Jun 4, 2008
|and a stop at the Fractured Prune- Wednesday, June 4
No 'Violent Thunderstorm' warnings last night, but it did thunder and lightning, and it did rain hard all night. We woke to gray skies and wind this morning, and while the tent campers seemed to have survived the night, I didn't envy them breaking camp in the wind and having to stow their soaked tents in the trunks of their cars.
The ponds that surround us got seriously larger overnight and the terns were having a ball, splashing around like little kids in an inflatable pool. They are so funny.
Two nights on Assateague has left us wanting more, but we've decided to move on into Delaware. Our tentative plan is to spend a couple of nights at one of their state parks and then take the Cape May Ferry across to New Jersey. So we packed up and headed out.
As we approached the bridge to the mainland Madolyn yelled. I slammed on the brakes and stopped just in time to avoid running over a diamondback turtle that was ambling across the road. It's a good thing Madolyn saw him, because I sure didn't.
Gas isn't getting any cheaper going north, so we stopped at the first place we saw that advertised $3.899 and topped off the tank. While I was inside paying (gas is so expensive now that it takes two or three credit card authorizations each fill-up) I saw a donut shop next door. We'd already had breakfast, but you never pass up an interesting donut shop, and The Fractured Prune seemed to call to me.
Inside there were two guys and they both started pitching me at once. They were so funny and good natured, and they had such a different gimmick that I went out and dragged Madolyn in to see the show.
A few years ago these two guys started a made to order donut business where they have some 15 or 20 different flavors, toppings and glazes and they will custom make donuts to your order and cook them while you wait. It takes all of about two minutes and the donuts are delicious. Their business has been so successful that they've franchised it, and now there are a dozen Fractured Prunes in several states.
Since we were new customers they gave us a free sample, and it was just the way a donut is supposed to be - hot, greasy and right out of the fryer. We ordered half a dozen and five minutes later we were back on the road - with smiles on our faces.
As we drove our plans began to change. In case you haven't noticed, the National Weather Service has been working overtime lately - issuing Violent Thunderstorm, Hail, and Tornado warnings here, there and everywhere - on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. To make matters worse, their focus seems to be the part of the country we've been traveling, making a powerful argument for getting the hell out of Dodge.
We've driven the Delaware coast before, and we remember it as a disappointing corridor of wall to wall high rises and condos. We figured the Jersey coast is liable to be more of the same, so with the weather factored in we decided to change course and head for Pennsylvania. Do a week in the Philadelphia area before heading for New Jersey.
Neither of us has ever been to Philly before and we started getting kind of excited about the idea. That's what I love about this way of life - we can wing it like that and make our plans on the fly. Madolyn started looking for a Delaware State Park at the north end of the state near Philadelphia, and as soon as she found one we plugged it into our GPS and headed for it.
When you're used to distances in the west, the eastern maps can be kind of intimidating until you realize they're done at a very different scale. To get from the bottom of the map to the top of the map often takes less than half a day here, and it's no big deal. From our campground in Assateague Maryland to Lum Pond State Park in northern Delaware was only 125 miles, an easy two or three hour drive.
Easy until we were an hour away, that is. Then the sky started getting dark, and the farther we went the darker it got. Soon the rain started and almost immediately it was raining hard. The clouds were starting to look scary - tornado scary!
I thought about pulling off the road and looking for a place to hide out for a while, but we just slowed down and kept going, and finally we got through it.
We found Lum Pond State Park and got a nice quiet space. The sky was still threatening but the rain had slowed and the wind was getting milder. For a while it looked like the storm was over, but about ten it started raining hard again, and it ended up raining all night. The Violent Thunderstorm Warnings seemed to be everywhere - except where we were and thankfully our county was one of the few not mentioned.
The area we'd just driven through had Tornado Warnings now, and if we hadn't kept going we'd have been right in the middle of them. We dodged a bullet again, and had a peaceful night's sleep.
Tomorrow it's on to Pennsylvania.