2019 Delmarva Shakedown travel blog

Winnie in the sand at Cherrystone

Clam shells left on the dock by gulls

Bathing beach at Cherrystone

It was low tide

Storm moving in off the bay

Lightning strike in the distance

Some cloud to cloud lightning

Lighting up the beach - time to go in

Flooded campsite from the rain last night

Pumping out the water

Trenched but not dry yet


We moved on down the DelMarVa Peninsula to the Cape Charles area, right near the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel. We’ll be staying at Cherrystone Family Campground for several days to explore the lower peninsula. We’ve stayed here before, but just for an overnight stop. We got a waterfront site, but it was in the sand. We debated about looking for another spot, but finally decided to stay.

After dinner, the camp hosts stopped by to tell us there was a severe thunderstorm warning for the evening and we should button up. After packing up the grill and chairs, I decided to photograph the storm from you could see coming over the bay from the southeast hoping to get some lightning pictures. I spent about 45 minutes standing outside with an umbrella to shield the camera from the light rain and got a few images worth keeping. The problem with a thunder storm is that the lightning always seems to flash somewhere where your camera isn’t pointed. I decided to quit when the rain started to pick up and it’s a good thing I did because a deluge came that lasted for several hours.

When we got up this morning and looked out the door, we were flooded! It seems our camp spot is at a low spot that was not immediately visible when we pulled in yesterday. Since we were in sand, I figured is would drain fairly quickly, but after several hours it didn’t look like it was going down. There was a work crew working nearby so I went over and asked them if they could dig some shallow drainage lines so the water would drain away. Draining water uphill is difficult. After digging the lines, they went to get their “honey wagon” to suck up the water. They filled up a 500 gallon tank without clearing all of the water. Hopefully they will be back later to get the rest.

As I was looking online for photo opportunities in the area, I ran across a spot on Google maps marked “Cherrystone Tornado Disaster Memorial”. Apparently in July 2014 a tornado swept into the campground off the bay turned around and went through the park again killing 2 people and injuring nearly 40 others. I always thought tornadoes were fairly rare near large bodies of water. The folks that warned us about the storm did mention that the bathhouses were also storm shelters. I usually ask about the location of storm shelters when we are in the mid-west and south when we check in, but didn’t here. Next time we will. Stay tuned.

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