|Oyster shells as mulch?|
|Leaving Urbanna (before full throttle).|
To get from the Middle Peninsula to the Northern Neck across the wide salty Rappahannock River would have been a challenge on foot. Lucky for us, our friends Rob and Linda live across the river on a side inlet of the Corrotoman River and were willing to come pick us up in a boat. It would have been 40 miles of walking instead of a twenty-minute boat ride to get to their house.
Rob picked us up in a motor boat (though he called a skiff). He said that it was a little rough coming over, because of the breeze. Sure enough once we got out of the harbor a ways, there were some small waves. Well, apparently the best way to not get tossed around too much is to go on top of the waves as much as possible. "I'm going to pick it up here now," Rob informed us calmly. Within a minute, Ryan and I were soaked and gripping our seats and Rob was surprisingly still standing up behind the wheel. It was exhilarating!
|Tidewater Lesson #1: Toss the car and get a boat.|
That evening, Rob and Linda treated us to a washing machine, a shower, steamed crabs for dinner, AND a boat ride to their neighbors' house to swim in the pool at sunset. First class accommodations! We had a great time spying on the osprey family nested in a pine tree in their front yard. Rob and Linda are adventurers themselves. This summer they will deliver a sail boat up to Maine - one of many sailing trips they have taken. over the years. And Rob biked across the country when he was seventeen, during the "Bikecentennial" of 1976, the inaugural year of the Route 76 TransAmerica Bike Trail. Before my trip, it was comforting hearing Rob's stories about the kindness of people he encountered along the way during that trek. And here he was with Linda, helping us in turn.
|Fast boats make pirate hats.|
|Rob delivering us to Merry Point on the Corrotoman|
|Linda (right) walking with us on the Northern Neck|
|Crossing the Great Wicomico River|
Trish got home from work and immediately cooked up a feast in which she insisted we partake, and Dave offered us some cold beers. We asked Ian lots of questions about New Zealand and shared stories about our Virginia trek. Later, Dave went down to his dock to check on the crab pots to see what he'd caught. What looked like a lot of crabs to me apparently wasn't a great catch, but I guess I'm easy to impress.
|Dave Geeson, lifting out one of his crab pots|
We spent the evening at the dinner table, among other things, hearing about Dave's work with the Virginia Department of Health. His job is to go out in a boat throughout the year to test waterways for bacteria to determine if shellfish from the area are safe to eat. It's an important job that must have profound affects on shellfish harvesting in the Tidewater area.
What a nice surprise to meet the Geesons.