We’ve felt pretty comfortable regarding the whole social distancing thing when we’ve camped at rural state parks this summer, but I had some real concerns about going to or staying in a more populated area. Hoping to have some beach time without officially staying in Virginia Beach, we made reservations at American Heritage RV Park near Williamsburg, Virginia. We were familiar with the campground as we stayed there last year, and while it’s certainly different from a state park, we’ve found it to be a clean, safe, and quiet environment.
We knew it was going to be hot–and we seem to have a knack for camping during heat waves–so the temperature when we got there really wasn’t a surprise:
After we had everything set up, we went over to York River State Park, as we did the previous year, while cumulonimbus clouds formed in the sky.
Almost as soon as the York River came into view, I heard the sound of Ospreys. We spotted them at the edge of the river in a tree behind the visitor’s center. There were two on a branch, and one was enjoying a late lunch or early dinner:
It was a relatively short walk to a trail that leads down to the river, but the heat was still oppressive, even in the shade.
We took a couple of “selfies” once we got to the beach area, just to show we’d made it. 😉
A young couple was also braving the heat along the river, and they said they’d just seen a snake go under one of the trees on the beach. We didn’t see it, but this gets filed under “Note to Self” for whenever we visit again!
With the clouds continuing to build, we drove back to the campground. A tree near our campsite had an interesting mark on it. What do you think–was this a natural phenomenon, or did someone carve this into the bark? What do you see?
Usually when we’re in Williamsburg–or Virginia Beach–we treat ourselves to dinner one night at Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant. While the restaurant in Williamsburg is now open for in-person dining (which surprised me), this time we opted to do curbside pickup. We ordered the “Ultimate Captain’s Seafood Feast for Two,” and as we waited in the car for our food to be brought out, I noticed that everyone going into the restaurant–or coming out–was wearing a mask. Good.
Soon we were heading back to the campground with our food, and what a feast it was! Our dinner for two included 2 pounds of crab legs, a pound each of steamed shrimp, baby clams, and mussels, 2 ears of corn, and baby potatoes. WOW!!!
It was absolutely AMAZING! And yes, we ate ALL of it! 😉
After cleaning up, we sat outside for a while. It was still hot and humid, but we were impressed with how incredibly quiet the campground was–and how incredibly loud the cicadas and other night bugs were! Good summer sounds. 🙂
When we came in for the night, we rolled up the awning and made sure that everything around our campsite was secure. After midnight the storms that we’d been anticipating all day started moving through, and they continued most of the night. This was the first time we’d been in our trailer when there was torrential rain, intense lightning, and ground-rattling thunder, and I was thankful that I’d recently purchased a surge protector for our electrical system, thankful that our power stayed on, and even more thankful that we weren’t in a tent!
Fortunately, all was well in the morning (another hot one) so we set out for Virginia Beach, which was a little more than an hour’s drive down I-64 East.
We got to Nick’s Restaurant on Laskin Road after they’d stopped serving breakfast, but since they had tables set up outside in a bit of shade, we ate an early lunch there. After that, we went to the section of First Landing State Park that’s on 64th Street. As usual, we spotted Ospreys and other large birds as we drove into the park.
And as usual, we kept our camera busy while walking along the beautiful Cape Henry Trail! 🙂
When we left the park, Wayne knew of a place on the north end of Virginia Beach where he could get in the ocean for a while. I opted not to swim, but holding an umbrella over my head, I bravely crossed the “Sahara” with him to walk out towards the water….
This part of the beach wasn’t at all crowded, and he thoroughly enjoyed swimming in the ocean!
We then drove to another section of First Landing State Park (where the campground is), and even though there’s a beautiful beach on the Chesapeake Bay there (and bathhouses), I just didn’t feel like changing into my suit–or even getting out of the car. I was ready to go “home,” and definitely ready to get out of the heat.
When we got back to the campground there were only a few people in the pool, and then I was ready to swim. The water felt great, and it was a nice way to finally cool down after such a steamy, sticky day.
The previous night for dinner we’d had our “Ultimate Feast for 2.” Because we hadn’t realized just how much food would be included, we’d ordered an extra pound of crab legs, along with a couple of servings of a seafood casserole. I steamed the crab legs in the electric skillet to warm them up while Wayne microwaved the casserole, and we feasted once again! Yes, while we missed the dining-in experience which offers a wide variety of salads, vegetables, desserts, and more, being able to have two fabulous meals in our little home on wheels–for the price of one in the restaurant–was pretty cool. 🙂
Camping in Virginia during the summer months often means high temperatures and strong storms, and this summer certainly poses even more challenges due to the pandemic. But by being sensible about hydration, limiting our time outside in the heat, and by being cautious–but not fearful–we’ve greatly enjoyed our midweek outings. We look forward to exploring more beautiful places in the state in the weeks ahead!
Until next time,
Sharon & Wayne