375-Mile Day Trip – October 23, 2021

This adventure started with a trek down I-64 East. About halfway between Richmond and Williamsburg, we turned on Rt. 33 East, and this took us through the town of West Point. While a paper mill dominates the view as you enter the town, the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Rivers converge here to form the York River.

We have not yet visited the museums at the Mattaponi and Pamunkey reservations; perhaps we’ll do that on our next trip this way.

We took some “wrong” (but pretty) roads before arriving at our first destination: Gwynn’s Island. We camped here in August 2020 and we’ve missed it ever since we left!

When we arrived at the campground, we asked if there were any vacancies for one night in one of the rental cottages, cabins, or campers. Aside from a couple of tent sites, they were booked solid. Kind of figured they would be. The woman in the office said we were welcomed to walk around the campground for a while, and we took her up on the offer. This is SUCH a beautiful place, right on the Chesapeake Bay!

Leaving Gwynn’s Island RV Resort, the next place we planned to visit was Gloucester Point Beach Park near the Coleman Memorial Bridge. In November 2019 we’d discovered a little park on the York River, and we were delighted to see dolphins there:

Before reaching Gloucester Point, however, we saw a sign for Machicomoco State Park. I’d heard of this relatively new state park in a Virginia campers groups and impulsively decided to check it out. There was more there than I anticipated.

This is the first Virginia state park that “celebrates and honors the history of the Native Tribes of Virginia,” and after driving through the campground, we went to the interpretive area.

“For as long as 18,000 years, Native American people have lived along Chesapeake’s waterways…”

Back on Rt. 17 South, I missed the turn to Gloucester Point Beach Park! As we crossed the Coleman Memorial Bridge, Wayne snapped these pictures of a big sailboat going upstream on the York River.

As soon as we were across the bridge, a sign to the right said “Historic Yorktown,” “Waterfront,” and “Watermen’s Museum,” so I made the turn. To my surprise, the road curved back under the bridge and I had an opportunity to get an even better picture of the sailboat:

I’d never been to the Yorktown waterfront, but as we slowly drove past shops, restaurants, and a riverfront hotel, I remembered seeing a friend’s pictures of this area. We just did a quick drive-through this time, but it’s another place I’d like to re-visit!

From Yorktown, we took the scenic route to Williamsburg on the Colonial Parkway.

While I’m still not totally comfortable eating in restaurants, we greatly enjoyed our dinner at Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant.

Now here’s where the adventure took a bit of a turn…. Before we left home that morning I’d checked various Williamsburg motels and hotels and there were limited openings. Those that did have openings didn’t have particularly good reviews. Since it wasn’t completely dark by the time we left the restaurant, we decided to drive to Richmond. Surely we’d find a place to stay there.

Except we didn’t.

The places we checked were either too pricy, too sketchy (seriously), or there were no vacancies. Okay, fine. Let’s just call this a 375-mile day trip and go home. It was a beautiful day. 🙂

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