The "Big Red Truck"

The "Big Red Truck"

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Come along with me

on a trip across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. We had to make a delivery in Portsmouth, VA on Halloween, and then go to New Jersey and New York to make deliveries. So in the interest of blog fodder, and the fact that it would only cost $5.00 more to go across the bridge/tunnel, DH decided that we could go that way so that y'all would have an interesting blog post for the 1st day of November.

This first picture is the official start and the place where they want money to allow you the p
rivilege of driving out to the middle of the Chesapeake Bay and disappearing for several miles in a tunnel that is actually below the commercial shipping channel of the bay. If you were privileged to go through the first toll booth of the east bound lanes, you would have gotten to give your money to this little lady. She was all decked out in the spirit of Halloween. As you can see, she has her festive orange ghosty/Boo bucket hat on. To further the ensemble, she has added several strands of shiny purple and black garland with orange pumpkins as a necklace. She has completed the outfit with and orange T-shirt with black undersleeves and, though you can't see them, a pair of black pants. Quite festive, if I do say so.

As you leave t
he toll booth, you are greeted by a bridge that seemingly stretches on into eternity. But let me tell you right here and now, it does not. Oh no....you go out a little island and enter the area of the tunnel. Here is a picture, stolen directly from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Website (because I can't fly), that shows how you go out on a bridge and the shipping channel passes over you while you are down under the water in a 1 mile long tunnel (both are approximately the same length). On the first nice little island that you come to, there is a rest area, a fishing pier, and a restaurant. You can go out there and watch the ship traffic go by, cast a worm or other fish enticing delicacy, and grab a bite to eat, all in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. How cool is that. Not that we were able to do that, cuz you know, no truck parking. But we could have, theoretically.

The first tunnel, the Thimble Shoal Channel T
unnel, was reached after crossing approximately 6 miles of bridge. It was 1 mile in length and this is the approach. Here we are actually in the tunnel and here is the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel".We did this twice, the second tunnel is called the Chesapeake Channel Tunnel as evidenced by this picture. We saw quite a few ships, both coming and going down the bay and back into the ocean. Probably the coolest photo I took was after coming out of the first tunnel and looking back in the mirror to see the shipping channel we had just come under. One of the ships had been getting ready to cross over the channel as we were coming across the first bridge. We watched him getting closer and closer and then figured that he would be gone when we came out of the tunnel. In reality I got this really cool picture, taken in the passenger side mirror of him getting ready to cross over the tunnel. Isn't that a cool picture? I made it bigger, because the small size just didn't do it justice.

From shore to shore, we traveled 17.6 miles on bridges and in the tunnels. If you add in the approache
s to the tolls and everything, it is 23 miles long and from toll booth to toll booth, it is 20 miles long. The north bound lanes were completed in 1964 and the south bound lanes were completed in 1999. The north bound took 42 months to complete and the south, without having to dig any tunnels, only bridges, took 46 months. The original north bound side cost $200 million dollars and included the cost of doing the tunnels. The south bound side cost $250 million. The water ranges in depth from 25' to 100'. One of the interesting things is that neither the north bound or south bound was paid for with any tax dollars. The first was funded by revenue bonds and the second was funded by revenue from the tolls and revenue bonds. The bridge/tunnel connects Virginia Beach with the DelMarVa peninsula and saves 95 miles to points above Delaware. All of these facts were stolen from the facts page of the official website of the CBBT.

As you cross the final bridge, you come on shore in the Eastern Shore of Virginia. You get to see all of the things that you typically think of at the shore, but what is cool is that it's surrounded by water. On the east is the Atlantic Ocean and on the west is the Chesapeake Bay. To the east is this lighthouse that you see for miles and miles as you are crossing the final bridge.
As you head up US 13 onto the eastern shore, you see several of these little gems where you can pick up anything from soup to nuts and everything in between. There are many of them and they all have in common the bright yellow paint and the gaudy signs. some of them advertise more food and less fireworks, but they are all pretty much the same and all are tourist traps for the shore vacationers.

There are all kinds of neat houses in Virginia, and the eastern shore is no exception. I am really drawn to the low country style of house and also to the Federal style of house. I took some pictures of houses:
I love these big old houses with the huge porches. I wouldn't want to have to clean any one of them, but I can admire them and wish that when we win the lottery, I will buy one so that I can have a house at the shore, although I think I want something a little smaller.

We tried to stop and have some seafood; Maryland crab cakes sounded really good; but there is just no place for a truck to park that might have some decent food. We stopped at a little truck stop and had some decent spaghetti, which was okay.

We drove up to New Jersey last night and parked at the customer that we were delivering to and this morning I called a friend of ours that we haven't seen in several years because we were 2 blocks from her house. I chatted with her for a while and then she kindly brought us some coffee and said that she wasn't going to let us get away without coming the two blocks to see us. Her first comment when she answered the phone was not Hello, but "There's no _________ way."

We finished the trip in Binghamton, NY and saw some very pretty colors in the leaves on the hillsides.

There hasn't been all that much knitting going on, except for the dog sweater, but that should change in a couple of days. I am trying to figure out what I want to knit next and I'm sure something will catch my attention.

Oh...when we were in Portsmouth, we called all of the kids down there and we all got together for dinner. I took the baby socks I had knit for our daughter-in-law and gave them to her at dinner. I kind of think that she liked them. In a couple of months she will have her second sonogram and will find out the sex of the baby. That will make knitting so much easier, although the colors of the yarn that I picked out for the BSJ are unisex, so I'm good there.

Until next time....sayonara!

5 comments:

knitwhit said...

Gahhhhhh! I can handle the tunnel, but I hate the bridge! Beautiful pics tho!

Kathy said...

beautiful pics (as usual), keep 'em coming. And while your body may be worth more than mine, can you survive the zombies? mwahahahaha!
keep warm!

Mia said...

The house with the slate roof is pretty. I love large wrap around porches. And finding true Maryland crab cakes made with MAryland crab is next tom impossible unless you catch the crabs yourself and make the crab cakes too.

That's a 7-letter Deborah, never a Deb said...

I've never been in the "new" tunnel. I grew up around there and the old one was OK w/ me--drips and all!

kasiaiscarly said...

Hey! I live in Portsmouth :) I get a kick out of the CBBT particularly flying over it when landing in Norfolk!