Along the Natchez Trace

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Moving Right Along....

Our week here at Eastern Shore of Virginia NWR is about to end.  Bill's had a busy week.  Despite all the rain on Sunday and Monday (7" total!), and the humid and very hot temperatures,  he'll still have over 40 hours in by the time he finishes today.

The job here was to re-roof at least one building, power wash and paint another building, install some new doors in one area, and general maintenance on what needed done.  The top left is a "before" view of the building that needed the new roof.  There were 4 men working...  Tracy, the maintenance mechanic at this refuge, Jesse, from Wallkill NWR in NJ, Bob, from Great Dismal Swamp, VA, and Bill, who has become an itinerant volunteer.  The bottom left is of Tracy and Bill, starting to rip off the old roof.  The bottom right...  they are starting to cut the material to install, and the top right...  the finished job, which includes the new roof, but also repaired or replaced fascia.  This building will also get painted.

The other 3 guys worked on the roof on Wednesday while Bill used the power washer to clean the debris and flaky rust from another building....
He was moving right along doing quite well...
Then he looked down and noticed that the power washer was on fire.  Not just a little fire, but shooting frames up high.  He moved the lift he was on out of the way and yelled for help.  The washer was a total loss...  (lower right)...  talk about having a melt down!  The upper right shows the building cleaned and ready for it's new paint job.  I hope they have better luck with the paint sprayer than that power washer!

Today I walked over to the job early and Bill took me up in the lift to get some photos...
The Maintenance Shop area is quite large, and all the buildings are in need of repair or just spruced up.  The volunteer RV park is nearby...  that's our rig in the lower right.  I didn't take that photo from the lift but you can see the RV area in the upper right...  in back of the re-roofed building.  

I have written before that Paul Horning, our friend from Crystal River NWR in Florida volunteers here.  He no longer moves back and forth between VA and FL doing volunteer service.  He took us out to dinner last night, and you can see below a very nice reason he's here year-round.
Paul and Lola
Paul will soon be 83....  I swear, he looks exactly as he did when we first met in in 2005!  It's so good to see his happy smile.

He and Lola took us on a tour of Cape Charles, a lovely little town right on the bay.  He jokes about the shopping mall...  a Food Lion grocery store, a Dollar General, and a McDonalds...  but you know...  that's not bad at all!

I've eaten crab before, and love it.  But I'd never eaten soft-shell crab...
Those are deep-fried crabs...  you eat the shell and all!  Right after a crab has molted, the shell is soft and pliable.
I had to have the french-fries and slaw with my crabs - as long as I was going indulge I was doing the whole thing!  Sure was tasty!

Tomorrow morning we'll head south...  across the Chesapeake Bay.  It's that 20 mile long bridge and tunnel to get over to Norfolk.  From there we'll wind our way west...  heading for Texas.  It will take us a while to get there...  I'll post when I can.

That's All For Today!


  1. Bill definitely got a lot done in one week and with the excitement of the power washer fire thrown in for good measure. I just cannot eat soft shell crabs even though Iove hard shell and crab cakes.

  2. Not surprisingly, I've never had soft shell clams either.

  3. My mother went out of her way to use the tunnel and the bridge. Fascinating.
    Paul does not look old enough to be 82 going on....
    Safe trip home.

  4. Bill sure did lots of work. Meal looks scrumptious. Is there any problem going through the tunnel with a propane tank on the RV? We had a problem many years ago and took the long way around to get to a bridge. It wasn't the same tunnel.

  5. Busy, Busy, Busy!! Nice set of photos showing what you're up to!

  6. They got lots done! The building with the new roof looks so much better even without new paint. We are finding the same thing here at our campground, the buildings require some maintenance and at times it isn't always a lot of work. Why it wasn't done before we just aren't sure.

    We have been across the Chesapeake Bay bridge tunnel many, many years ago. It is quite the drive and what an amazing feat of engineering.

  7. Sure did make progress there getting things done.
    The crab dinner looks pretty yummy.
    No need to rush to Texas, take your time and enjoy the journey.

  8. Hope the travels are going well. I had soft-shell crab a couple of times in DC. Not a fan. I don't care how soft the shell is, it's still a shell. I just couldn't get past that!

  9. I've never had soft shell crabs. If I have a choice, I always pick fried shrimp.
    That fire must have been scary! At least with all that rain there wasn't a chance of catching the grass on fire.
    We're making our way back to Texas too. We're in Utah today. It's getting warm.
    Be safe.