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Virginia to Florida August 17th - December 20 2008

Because there are so many pictures of this particular trip they are broken into multiple pages.
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Doing some geocaching along the road from Harrisonburg to Staunton we found one near this roadside monument to the turkey!
Staunton was not significantly damaged during the Civil War so many of its buildings are much older than those of other towns in the Shenandoah valley.

We spent some time geocaching around Staunton and viewing the old buildings.
From the Shenandoah Valley we headed East to the other side of Virginia to Colonial Williamsburg.




These are pictures of the Governor's Mansion.
There are working examples of most of the trades in Williamsburg. Besides the blacksmith shop and silversmith below we saw the saddlery cobbler gunsmith candlemaker and more.
We get a lot of comments about walking Sammy on a leash but this chicken-walker has us beat!



The Declaration of Independence is read from the balcony of the Capitol Building below as it was in 1776.
We took a side-trip down to Virginia Beach and stopped to see the Cape Henry lighthouse; old one above right new one below.

These lighthouses are at the south end of the entrance to Chesapeake Bay and are on the Fort Story military base. We experienced the most complete vehicle inspection we've run into with a crew of around 6 who inspected inside and out. Even mirrors to inspect the under-carriage of the car.
Other side trips took us to Jamestown and Yorktown which are described as the beginning and the end of the British colonies.



Replicas of the ships which brought the first settlers to Jamestown are anchored nearby.



A cannon faces the James River.



A statue of Pocahantas is seen through the gates to the archeological site.
This water snake was in the swamps near Jamestown.
Redcoats prepare for a battle reenactment at Yorktown.
On our way down to the North Carolina Outer Banks we stopped at the Kitty Hawk site (actually Kill Devil Hills) where the Wright brothers made their historic flight. The rail is what the plane rolled on and the large stone marks the point of takeoff. Each white stone off in the distance marks the landing point for the four flights that occurred before the plane was broken up by a gust of wind.
Walking on the beach near the RV park we stayed in at Rodanthe. The movie "Nights in Rodanthe" opened a couple of days before we arrived; we had never heard of Rodanthe up until that point!
This is the lighthouse at Cape Hatteras. We drove down to Hatteras and then took the ferry to Ocracoke. The ferry pictured below is the one we took on the way south photographed on our return trip.

On Hatteras there was an RV park that also rented these "cabins" which were made to look like typical outer banks homes in miniature.


The North Carolina state capitol building in Raleigh is still used by the Governor on the ground floor but the upper floors are restored in their 18th-century furnishings and are open as historical exhibits.







There is a statue honoring the three US presidents from South Carolina Polk Jackson and Johnson.
We visit tropical butterfly habitats whenever we run across one. There is a very nice one at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science in Durham.
A visit to Chimey Rock provided views of the Rocky Broad River valley.
Also at Chimney Rock is Hickory Nut Falls. Not a lot of water flowing but a very high waterfall.
Autumn and fall colors are still awhile away at the lower elevations but a trip to Grandfather Mountain on the Blue Ridge provided some great opportunities for "leaf-peeping."
The "Swinging Bridge" is an interesting experience at Grandfather Mountain.
We hiked a bit on the rocky paths at Grandfather Mountain.
The South Carolina State Capitol is the most ornate of all of the captols we've visited, so far. Not on the outside, but on the inside.

The House and Senate chambers, below left and right, are the current actual chambers rather than a restoration like we saw in North Carolina.

There is stained glass, and a very large amount of polished wood!

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