPass at the other end of the Bridge Tunnel we were told that VA DOT offers a service to drive people (in their own vehicle) who are too frightened to drive through the tunnels. Tom likened the drive to driving south on Big Sur…. underground!Cape Charles, named for King Charles 1st (1607) is a lovely vacation town with lots of big homes which we admired as we cycled up and down its historic streets. Many of the houses are "kit" (Sears etc.) houses which we are told came with 700 pages of instructions. Imagine buying your house from Ikea?
We had lunch in Cape Charles Coffee House which had been recommended by a neighbor to us, especially for its delicious cakes - they were yummy! Cape Charles Coffee House is on the only commercial street, Mason Street and is owned and run by a lady Annette whose mother is Irish, and she looks it with a head of beautiful, long red hair and is an excellent Owner/Hostess. In past lives the building was a Bank when there were four Banks on Mason Street in its heyday. Before Cape Charles Coffee House was established it had been a Haberdashery Store. We commented that we counted at least 12 Churches of various denominations in the town and were told that the resident population is around 2,000, not a lot of souls to fill all those churches!Before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel was constructed Cape Charles was the terminus for the railroad that transported all goods heading south, the goods were then transferred to barges and shipped across the Chesapeake Bay for onwards transportation; its port still ships a lot of cement but the Bridge Tunnel ended the train/barge business.