Sunday, September 13, 2009
Another day, four more states
Tuesday, Sept. 8 -- For a minute or two, the sun came out and I saw my shadow as I headed toward Norfolk, Va., from Kill Devil Hills. A thought crossed my mind: Could this mean six more weeks of rain?
By the time I got to Norfolk, the sky had opened. The streets were partially flooded and there was a real danger someone in front of me would stop shirt to avoid a puddle and get rear-ended. Several times cars coming toward me hit massive puddles and send waves of water over the median. Luckily, there was enough traffic I could see them coming and avoid getting hit by solid water.
As I reached the toll booth for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel both the traffic and the rain thinned. I would only have to deal with 23 miles of crosswind as I crossed the mouth of the bay.
I stopped for a break on the north end of the Bridge-Tunnel
There are two tunnels and a high bridge in addition to miles and miles of low bridge. Quite an experience -- at least there was very little traffic.
On the other side, I rode through Easter Shore Virginia, which is basically farm country, to Maryland and took the road to Ocean City, Md., where the rain started to really come down again. When I reached the Delaware state line it cleared up a bit and I had a good time checking out Bethany Beach and Rehoboth -- my old stomping grounds back in the early 1970s. Compared to Myrtle Beach and Ocean City, the Delaware towns have done a great job of controlling development.
I drove up to Lewes, Del., just north of Rehoboth, and checked when the next ferry was to leave for New Jersey. Then I sat on a bench in "downtown" Lewes and found a $45 motel room in the Cape May, N.J., area on Orbitz.com.
I stopped for pizza and then boarded the big boat for New Jersey. It does the same distance -- 25 miles -- as the one to Okracoke Island, but in less than half the time -- of course the fare is three times as big.
The Lewes, Del., waterfront from the ferry to Cape May, N.J.
The gulls were plentiful, but hard to photograph with an auto-focus camera
There were five bikes on the ferry; the big Goldwing tipped over mid-crossing
I arrived in Cape May without having my bike capsize. Another guy on a motorcycle wasn't as lucky. He rode aboard towing a trailer on a huge Honda Goldwing, which fell over as soon as the ferry got outside the breakwater and started to roll a bit. I helped him get it back upright and move it to a better angle so it wouldn't be sideways to the roll.
In Wildwood, I took my wet clothes to a laundromat and dried them. The weather
forecast for the next day was bleak -- heavy rain on the Jersey coast
starting at noon.