Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pier One, Buckroe Beach, VA

We took our walk at Buckroe Beach today. The dogs are allowed on the beach after September 15th and the beach is a pretty place to walk. The pier out over the Chesapeake Bay is open until 6pm so we were able to go out on the pier.
This pier was completely destroyed during Hurricane Isabel; in September 10 years ago,  and now it has been rebuilt. The shelter can be rented for picnics, parties or weddings. All of the shelters at the park were built new this year.
The dogs were really frisky because it was windy and they could hear the surf right under the pier. They wanted to run!
This pier is called the sightseeing pier--there is another pier for fishing.
The beach is clean and laid-back. Also a great place for a walk with your buddy!

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Saturday, September 21, 2013

New Quarter Park, Williamsburg, VA

This morning we went to the Williamsburg Farmer's Market to get some vegetables and some fall apples. I thought since we were in Williamsburg, we should explore a few trails at the New Quarter Park.
To get to the park from the Farmer's Market in Merchant Square--it was pretty easy. We went on the Colonial Parkway, exited at Queen's Lake. Turn right onto Hubbard Lane. Turn right onto Lakeshead and that road takes you directly into the park.
The paths are pea gravel in some places, sand and dirt in others. Lots of tree roots so you have to be careful where you walk. There is also a paved path for bicycles.
Like many other parks in this area, this park has lots of history signs. In the early 1700's, Robert "King" Carter named this tract "New Quarter", one of the many quarters or farms that made up his landholding. He gave it to his grandson, Carter Burwell, who built Carter's Grove Plantation.

During the Civil War, Union troops at Fort Monroe launched a campaign to take Richmond, the Confederate capital. Earthworks were built to slow the advance; and you can still see Redoubts 12 and 13 at this park today.
We stopped at a lookout over Queen's Lake. Queen's Lake is actually a private lake purchased by the surrounding homeowners for $75,000 in 1952.
Al stopped to look at the fire pit and saw evidence that a raccoon had been digging through the cold ashes in search of something to eat. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' Birding and Wildlife Trail program has recognized New Quarter Park as one of coastal Virginia's best sites for wildlife-watching and hiking. We didn't see any live critters--other than the ones we brought with us!

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Auto Bell Car Wash, Hampton & Noland Trail, Newport News, VA

I'm still on my "Stay-cation" so this morning the dogs and I took the van for a much-needed car wash! The dog-friendly Auto Bell Car Wash is on North Armistead Avenue in Hampton.
The young men who work here are so courteous and they seem to enjoy the visit by the greyhounds.
The dogs didn't seem to want to wait for the van to go by the window--they preferred to wait outside.
And out comes the van!
While we were waiting for them to dry the van off, PG heard some popping sounds and started shaking. I"m pretty sure it was the firing range at Langley Air Force Base. I looked up the Joint Base Langley-Eustis bulletin for today and it said, "Off-limits area
The Langley Air Force Base combat arms range and the bullet impact area to the rear of the range are off limits to all personnel. Due to live-fire of weapons, trespassing in this area is illegal and dangerous."
She was happy to get into the safety of the clean van and head to our next adventure!
We headed for the Noland Trail in Newport News. From I64, take Exit 258-A. Travel 2.5 miles to the intersection of Warwick Blvd. and J. Clyde Morris Blvd. (also called Avenue of the Arts). Continue straight through the intersection and turn left onto Museum Drive. There is a parking lot on the right hand side for the Noland Trail's North Entrance.
The Noland Trail is 5 miles long along the shoreline of Lake Maury. It has many elevation changes so it is a challenging walk. Lots of students from nearby Christopher Newport University use it as a jogging trail. There are mile markers all along the trail--we walked for a mile and then turned around--for a 2 mile long walk--rather than go the whole 5 miles.
Lake Maury is really picturesque--named for the famed 19th-century oceanographer and native Virginian, Matthew Fontaine Maury. It was such a glorious morning, cool and not humid. Every once in a while Sammy would prance up on  his toes and bark out loud when we were all alone on the trail. He seemed to be saying, "It doesn't get any better than this!"
What is Sammy looking at while crossing the bridge? Could there be a troll under the bridge?
Tons of turtles! Well, maybe not tons--but dozens of them!

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Yorktown Market Days, Yorktown & Newport News Park, Newport News, VA

First day of my "Stay-cation" so I thought I'd take the dogs out for the day. First we went to Yorktown Market Days. Take I-64 to exit 250B. Continue on Ft. Eustis Blvd. for 3 miles and turn left onto Route 17 North/George Washington Memorial Highway. Follow Route 17 North to the second traffic light and turn right onto Cook Road. Follow Cook Road to Ballard Street. Turn left on Ballard Street. There is a parking lot on Ballard Street and then you can walk down the hill to the marketplace.
At the bottom of the hill, you'll come to the field with the marketplace. It's a pretty place with the York River in the background.
There are a few produce stands, but also breads, jams, fresh seafood, beef, pork and poultry. You can do all your shopping in one place. The weekly market will be open till the end of September.
PG was pretty hot, though! Her tongue was almost touching the ground! So after we had all of our produce in our cooler bag--we headed off to the Newport News Park. We had been there a few weeks ago and I wanted to go back and walk on the longer trail.
So, we headed off on the White Oak Trail. It's a 2.6 mile trail that starts out at the bridge over the dam. Plenty of signs to keep you on the right trail.
We looked out to the right and could see three big swans.
The paths were shady but I would say this is a medium level difficulty trail. There are some elevation changes and lots of roots on the path.

At one point on the trail we came across this tree that looked like a bear up in the tree! It was just the way the tree was growing!
At about the halfway point there is a swamp. There is a bridge over the swamp. Lots of cat tails!
We ended up the walk with Sammy coming almost face to face with a doe. Both dogs were very tired and happy to get home.

Wish you were here!
Sammy & PG