We had made reservations several months ago to attend the Rally on the Chesapeake, an Entegra Owners Group event. Several of the people we met at the Paso Robles CA Rally were planning to attend as well, and we were looking forward to more good times with them. We were especially looking forward to an outing in Harvey again since we’d only been out one night since our return from our Wild West trip early in the summer. We thought that we would link this trip to our Spartan Training School and Entegra PDI (Post Delivery Inspection) that we had scheduled a year ago for later in October. We were getting the packing and prep down to a science, and we were ready to take off in no time!
Since we were going to practically passing through Richmond, we decided to stop and spend the night with my college roommate and her husband, Marcia and Chuck. It would be about an 8 hour drive to their house so we decided to drive about halfway and spend the night on the road, getting there the next day in the late morning. We like to stay in Flying J truck stops for a freebie night, but there aren’t many in the area we wanted to stop except for one that would have to do. It was very small and busy. The lot was really overloaded with trucks since they, too, had nowhere else to stop for the night.
Our spot by the curb
We were early enough that we got a spot along the curb that we like to get because we can put the slides out on the curb side, giving us more room inside.
See that Entegra coach sandwiched between the trucks?
After we were settled, John noticed another Entegra coach parked between trucks and decided to knock on their door and say “hello”. We thought they might be going to the rally, too. As it turned out, they were, and we asked them to come over for a glass of wine. Don and Jane were so interesting! They’ve been involved in RVing for many years, and were wagonmasters for Adventure Caravans. They’ve been all over the world in RVs, including Australia and New Zealand. They’ve also been to Alaska many times, which is on my bucket list, and we learned alot about planning for that. While we were having our drinks, a trucker knocked on our door and asked us to pull forward about 20 feet so he could pull in behind us, so we did. We went to bed early so we could get an early morning start. I was jolted awake about 1 AM by the bed jerking as it came in with the slide. I called out to John but he was gone! I had no idea what was going on. Just as I reached the front door, John came in to start the RV to back it up. Unbeknownst to me, another trucker had knocked on our door to ask us to move our RV back so he could get his truck with an extra long load of pipe out of his space. So, John, in his pajamas, had to unhook the car in order to back up. Fortunately, the guy behind us that we had moved up for before was gone. That was the first time that ever happened…and hopefully the last. We will try to find bigger places to stay from now on!
We were on the road early as planned, on our way to Richmond. I don’t think John ever really fell back to sleep after the night’s excitement. After much discussion with Marcia about where to park Harvey, we decided to leave him in the Tennis Club parking lot, with the approval of the tennis pro, a friend of Marcia’s. She gave us the address to program into the GPS, but said to call when we got to a certain point, and she would meet us to guide us in. We contacted her as planned, and she told us to take the 3rd exit of the roundabout while the GPS told us to take the first! What to do? We listened to Marcia since she lived there and would know best. Unfortunately, she was turned around and coming from the opposite way and gave us incorrect instructions. The GPS was right! But, we were shook up since there wasn’t room to turn around.
A big booboo
John chanced a tight turn across a median where there was a street, but caught the mudflap under the coach, badly damaging it. There wasn’t much we could do about it except hope that it wouldn’t rip off completely and do more damage to my car or the coach. We would need help to get it off. Poor Harvey.
After calming down with several glasses of wine, we had a lovely dinner and visit with our friends, and were off in the late morning the next day. The Beth-Page Resort in Urbanna VA was only about 1 1/2 hours away, making for a leisurely drive and check-in. What a beautiful campground! It was right on the water, with boat docks, kayak rentals, etc. It had a huge water park for everyone as well as pools. A perfect place for families. I’m glad the place was selected for October since we pretty much had the park to ourselves with the kids in school.
Pools and water park
A street of Entegra coaches
We were all parked along an avenue, so there was a “street of Entegra coaches”. It was so much fun to meet up with “old” friends and meet new ones. Everyone inspected each other’s coach to learn of the mods and improvements. In no time at all, we were doing what we do best….relaxing! That evening, there was a welcome happy hour with a person to acquaint us with all the area has to offer. The next day, October 2, we were off to Williamsburg with David and Mary from Texas, friends we’d made at the Paso Robles rally.
The day started out cloudy and rainy but ended up sunny and partly cloudy so John ended up carrying an umbrella all day. Williamsburg was about a 40 minute drive from where we were, and in the triangle with Jamestown and Yorktown. We didn’t have enough time to do it all, so chose Williamsburg. We’d been there many years ago, but were eager to see it again without the crowds. We entered the Welcome center to get our tickets and to see two films about the place and times. We got on a shuttle (no waiting!) to the Governor’s Palace and arrived just in time for the tour. Without going into the particulars of the tour, suffice it to say that it was very interesting and well done. We spent the rest of the day visiting the shops and exhibits, and ended up dining at King’s Arms Tavern, an authentic 18th century chophouse where the staff wears period dress. Specialties include peanut soup, Virginia ham, breast of chicken, colonial game pie and roast prime rib of beef. Since the only reservation we could get was at 5:00, we weren’t all that hungry, so we ate lightly. I had the delicious peanut soup and a Caesar salad. By the time we finished our meal and drove back to camp, it was getting dark and we were really tired, and we had missed game night. We wanted to get to bed early to be fresh for the riverboat cruise and winery tour the next day.
The Rappahannock River cruise group
We had signed up for the riverboat tour when we registered for the rally. The day started out sunny but was getting chilly and overcast as we headed up the Rappahannock River. We were thrilled to see eagles nesting in the trees along the shoreline but I was not able to get good shots of them. The best I could do was to get this shot of the American Eagle next to the flag. See that little spot just to the left of the flag? That’s the eagle!
The Ingleside Plantation Winery was the scheduled stop on the riverboat cruise. A satisfying luncheon of pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, cookies, and baked beans was served and we all ate on the winery’s patio. A wine tasting and tour was after although we didn’t purchase any wines as they weren’t to our liking. The place where we docked was the site of Bray’s Church. All that remains of the building is the brick foundation. If you can see the date on the sign, you can see 1766, 10 years before the Revolutionary War! Don’t forget, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them!) This is where the Leedstown Resolutions (or, Westmoreland Resolves) were signed, a protest against the Stamp Act leading to the many protests of the War. After a fun afternoon, we headed back to camp where a catered dinner awaited us.
Saturday, October 3rd was bright and beautiful. No breakfast was provided that day, so friends from the Paso Robles rally, Ron and Cindi, and we decided to explore the town of Urbanna. We found the Virginia Street Cafe and had breakfast there. It was adequate but not outstanding. I’ve gotten picky about breakfasts! The town itself was very interesting and quirky. We found a great store, called Marshall’s. It had all kinds of stuff in it, including a lunch counter right out of the 50s! There was also another shop in town that was surprising for the quality and style of clothing they stocked. Cindi and I had fun shopping while the men sat outside in the sun. We headed back to camp for an afternoon with an Entegra rep who came to meet with owners and answer questions about new models and old, with a catered dinner afterwards.
Sunday was break camp day. Many, but not all were leaving. Since John and I had nowhere to be until our Spartan Training School started on October 13, we decided to stay at Beth-Page for a couple more nights. Besides, when were on the riverboat cruise I’d noticed that we were very near George Washington’s and Robert E. Lee’s birthplaces and wanted to visit them. I am amazed that such a small area of the country produced such gigantic leaders for the birth of our country. It was a beautiful day for some history. We
A very theatrical park ranger guide
The front of the house facing Pope Creek
had a very theatrical guide from the ranger service who rhymed his story. It was very creative. John didn’t catch the rhyming but it was there. George Washington live on the Pope Creek Plantation for only three years, but returned often during his lifetime. Mt. Vernon was about 80 miles upstream. We wanted to get to Stafford Hall, the Lee plantation before it closed so we headed out. it was a much more imposing place than Washington’s birthplace, which was at least a century older. We had an interesting tour there, as well. All of the restoration being done was to the period, with colors and fabric being research. It is amazing to see how truly well built the house is. It escaped damage during the Civil War. We stayed and explored the grounds until almost closing time. It was a 45 minute ride back to camp where we had dinner and read until bed. Did I mention that there was such a canopy of trees that we didn’t get a chance to use our Dish receiver that we had set up prior to leaving home? We would have to wait until our next location to try it out.