Summer adventures across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Photo At Altitude Gallery

Crossing a Bridge to Everywhere: Bring on the Mini Summer Adventures

“The bridge is SUPER scary. It’s like there’s no shoulder, a low barrier. And you’re, like, in the middle of the water.”

My husband Mark is driving with one hand, gesturing in a large swoop with the other to connote the vast waterscape we would cross if we chose to take Route 13 from Delaware to Maryland instead of I-95. The 17-mile bridge is, yes, also a tunnel — twice. You are up on a bridge 200 feet above the water and then you go under the water (so the big tankers can pass), then you go back up and back down once more. Talk about adventure.

I Google “Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel” and “Scary” — I am starting with that assumption — and of course get results like, “17 Miles of Scary” and “Bay Bridge: One of America’s 10 Scariest.”

Per Waze, driving through the tunnel saves us an hour. I take a big gulp. I’m not the best traveler, I get spooked by fast trains and bumpy planes, but this is a mini post-COVID trip to see my in-laws in Virginia, whom we haven’t seen in a year-and-a-half, and eight hours is a long time to be in the car with a barking beagle. And it’s a lovely, slightly overcast hot afternoon.  Let’s do it.  

We’re all dipping our toes into travel again, heading to the beach, even getting on planes, seeing — and hugging — friends and family we haven’t seen in a long time. For me, I’m taking baby steps. Mini summer adventures. Starting with seeing family and then testing my limits, looking for a few risks, a tiny bit of mask-on/mask-off fun. For my birthday last month, I wanted to go to Manhattan and walk around, see some art. Normally, that wouldn’t be a big deal; just a normal weekend excursion. But post-COVID, that kind of journey on the subway, over a different bridge, simply to stroll, felt like an absolute adventure.

An adventure is where you take a risk, without knowing what the outcome will be.  What’s weird is that we’ve been so cooped up during this pandemic, yet the experience has been its own kind of dark, boring, how’s-this-thing-going-to-end adventure. We didn’t have any sense of where the journey would take us, but moving through it was a sort of an inside-all-day trek. Kitchen to bathroom to bedroom to bedroom desk and back. While a lot of us are bursting out of the gate to go somewhere, it still feels a bit iffy. I mean, no one was wearing a mask in the DelMarva Wawa.

As we arrive at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay at a dusky 6 p.m., the sky and the sea open up all around us. Sun rays peek through the clouds, sparkling across the water. As we embark onto the bridge, all you can see for miles is water: a giant expanse of rippling blue. Magnificent. And honestly? Not scary at all.

“What the hell?” I groused to Mark. “This is awesome.”

“I know” he smiled. I instantly knew he had prepped me for the worst, only to have me thrilled by a view that was the very best.

In this month’s Adventure Issue:
And on TueNighters:
  • Tuesday, July 13: I’ll be talking with Lunachick Theo Kogan about her new book and adventures as a Riot Grrrl. Sign up here. Free!
  • Wednesday, July 14: We’re learning how to organize our digital photos in this one-hour workshop with professional organizer Stephanie Deininger. Guests $20, TueNighters $15; Founding Members Free!

Get out and see stuff! Enjoy your summer adventures, TueNighters.



Photo credit: At Altitude Gallery

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