Saturday, August 29, 1981

69. Yorktown, Virginia

Day 69:  Saturday, August 29, 1981
Charles City to Yorktown:  30 miles

We made it!

somewhere out of Charles City
Somewhere before the Colonial Parkway.  Nice!
We awoke at 6:30 this morning and were on the road shortly after 7:00.  Jack left ten minutes ahead of me, and stayed on Route 5 to Williamsburg.  I branched off toward Jamestown, but arrived there before 8:00.  Since nothing opened until 8:30, it was a fruitless diversion.

Colonial Parkway
Colonial Parkway - scenic, but the concrete was rough
Almost.  The Colonial Parkway starts at Jamestown and runs through Williamsburg to Yorktown.  Although the concrete was rough, the ride along the water and across the peninsula between the James and York Rivers was scenic.  I passed at least a dozen bikers headed west - apparently a local group out for a ride.  And a ninth-grader on a new Puch joined me for the ride into Yorktown.

I didn't bother stopping at Williamsburg - that would have consumed half a day, and I wanted to get to Yorktown to meet Jack and Lena.

Two hundred years ago, Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown, bringing the Revolutionary War to a victorious close.  Preparations are under way for next month's big bicentennial celebration of the event, and the Visitor Center already has some demonstrations of colonial crafts.  A pewtersmith from a shop in Richmond was demonstrating the casting of pewter, and some members of the Culpeper Minutemen had set up a small encampment in preparation for coming military engagements.  One of them was demonstrating the construction of a Virginia rifle.

End of the trip
Not quite the Atlantic Ocean, but the end of the road for us

Jack rode into town shortly after noon, and Lena found us a couple of hours later.  Jack had his bike disassembled and packed away before we could pose for our victory photo, and neither of us bothered to dip our wheels.  Besides, the Atlantic Ocean proper is still over 50 miles away!

After a celebratory meal at Nick's restaurant, we parted - Jack and Lena home to Florida for the winter, and I to my own devises.  My plans were to take in Williamsburg and Jamestown on Sunday, then head to Newport News or Hampton on Monday for a bus, plane, or train trip home.  But plans have a way of changing.

Cannonball embedded in the wall of a house
Cannonball embedded in the wall
of Ted's grandmother's house
Coming into town, I had thought it would be nice to find a caricaturist to do a picture of Jack and me.  But people like that are more easily found in amusement parks, and Yorktown isn't one yet.  As luck would have it, as I was preparing to leave town, I bumped into a caricaturist who worked at King's Dominion, an amusement park near Richmond.  He was also playing the tourist, and was staying at Yorktown with the grandmother of a friend of his.  He invited me home with him, and we spent a pleasant evening with the old lady, talking about the changes that had occurred since the Sesquicentennial in 1931.  (If my writing is becoming somewhat sloppy, it's probably due to the Michelob that was served with my submarine tomorrow night.)  She was somewhat apprehensive about putting me up for the night, so Ted drove me to the Newport News Camping Park, where I crashed just as soon as we managed to put up my tent in the glow of Ted's headlamps.

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