The Chesapeake Bridge is a marvel of engineering, three bridge spans and two underwater tunnels cross the mouth of the largest estuary of the East Coast. And it was so fogged in, we were lucky to see the road ahead of us, never mind the scenery. It is a long, narrow thirteen miles of bridges, causeways and tunnels. At least we were offered breaks in the rain by the tunnels – which were built to permit the massive aircraft carriers and now bulk container ships access to the ports within these waterways.
We made it to Norfolk in time for rush hour in the rain – what a mess, it slowed us down quite a bit, and we got to see an accident as an impatient driver clipped a truck trying to get out of the row he was in. Overall, we lost an hour in the rain and traffic before breaking out into the lonely route to the Outer Banks.
Most of the ride was in utter blackness, hints of civilization masked by rain squalls, and long stretches of blackened swampland hiding in the gloom. We listened to Terry Francona’s audio book along the way, accounting the years leading up to managing the Red Sox. We finally found a McDonalds for dinner; a plain burger for Trixie, a cheeseburger for Mom, a Ranch BLT chicken sandwich for me, and a small fries.
The Outer Banks were a surprise when we made it – compared to the mainland, the long islands practically glowed in street lights of mega malls and big box stores, the entire region proving to be much, much larger than one envisioned it. Finding the Ramada was far easier than the front desk said it would be.
We checked in past the crews remodeling the lobby, and found our room #130 to be at the furthest point from the lobby possible. Despite the rain and rumble of the surf in the blackness outside, we went to bed at close to 9:00 pm.