After we left Gettysburg, we kept heading East for the coast. We wanted to drive down the Delmarva Peninsula, which is made up of mostly Delaware, as well as the eastern shores of Maryland and Virginia. Here’s the most recent shot of our latest route.
We had a few overnights in less traditional camping spots, including a Wal-Mart and a casino, both of which allow overnight parking, but I can’t say we’ll make a regular practice out of it. It tends to be noisy and we don’t get a very good night’s sleep.
Our first glimpse of the Atlantic since Maine was at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. We sipped our coffee as we stretched our legs, walked along the boardwalk and got some salt water taffy. When we arrived at the campground of Assateague National Seashore, it was like paradise. Our campsite was just a dunefield away from the sound of waves on the beach. It can be a busy area during the summer with campsites booked up 6 months in advance, but the off-season is quiet and tranquil.
There are trails that explore the dunes, the forest and the marshes, and a bike trail linking together a lot of the areas. One of the most magical things about the park is the herds of feral horses that live there. We only saw groups of one or two along the trails and roadsides. They’ve made many adaptations over the years to deal with the harsh conditions of the island, from their diet and water intake to their coats. This stretch of coastline is a treasure alongside the touristy beach town of Ocean City. This little guy agrees.
We continued down the coast into North Carolina, our second visit to this state. There was a steady downpour of rain all morning during the drive, but when we arrived at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, the rain stopped so we could visit this historic place. This was the site where Orville took the first powered flight for 12 seconds and 120 feet while Wilbur looked on. It’s a powerful moment in history and to stand at the same spot and think about where aviation has advanced since then. There is a replica statue of the scene complete with the witnesses of the day that gives you the spatial experience of what it might have been like.
Our next stop down the coast was Cape Hatteras National Seashore. We got there in the late afternoon and spent several hours walking the beach, looking for interesting seashells, watching the birds along the waves and watching the colors of the sky and sea transform before our eyes.