The small community of Gloucester, near the York River and the Chesapeake Bay, is saturated with U.S. history and deep heritage. The settlement was established just after Jamestown in 1607. Thomas Jefferson spent time there and George Washington’s father owned land in the county.
Walter Reed, of the famed Walter Reed Hospital, was born in Gloucester in 1851. He became an Army doctor and found the cure for Yellow Fever. We stopped by the Walter Reed Hospital to get an x-ray of my wrist to send the doctor for confirmation that my arm is fine again.
Jamestown is part of the Williamsburg, Yorktown triangle. A replica of the original fort used by settlers who came from England has been created. The village has costumed people who demonstrate the trades and skills of the time period for visitors. Three ships that brought 120 English people to settle Jamestown has also been recreated and they are impressive and pretty.
As a mid-westerner, who has pulled up roots and moved many times, it’s hard to relate to how deep the bloodline roots run here. Land and houses have remained in the same family for generations.
We drove across the twenty-three mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel to Cape Charles on the Virginia Peninsula. Chatting with a local lady she shared her family had lived on the peninsula for generations. No doubt some of our founding fathers hang on her family tree.
Following her directions we found a lovely restaurant for lunch that overlooked the bay. The seafood was fresh and delicious. As we enjoyed the view I was once again reminded how tiny we are in comparison to God’s great creations. Just considering the size of the oceans is humbling.
The peninsula area is flat farm land and a fisherman’s delight. Potatoes were being harvested. Long rows of summer flowers were blooming in one field in multitudes of colors. The owner must take them to florists or markets.
On the Virginia portion of the peninsula the volunteer fire department manages a herd of wild mustangs said to be decedents of horses brought from Spain during the revolution. The ship was lost at sea but the horses were able to swim ashore. On the last week of July they round-up all of the ponies that roam Assateague Island and drive them a short way across the water to the mainland and auction off the colts. To protect their food source they only leave 150 of the free range herd to roam the island. Maryland does the same thing on the north shores with another herd. On the same weekend they have a festival called Clam Slam. The quiet island fills with thousands of people for the events.
We also drove onto charming Gwenn’s Island. There was no doubt the beach homes have hosted years of family vacation and beach fun history. Virginia Beach was impressive with its wide sandy beach that makes room for everyone’s fun. It is obviously a tourist destination.
Needing the Apple Store meant a trip to Norfolk’s downtown Mall. The trip was also evidence of how much water is around the area. Bridges and tunnels are required to get into town. The downtown mall was impressive and had beautiful shops I enjoyed exploring.
At the Farmers Market there was no doubt we were in the south. Women were bundling up bags of okra, butterbeans, black-eyed peas, and green tomatoes. A huge ice chest was full of jumbo shrimp. Oysters were another hot item.
They have a unique way to use left-over shells. Some roads were paved with shells. We saw them scattered as a trail to decorate flowerbeds, and at a home there was a huge pile waiting to resurface the driveway.
Our campground was on the backroads, through the cornfields, by a sandy beach. Jim enjoyed playing Pickle ball with a great group of people. I delighted in long walks along the water and through the woods. Rarely have we taken time to just lounge on the beach to read and enjoy the view so it was nice to have some down time. The pool was only for adults two hours a day so we even got our laps in a few times.
Anywhere we drove was through the country. While we were out one day we passed a large church in Cobbs Creek, Virginia. Population 1,146. We were intrigued to know what was happening in a building big enough to seat the whole town, so we visited on Sunday. Cornerstone Fellowship Church was wonderful. All the people were loving and friendly. The worship was heavenly. The Word was declared with power. We felt so blessed and refreshed to have been with all those precious people two Sundays. Thank you, Cornerstone.
Traveling Blessed USA