I started the Coach4aday blog in 2014 and have done daily posts on one topic for each year. In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and in 2017 it was “Colleges and Universities”.
The one consistent piece of feedback I have received with this blog is the 2015 series on “A Friend of a Friend”. Readers and blog followers said please bring it back. The stats also back that up with the number of views each of those posts received.
So in 2018 two things will happen with the Coach4aday blog; One I plan to collaborate with a friend named John Rancke and revisit some of those 2015 “A Friend of a Friend” posts and do some new ones with a slightly different twist. I write the posts on odd-numbered days each month and John handles the even-numbered days.
In addition John and I will write about things we both are interested which will include basketball, food, people, music, our granddaughters, and great stories.
If you want to follow the blog via email go to the bottom right of the post and click the follow button.
My twitter handle is @coach4aday2 if you want to follow the blog that way.
John’s twitter handle is @johnrancke if you want to reach out to him.
Things I learned driving thru the Delmarva Peninsula
Last week I tok my first extended road trip as a an retiree. I combined a visit to see my brother and sister in Northern New Jersey with some bucket list sight seeing. So my trip included touring a National Park and driving US 13 from Delaware Memorial Bridge to NC. On the way up from North Carolina to New Jersey I stopped in Gettysburg PA and toured the Gettysburg National Battlefield.
While in New Jersey (Morris County NJ) I endured a Nor’Easter the 3rd that they had experienced in 11 days.
Morristown NJ my hometown still had 15 inches of snow still on the ground. I did a 2 mile walk in my old neighborhood covering Lake Road, Walker Ave, Speedwell Ave, and Sussex Ave. That walk in 30 degree temps with winds gusting to 25 MPH reminded me of why North Carolina is a better place to live in the winter for sure.
After five days in Pennsylvania and New Jersey I began my drive back to NC. I broke the trip up into two parts with Day 1 going from Morristown NJ to Cheaspeake VA. I used the NJ Turnpike for my trip out of the Garden State. I stopped at the Molly Pitcher Rest Area and ran into the Harlem Globetrotters.
Once I got off the NJ Turnpike I exited in Delaware and took US 13 all the way to the Cheaspeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel. I was going to drive the entire length of the Delmarva on US 13. Delmarva stands for a peninsula that covers the States of Delaware-Maryland-and Virginia.
There is a faster way to drive thru Delaware using Delaware Route 1 but it was a toll road. I wanted to see the Delaware-Maryland-Virginia countryside so I opted for US 13.
Delaware Route 1 highlighted in red-US 13 runs parallel to Route 1 until you get to Dover
Here is what I discovered in Delaware on US 13.
I have driven thru a lot of towns in my life and I never encountered a sign I saw over and over again in Delaware on US 13. The sign dealt with noise from engine compression brakes. Seemed like every town had one up when you entered the city limits. They looked like the one below.
That there is a chain of 3 furniture stores called Johnny Janosik World of Furniture all located on US 13. The places were huge and it rivaled the Rooms to Go Superstore on I-95 in North Carolina.
The flagship store in Laurel DE
The store in Dover DE
Johnny Janosik, Inc. is the evolution of a family business that was started by Mary Louise and Johnny Janosik in 1953, Johnny was a TV technician. He graduated from Valpariso Technical Institute after serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II. From TV service, they expanded into sales of TV’s and appliances and later furniture.
Another thing that popped up on my drive was the size of Dover Downs and its proximity to the heart of town. Dover Downs is a NASCAR race track. You can see the track from US 13 and it is across the street from Delaware State University.
I was not impressed with the Delaware State Football Stadium-for a NCAA Division I program they need a little better facility.
After I left Dover on US 13 I came into a town called Harrington. I was shocked that they had a racetrack and casino. It just seemed out of the way. Not only did Harrington, DE have a race track, casino, it is also the site of the Delaware State Fair.
Next stop on US 13 was Seaford DE. As I got to the outskirts of town I started noticing a lot of large boats. There is a reason. Seaford DE sits on the Nanticoke River and Seaford is accessible from the Chesapeake Bay along that river.
The Nanticoke River is the largest Chesapeake Bay tributary on the lower Delmarva Peninsula, meandering gently through marshland, forests and farmland, on its 64 mile journey from southern Delaware to Tangier Sound in Maryland.
After leaving Seaford I had one last town to encounter before entering Maryland. The last stop on US 13 is Delmar, DE which bills itself as “The Little Town Too Big for One State.” Delmar literally sits on the state line between Delaware and Maryland. There is a sister town on Maryland side of border called Delmar MD.
Once I crossed into Maryland I realized the next big city would be Salisbury MD. Salisbury is the county seat of Wicomico County, Maryland, United States, and the largest city in the state’s Eastern Shore region. The population was 30,343 at the 2010 census. It is also home to Salisbury University which is a state school.
Once I left Salisbury I came into Princess Anne, MD. I knew from my college basketball coaching days that Princess Anne was the home to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. What I didn’t know was The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) is a land-grant, historically black college founded in 1886 as the Delaware Conference Academy. Since its beginning, the institution has had several name changes and governing bodies. It was Maryland State College from 1948 until 1970, when it became one of the five campuses that formed the University of Maryland.
After rolling thru Princess Anne it was on to Pocomoke City and St. James MD before I crossed into Virginia. I had still had 90 miles to go when I crossed the state line before I got to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel. The ride on US 13 thru Virginia was filled with little towns and lots of stop lights. I rolled thru Mappsville, Accomac, Melfa, and Exmore.
Finally I got to the toll booth at Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel. I paid my $13.00 toll and drove across.
About a half mile from toll booth there is a scenic overlook. The day I made this trip there were heavy winds out of Northwest but I stopped and got some pics. The photo below shows the container ships coming in and out of the Hampton Roads entrance to Norfolk. If you look on the horizon you can see them. This was a real treat for me.
After I endured as much of the wind as I could take I got back in car and headed across the bridge which I pretty much had to myself going into Tidewater. Photo below is between the two tunnels and I didn’t see a single car on this stretch of the road in either direction. It was an eerie feeling. The whole time I am looking at the ocean pounding against the shoreline and pilings below.
After about 7.5 hours I arrived at my hotel in Chesapeake VA.
The next day I finished up the trip driving US 13 from Suffolk VA to Kenly NC before getting back on I-95 to take me back to Lumberton NC.