DNA X #6

July 23rd, 2010 by

DNA X #6

Weather – hot
Wind – SE 5 steamy knots


DNA-XWe continue north on the Coastal Highway weaving through the tidewaters of North Carolina and on into Virginia. This is a rich agricultural area producing a variety of crops. It is also a vital flight corridor for migrating birds. Known as the Atlantic Flyway this I95 for birds starts in the Eastern Arctic Islands and continues down the coast to Florida where the path splits off leading to various points south.

DNA-XNative Mood…
We notice some signs as we travel these rural roads. No OLF…No OLF… The signs are home made and scattered along the lush fields of wheat, corn, soybeans and cotton. The closer we get to Virginia the more numerous the signs. Upon investigation I discover OLF means Outlying Landing Field. Apparently the Navy has plans to put in a practice landing field for fighter jets somewhere near these farms and smack in the middle of the Atlantic Flyway. Bird strikes are deadly for birds and pilots, noise and pollution are fatal for real estate values. The five proposed sites straddle the VA and NC border. The Navy in its infinite wisdom must have thrown some darts at a map to come up with these locations. The numerous NO OLF groups from both states are fighting this project which has been underway for several years. Impact studies, meetings and unanswered phone calls go on as the residents get more frustrated. The Navy is in its “deliberative process” which probably means it’s trying to figure out how to come out of this pickle smelling like a rose. Meanwhile the farmers won’t invest capital in their farms and any development is on hold.
Blackie decides she is ready for a boat ride. We head for the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry to shave off a couple of hours on the blacktop. The ride across the James River takes us by the first English colony established in 1607. The historic site of Jamestown grew into a thriving community after several years of battles with the local Native Americans, disease, and starvation. Famous residents included Captain John Smith and Pocahontas. After a tour of the area we head to Williamsburg, Virginia. The living history of Colonial Williamsburg is interesting and well done and there are numerous historic sites in the surrounding area. The Williamsburg Winery is the largest in Virginia and is open for tours and tastings and the wine is good.
The Faux Chateau…
DNA-XWell, our accommodations await us and we head to another hastily made reservation. The approach takes us through pastoral farms winding through forests and through an archway into the parking lot. So far so good. The web site bragged about some awards and featured an impressive aerial view of the site. Down on the ground it appears we have landed in France. We check in at the podium and pass the inspection of a knight in armor (plastic) which guards the hallway. Our room is large but the bathroom is a three foot wide hall with the sink, shower, etc crammed along the passageway. The large, flimsy armoire is empty and rattles constantly as we walk around. We suddenly realize that everything is a facade – the walls are paper thin, the “antiques” are anything but, the touted “bar” is non functional and the guests might as well all have the same room since we can hear every creak and groan. The dreary stone courtyard is non accessible and even though there is a nice fountain – supposedly from France – it looks more like the firing squad will be out any minute to preform the afternoon execution. See if you can find the Faux Chateau, if you want to stay there bring your ear plugs.
Did You Know…?

Botanical Sassafras was once worth its weight in gold as a medicinal plant. It was an early export of Jamestown and today it is used as a flavoring for root beer.