Kiptopeke State Park
Our biggest anxiety getting to this park was crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT). We got this – no problem! We kept an eye on the winds as there are restrictions for trailers crossing the bridge. Morning of – all systems go…………..let’s do this!!! And away we go………
Kiptopeke State Park, located at the southern end of the Virginia eastern shore, was yet another beautiful place near the water (Chesapeake Bay) to lay our heads and enjoy the outdoors. We found super nice hiking trails that either started at the beach or ended up there. Within one of the trails was a beautiful Pollinator area. There were SO many butterflies and bees; we didn’t know what to look at first!!
Just off the coast of the park are WWII concrete ships partially sunken. The Concrete Fleet, also known as the Kiptopeke Breakwater, consists of several concrete ships lined end to end just west of the former Chesapeake Bay ferry terminal. The crumbling hulks consist of 9 of the 24 concrete ships contracted by the U.S. Maritime Commission during World War II. In 1948 the ships were brought to Kiptopeke Beach in order to bring protection to the terminal during severe weather. Once arranged, their bilge-cocks were opened to bring on water and they were left to settle on the bottom of the Bay.
The ferry was closed in 1964 when the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel opened but the breakwater still protects the pier and beach while providing a home for coastal fish, shellfish, and birds. Since being scuttled in the bay the rusty bones of these ships have been exposed to half a century of weather creating an incredible show of decay. Certain sections of the wrecks offer holes large enough for a small boat to pass through where one can see the interior structure of these vessels up close.
The night skies were dark…dark…the stars looked so close, it felt like you could yank them right out of the sky…..got a glimpse of the Milky Way!!
The historic town of Cape Charles was quaint and quiet. There is a very small population but it seems builders have come in – buying up land to build homes – bringing more people to the area. We understand from the locals that Cape Charles is becoming quite the tourist spot which we were happy to hear. The town virtually closed down once the CBBT was built, because all of the traffic that used to come via the ferry, now is on the highway outside of town. They’ve done a lot to bring shops and restaurants to sustain some local and tourist traffic. We drove around all of the little streets, looking at the beautiful new and old homes. Neat place!!!
One of our neighbors had an Airstream – a special edition called The Pendleton. Only 100 were made. First time we’ve ever seen one in person and it sure was puuurrrtttyyy! We had a nice evening with them around the fire, partaking in some adult beverages. During our stay, yet another Airstream showed up – this one a 1962 and man did it shine, shine, shine. Her friend had the other vintage trailer.
Walking on the beach, to us, is one of our favorite things. Hours go by without blinking an eye……we’ll see you again Cape Charles………………………