Day 5 consisted of driving from NJ to La Plata, MD. Of course, when we got up last Thursday morning we weren’t sure how far we would make it driving, and there was an equal chance that we would make it all the way home in one day much as we did when we drove to NJ. However, breakfast and late goodbyes got us on the road home to VA later than we left to head to NJ. Then there was traffic to contend with. Traffic, traffic, traffic. I moved out of NJ in 1996 (wow! 19 years ago…now I feel old) and couldn’t stand the traffic then, it is much worse now. We made our way down the NJ Turnpike but the Delaware Memorial Bridge surprise, surprise had a backup on it. Getting to Delaware we stopped off a Cabela’s to stretch our legs. We got back on the road after lunch but ran into lovely traffic right around Annapolis, MD. By the time we hit Waldorf, I was tired of moron drivers and needed a break. Not far down the road was the afore mentioned La Plata where a Best Western provided us refuge.
Day 6 saw us take a little detour and visit George Washington Birthplace National Monument. Part of the park rests along Pope’s Creek and another part provides access to the Potomac River. The Potomac River Beach is smallish and currently being worked on but I was more interested in exploring the historic areas.
With no picture or architectural drawings, in 1926 Congress authorized the construction of a replica of the house in which George Washington was born. At the time the site was managed by the Wakefield National Memorial Association and a generic plantation home was designed and built. The spot of the actual birthplace home was partially excavated in 1930 and fully excavated in 1936 and again in 1974. So there is a generic plantation “memorial home” to visit and an outline of the actual home discovered by archeologists in the 1930s. Overall, it is a neat place to visit and an interesting lesson on preservation and public memory (or guesswork, you decide).
So ended the Week of Wanderings as Day 7 consisted of resting up and preparing to return to work the next day for Mrs. Historian (AJ) and myself.
Day 2 consisted of driving, driving, and more driving. Google Maps lists the drive between Williamsburg, VA and family in NJ as around 5 and a half hours. Baloney. It takes more like 8 hours or so.
We did not take 95 opting instead for the 17 / 301 route. This is a much more scenic route, but since avoiding construction ANYWHERE is impossible we ran into tie ups at several points along the way. So we are here! Tomorrow on to Monmouth Battlefield.
Day 1 found AJ and I at False Cape State Park which you have to reach, as the brochure says, “by hiking, biking, or boating through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge“. We took a tram tour through the park to the Wash Woods Historical Site.
Wash Woods was a late 1800s community of around 300 or so that had close ties to the nearby community at Knotts Island. Most of the community’s buildings have all disappeared but you can still see the steeple of the Wash Woods Methodist Church and the Cemetery Site.
Both Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park are out of the way. Think primitive – which was part of the appeal to AJ and I. So if you are really looking to find some seclusion, bring your water and your backpack and perhaps even your bike and leave everything else behind.