Part 16: Chapel Hill, NC to Warrenton, VA


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The Trip

We headed across North Carolina to stay with our friends Scott and Heather in Chapel Hill for a few days.  Scott's travel schedule required, ironically enough, that he travel to San Diego, so on Monday we departed Chapel Hill and headed north.  Our longer-term objective is Long Island, NY, but our short term objective is Warrenton, VA.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

En route to Chapel Hill we had to go past Wilmington, NC.  On one of the bridges, we got a view of the inter coastal waterway.  Plenty of boaters were out exploring the waterway.

Further north, we passed the battleship North Carolina.  We did not stop, so we had to satisfy ourselves with a zoom lens shot of the ship.

North Carolina DOT does a great job of landscaping.  We stopped at a rest area and were amazed by some of the plants that were blooming.

NC-DOT planted plenty of flowers along the interstate.  At the rest stop, I got a close view of some of the flowers.  Shortly thereafter, we rolled into Chapel Hill to visit our friends.

We stayed with Scott and Heather for several days and then rolled on.  From Chapel Hill, we headed north.  We found a nice camp site just over the Virginia border at the Occoneechee State Park.  The park is on a reservoir behind a Corps of Engineers dam.

Information posted at the visitor center suggested that the structure across the Kerr Lake reservoir was part of a co-generation power plant.

Our camp was more than sufficient and was on an engineered pad.  Despite the small size of the pad, it was engineered to be level which is always a plus.  Our site was right next to the water and had our own private patio with picnic table.  And, as a final plus the park had bathhouses with showers and plenty of hot water.

After we broke camp to continue our trek north, we went past the dam site to see what was there.  At an information kiosk, I saw this cross section of the dam and powerhouse.

At one of the pull-outs was this turbine wheel from the dam. This wheel was cast in 1952 by the Newport News Shipyard and at that time was the largest cast water wheel made in the country.  When in use, this wheel produced 45,000 horsepower.  As part of the refurbishment process in 2009, this wheel was taken out of service and replaced by a stainless steel wheel that produced 61,500 horsepower.

Kerr Dam had a very quiet tailrace pond.  I doubt that much water was moving through the powerhouse.

On the rocks in the tailrace pond, I spotted these birds fighting.

The shallow water in the tailrace pond allowed this heron to stand on the bottom.

From Kerr Dam, we continued north and stayed at Bear Creek Lake campground another nice Virginia State Park.  The beach area at the park had a very nice playground for the children.

We continued north and were overcome by darkness before we were able to contact our friends so we ended up staying in a KOA campground.  The site was nice enough.  Next morning, we broke camp and made it to John and Alice's farm outside of Warrenton, VA.  We parked in the field in front of their place.

John and Alice showed us their newest acquisition a primo 1953 Jaguar XK-120 fixed head coupe.  This car is in super condition and the finish on the paint is spectacular.

The color scheme is true to the original color as is the color of the interior.  Note the door hinges and the sheen in the paint.  Also note the llamas in the background.

John was showing Kathleen the high points of the interior.

Great sheen on the paint!

The llamas were very interested in the new visitors to their area.

Note the burled walnut dash.  I also noticed that the speedometer was designed to run counter-clockwise

When I walked near the fence to the corral, the llamas were right there to greet me.  The storage area for the car was tight, so I had to get right next to the fence to be able to photograph the car.

The Jag has a straight six cylinder motor with twin overhead cams and the engine compartment was nice and clean.

John and Alice also have other toys in the collection.  The one above is a 1923 McLaughlin Buick made in Canada.

The restoration on this car is nearly complete and the work completed so far looks great.

They also had a 1963 Studebaker Avanti.

The Avanti had a supercharged V8 motor and runs great.  The red can in the photo above is the belt-driven Paxton supercharger

Kathleen checks out the primo interior on the Avanti.  Note the aircraft-style controls for the shifter and heater.

Nice dash and gauges.

Sadly, we would only be able to stay one night with John and Alice before continuing north toward Millford, PA and a visit with Kathleen's brother.

Many thanks to John and Alice for hosting us at their home.  Mi casa es su casa.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2010, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.