Sarah, our Administrator, just recently made a big move to the East Coast and is now living in Virginia with her husband, Adrian, and their puppy, Annie. Adrian is a Corpsman in the Navy which prompted their move to Virginia. They are originally from WA but have been living in San Diego for the past year on Navy orders before they moved out to VA.
Day 1: Imperial Beach, CA to Holbrook, AZ
We said goodbye to the dear friends we had made over the past year in Imperial Beach, a small town just south of San Diego. Although leaving was bittersweet, we were excited to adventure out to the east coast for a few years. We spent most of our first day driving up and over mountain passes and also driving through long flat stretches. We made it out of California and set up camp in Holbrook, AZ at Homolovi State Park. This state park serves as a research center for the migration period of the Hopi people from the 1200s to the late 1300s. Archeologists are actively studying the land and working with the Hopi people to piece together the history of Homolovi.
Day 2: Holbrook, AZ to Amarillo, TX
We started day two super early and drove through the National Petrified Forest in Arizona. This forest is home to many geological structures, fossils, wildlife species and history of many different people groups. There is evidence of life from prehistoric times, explorers and settlers in the 1800s and the Civilian Conservation Corp which was established in 1933 to provide jobs for unemployed men during the Great Depression. During this stretch of the trip we cruised down Historic Route 66 which was primarily used by those who were migrating west, specifically during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. It was officially removed in 1985 when it was replaced by the interstate. We continued our drive through long stretches of desert in Arizona and New Mexico until we stopped for the night at Lake McClellan near Amarillo, Texas. The highlight of that evening was the hundreds of fireflies we could see flying around outside our tent!
Day 3: Amarillo, TX to Memphis, TN
We traveled through the most states on day three of our trip. It was shocking how instantaneously the scenery changed once we crossed over the border from Texas into Oklahoma. We originally thought Texas was flat and never ending but it didn’t compare to the miles of flat road we drove traveling through Oklahoma. Roadkill was also a strange site once we hit the Oklahoma boarder. Instead of deer and raccoons like we are used to seeing, we saw more squished turtles and armadillos than we could keep track of. Much like the transition from Texas to Oklahoma, there was a drastic shift in scenery crossing the border into Arkansas. We agreed that this was probably the most gorgeous state we had ever driven through. The entire drive was through lush, green forrests with very few cities in site. We arrived in Memphis and camped for the night in what felt like a rain forest. It wasn’t until this stop that we truly experienced the humidity of the East Coast. Everything was sticky and you could see the moisture in the air. We learned that frogs really thrive in this environment as we saw dozens of them hopping through our campsite as well as hearing hundreds of them croaking all night long.
Day 4: Memphis, TN to Abingdon, VA
Since Tennessee is so wide, we spent most of day four driving through the middle of the state. We drove through Nashville and continued onto Knoxville where we could spot the famous Sunsphere Building before we even got into the city. It is a 266ft high hexagonal steel truss structure topped with a 75ft gold-colored glass sphere that resembles a disco ball. This structure served as the symbol of the 1982 World’s Fair. Towards the very end of our drive we made it over the border into Virginia where the terrain started to become much more mountainous. After camping the three previous nights, we decided to stop for the night at a hotel in the small town of Abingdon.
Day 5: Abingdon VA, to Chesapeake, VA
Our last day of travel began in the south-western part of Virginia and ended in our new home town of Chesapeake, which is about 30 minutes from the coast. Virginia is such a beautiful state and we drove through lots of mountainous areas. Coming from California, it was so exciting to be back in a climate that resembled Washington, minus the humidity. We spent the night at a Marriott in Chesapeake and received our keys the next morning for our townhouse.
Since then, we have been settling into our new home for the next few years. Our townhouse is on a lake and we love being able to take our paddleboard out and explore on the water. The community on our lake is very welcoming and we have built great relationships with our neighbors, frequently hanging out and grilling with them. Two weeks after moving in we also adopted a Australian Shepard puppy named Annie who is keeping us very busy. We are loving our new home but can’t wait to travel back to WA to be with family for the holidays!