As the holiday weekend wrapped up, Nicolas had to head back to the ship for his next underway, and we started preparing for our move north. We had everything ready to go, but decided to wait one more day so that we could try to see the Ike as it headed out to sea again.
As we made our way over the Hampton Roads Bridge, we could see that one of the carriers was out of position, so we figured it was probably the Ike.
We hoped we would get to the Fort before they passed by!
We made it, but just in time . . . we could see the Ike as it passed over the I-64 tunnel and by the time we parked in front of the lighthouse, it was passing on front of us.
Nicolas was standing in that open space on the hangar deck. We stood on the seawall and waved, but I don’t think he could see us. He took a picture looking at the Fort where we were standing.
We watched them make their way past the Fort and the fishing pier,
As they got further away, we drove down to the beach to watch them as they made the right turn to head south into the Chesapeake Bay.
There they go . . . bye Nicolas!
With him gone, it was time for us to get back on the move, too. Early the next morning, we hitched up and got back on the road. We made our way through Richmond, and then took I-64 through Charlottesville and the Shenandoah Valley.
Our first stop in our travels was an RV Park at a truck stop along I-81, the Lee-Hi Campground. I was a little skeptical of it being at a truck stop, but it was actually pretty nice, and definitely fine for a one night stop . . . and we got to eat dinner at I-Hop!
Not a bad view, either!
The next morning, we got back on I-64 and made our way across the mountains into West Virginia. It was a beautiful drive!
Crossing the New River in Charleston, WV
We’ve passed through West Virginia may times, and last year we tried really hard to stay there but it didn’t work out . . . but this year I was determined to spend a couple of days and add WV to our map.
Our map is filling in – only 2 more to go in the lower 48!
We got set up on our site at Rippling Waters RV Campground, a nice, peaceful campground in the foothills north of Charleston.
Our pull-thru site was so long, you could have fir another motorhome and Jeep behind us!
There is a little lake in the middle of the campground, with a little chapel that gets used for weddings – very cute!
They also have a pool, which was surprising, and Tom and I had it to ourselves for several hours one afternoon . . . at least until the summer camp kids arrived and took over!
The path around the lake was nice for walking Casey, and she liked to relax by the edge of the water to watch the ducks swimming around.
Friday was our relaxing by the pool day, and then we spent Saturday exploring nearby Charleston. Our first stop was the Capitol Market, our outdoor farmers market and a few indoor shops.
We bought quite a bit of produce to take home with us – oh, the peaches and corn were soooo good!
After shopping we drove to the other end of downtown, along the New River,
to the West Virginia State Museum located at the Capitol Complex.
The Capitol itself was covered with tarps and scaffolding, so I didn’t take a picture. The grounds around the complex were beautiful, though.
We walked around to the museum entrance, and entering the lobby we greeted by a display of “Quilts of West Virginia” – WOW – there were some really beautiful ones!
So many beautiful quilts!
While I was admiring the quilts, Tom talked to the docent and found out that the lower level of the museum was a walking tour of West Virginia through the years – from the first settlers,
through the Civil War when West Virginia became a separate state (they sided with the Union during the war, and took that opportunity to declare themselves separate from Virginia).
We followed the path through the decades and learned about the history of the many industries that have made up the economy of West Virginia.
Tom trying his hand at being a telephone operator!
Progress came to West Virginia with the riverboats and the railroad.
Moving into the 20th Century, as electricity and indoor plumbing finally came to West Virginia!
The New River Gorge Bridge
We completed the tour of West Virginia’s history, and took a quick look on the balcony at the display of Miss West Virginia costumes and a display of all the first ladies of West Virginia.
It was a really nice museum . . . and it was FREE, so that was a bonus!
We had time for an early dinner before church, so we asked the docent for a recommendation, and he sent us to a great little pizza place in an old house on top of a hill across the river. Definitely a good recommendation!
After dinner, we went to mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Basilica,
and afterwards enjoyed some live music and an ice cream cone at Streetfest – a monthly gathering in downtown Charleston with a band and lots of games and activities for kids. There were lots of young families out enjoying the beautiful summer evening.
It was a great day, and a wonderful way to enjoy the state capitol!