Chippokes Plantation Campground, April 5 & 6

One last thing I forgot to mention as a big “pro” on the plus side of our Bike Florida Tour: Oranges.

All the rest stops had them in abundance, and they were cherry red, sweet, and O! so refreshing. So good, in fact, that we stopped at a roadside stand before leaving FL and bought a sack full. Yum.


So we said goodbye to FL and headed to SC. Travel was unremarkable, thank goodness. But I did capture this pic of Angela and their Alto2114 traveling along ahead of us at one point.


So Lynches River Campground was our overnight spot on Thursday, April 4, and that’s the campground that is mostly for tenters, with only 2 serviced RV sites. Mark and Angela got #2 (a pull-through) and we got #1 both with electric and water. The bathhouse was rustic to say the least, but it had exactly two private rooms, each with its own toilet, sink, and shower. For a one-night stayover, it was just perfect. Next stop: Chippokes Plantation Campground near Williamsburg, VA, April 5 and 6.


Chippokes is actually in Surry, VA, and is a re-purposed grand farm and mansion, once an actual plantation. Today, it is quite a fine and spiffy Virginia State Park, with hiking trails, the mansion itself, equestrian trails, electric and water, and nice renovated bathhouses. Loop B has the most modernized and level campsites, where Loop A has older, less flat/improved sites.

We linked up with John and Mary at Chippokes, so we had three side-by-side sites with Mark and Angela. Roomba was in the middle, on site #2.

Mark and Angela’s son, Brent, linked up with them (and us), coming down from New York to see his parents while they were relatively close. He spent some of our arrival/set up day in Williamsburg and he and Mary and John all arrived around 5PM.

We all went out to dinner, hoping to catch the pub in Smithfield, but there was a minimum of an hour’s wait there, so off we went to Smithfield Landing where we had a delightful dinner, and all got to know one another a bit better. The walk through Smithfield from the pub to the Landing and then back to our cars after dinner was fun times together also.

The next day, Mark, Angela, and Brent headed to Jamestown, while Mary, John, Jack, and I headed across the ferry into Williamsburg. But first, we went to the Edwards Ham store and picked up some good old fashioned Virginia Ham products. Yum.

We rode the Pocahontas ferry and saw a smaller ferry passing across the river. It was overcast the day we headed into Billsburg, but it never rained despite the look of the sky.

We had a bit of a drive around the campus, telling J&M tales of our college days, and had a quite nice sandwich from Colonial Williamsburg’s famous Cheese Shop.


That night, we all fixed our own dinners but joined up to eat at our site. We had shared appetizers and a fire to cozy up to as our final night together after our fun travels with Mark and Angela. Brent also was headed back north the next day, while John, Mary, Jack, and I were headed to Janes Island, MD for our next, longest stop of our Spring Trip.

Before everyone broke apart, I set up the timer on my camera to get a group shot. And Riley also had to have some fun before we bundled off to Maryland.


Chippokes Plantation State Park

Day One of our Eastern Shore bicycling vacation was mostly driving, and as I write this note, we’re set up at our campsite (#07). One of the first things we did was get out of our jeans and into shorts. We left Meadows of Dan at about 9:30A with temps in the mid-fifties, and arrived at Chippokes Plantation SP around 3:30 to 86 degrees. Inside Roomba it was a toasty 94.

We’d left home with a vat of chili in the Billy Boil (Yeah, yeah. The ingredients were handy, easy to prepare, and chili in the Billy travels well – so what that it’s really a “winter” dish? We’re cooling down under the awning, enjoying a nice breeze, while it’s still 82 degrees, but there’s no humidity [thank goodness]). We also left home with frozen dinner rolls in the Omnia oven (dressed up in its new silicone liner) and rolled into camp with them ready to bake.

I cranked up the Omnia and its thermometer, and the rolls were done in about 20 minutes. I’ve done rolls like this in the Omnia before, and the bottoms often get more “done” than the tops – okay, they get overdone. But with the silicone liner, the bottoms are nicely browned without that “charred” look (and taste) about them. Looking forward to continuing to learn stovetop oven management.

Roomba’s in a nice site, but the leaves are still emerging so the sun is pretty serious at this time of year. While it’s still light at this point in the evening—mind you, with the setting sun things might change—we are not bothered by mosquitoes.

En route, once we were near enough the James River, we saw two adult bald eagles fighting or courting in the sky above. As we set up camp, a fox sparrow graced us with its presence. I love the birdwatching prospects along waterways.

We’re just relaxing now, after being interrupted by someone wanting an Alto Tour once we arrived, and taking our time to set up for our brief, 2-night stay here, without unhitching from the car. Looking forward to a nice bike ride around the campground and plantation area tomorrow (although they’re calling for rain).