The completion of one of the Seven Structural Engineering Wonders of America in the Twentieth Century was effected in 1964. My first trip across the Bay Bridge and Tunnel System was in 1969 while in VA to visit my brother who was stationed in Norfolk. For those of you unfamiliar with the shortcut from one part of VA to the other, it measures 17.6 miles from shore to shore, consists of 12 miles of trestled roadway, two mile long tunnels, two bridges, four man made island, two miles of causeway and approximately 5 ½ miles of approach road, in total 23 miles. Partway across is the Seagull Fishing Pier where there is a gift shop and restaurant. It’s a good place to stop, take some photos and grab a bite to eat unless you are bothered by bridges and then I recommend you keep going to “get it over with”.
The Statue of Liberty in Exmore, VA is outside the Liberty Tax Service on the Lankford Highway. The 2o foot replica seems to stand by itself along the road because the Tax Service is a good ways back from the road.
We stayed about 2 miles from the Visitor Center, a very short and easy commute back to 1774. And while we were in the past, we took part in a storming of the Governor’s Palace because he had secreted the militia‘s supply of gunpowder from the armory in the dead of night for “safekeeping“. But in truth, we stormed a nearby house where the Governor was visiting due to a medical emergency of a 21st century nature. Someone had fallen on a tour of the Governor’s Palace and ambulance, fire and police personnel we on scene to assist the injured party.
We were witness to coopers, bookbinders, bakers, blacksmiths, gunsmiths, tavern and coffeehouse keepers and even more by association with the people who live that life. The city is in a state of temporal flux. One end of the street fixed in 1760 while the other exists in 1774. Still other places had moved on to the reading of the Declaration of Independence which was met with pride, passion and uncertainty of the future.
Our midday repast was taken at the Chowning Tavern, a sumptuous affair costing more than some colonists would make in 10 years. This extravagance must have placed us in the company of Thomas Jefferson. The food was excellent and I have to say well worth the 45 minute wait for a table. We opted to share our table with a couple from North Carolina and enjoyed a pleasant exchange of experiences during the meal.
It was an exhausting day and we ended our step into history with a visit to the Court House to hear about the legal system of the day. Our experience was somewhat tarnished by those “characters” who, for whatever reason, did not or would not stay within the time frame they were employed. That being said, I must applaud James Madison for keeping to the times of 1776 in spite of questions from the citizens gathered which would have led him into a debate about future events such as the close friendship between President Washington and Secretary Hamilton or discourse of the notion of a Constitution to act as a governing document. Madison admitted he was toying with the concept but it would never catch on.