Introducing van cat and some questionable road choices.

That morning we had a few hours to kill before we could go and see kittens, so we spent a few hours in Dunkin’ Donuts getting our internet usage in and then went for a fairly average walk around Myrtle Point park. It wouldn’t really have been worth mentioning apart from the fact that we saw another eagle! To slow to get a photo this time, but as we stood here one flew past our heads looking like it was trying to eat an unlucky seagull.

P1000931The walk was mainly in forest, but still had a few nice views out. In the background is the bridge we drove over the previous night.

P1000938P1000935It was now time, as we drove to the cat home we were quite prepared for them to say no. We imagined rocking up in our loud, small moving home and being told that it wasn’t suitable for a cat. Or them wanting us to be US residents or at least have a permanent address. Or it being way to expensive for us to afford, as we knew there would be some cost.

Trying not to get out hopes up, we met Joseph who welcomed us in and we sat on his living room floor surrounded by his cats and the kittens we could potentially choose from. They were two little black ones that bounced around the living room and were quite cute. After we chatted for a bit and we had ascertained that we could actually have one, he brought down the last of the black kittens. She was the smallest of the three but the boldest. She came straight up to us and sniffed about, checking us out. She didn’t mind being picked up and pretty much nodded of in my hands at one point.

We were sold, we couldn’t help ourselves. Despite that she had a bit of a runny eye and was so fragile, she seemed to have the perfect personality. We discovered that all we had to do was pay $100 and fill out a single form and we could take her right then. The price didn’t seem unreasonable as it included vaccinations and blood tests that we would have had to pay for in order to get her a passport later anyway.

Before we knew it we were cat parents again!

We let her loose in the van to explore and the apprehensively turned the engine on. Complete unfazed, she continue to trot along our worktops. I sat in the back to keep and eye on her, and we set off to a pet shop to get stocked up.

We got a litter tray as a temporary measure until she was old enough to be trained to go outside, some food and bits and bobs. Wanting somewhere we knew would be safe and undisturbed for the night, we headed back to Mallow’s Bay only 40 minutes away as Frances had told us we were welcome to stay there when we visited previously. This time we made it in time for the barrier to be up and we spent an evening playing with the new van kitten!

As we had been slightly thrown off our track by diverting for our kitten, we needed to get back on the road in the morning. Unfortunately for Lee, Molly had copiously covered his shoes in diarrhoea the night before, so we needed a laundromat first. After washing his poopy shoes, I finally posted the postcards I’d been meaning to send for about a month. We started our journey to the south east coast properly. We had been recommended to visit Assateague Island by several people, and this was the next stop on our trip. It was quite a drive to get there, so we decided we would head that direction and spending two days getting there.

Soon we were crossing the Chesapeake bay bridge onto the peninsula that combines the states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia all in one fairly small area. Once over the bridge I decided we should go and look around Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the the west coast and maybe find somewhere to stay.


We walked one of the local trails which was nice to stretch our legs, before deciding that although the spot was nice, it was a bit close to the main road.

We drove on through the park which was very picturesque.

I guess one of the things that makes it a good wildlife refuge is that there aren’t many road going through it. It didn’t look like stopping would be much of an option here, but it was a nice drive we we decided to drive round in a loop and head back up to the main road. On the way back I found a rather good looking shortcut, down this very minor road we were once again lucky to catch a glimpse of an eagle circling above us. Three eagles in three days!

Our luck soon turned however when we got further down the road, it started off as a few big puddles, but soon the whole road was underwater. Now Ruby has the clearance of most standard 4×4’s, so some water is not a big problem.

The main issue was that the surface was so reflective we had no idea how deep it was. So when the entire road went under, I became a bit twitchy. Especially after we put the van down a couple of very nasty potholes hidden under the water. There was also a metallic noise coming from one of the hubcaps that sounded like one of the wheel nuts had fallen off, which added to my edgyness.

I found that if I stood on the wheel arch with the door open I could see how deep the water was, so we slowly went on like this for a bit. Until Lee hit another pothole and I nearly fell off. It wasn’t quite doing the trick as by the time I could see the potholes, it was too late. If we wanted to go back we would have had to reverse down over a mile of waterlogged road we had already drive down and we couldn’t turn around. I decided to get out and walk in front of the van to keep and eye on the water level and large potholes as we were very near the end of the road. This worked pretty well, and we made it through without flooding anything.

We pulled over on the dry and took the hubcaps off to check, fortunately all the wheel nuts were still securely fixed and I assume it must have just been a stone that somehow got inside as once refitted, the noise was gone.

We continued to head back out of the park on a more major road. It turns out that not just the small roads are flooded, the other road through the park is also quite underwater at some points. This time though, a 4×4 had just overtaken us and so we were able to see the water depth as we followed him through the flooding. If he could get through it, so could Ruby!

There was some lovely views out across the marshland surrounding us and although we didn’t find anywhere to stop, it was a good adventure! We headed on towards Assateague island and without much choice for stopping places, you can probably guess where we ended up for the night.



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