Obey Lane Signals: Chesapeake Bay Bridge

This is our entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Signs.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge (“William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge”) crosses the Chesapeake Bay to connect Maryland’s rural Eastern Shore with the urban Western Shore. With a shore-to-shore length of over four miles and a vertical clearance of 186 feet, this dual-span toll bridge provides a unique view of the beautiful Chesapeake.  The eastern (original) span is a two-lane roadway, while the newer western span has three lanes, with one lane reversing direction during heavy eastbound traffic.  The traffic capacity is 1500 vehicles per hour for each of the five lanes.  The actual traffic volume for the entire year of 2017 was 27.2 million vehicles.  The bridge is used heavily by residents of  the metropolitan areas of Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington, D.C., who create a huge demand during the summer: eastbound on Fridays to the beaches of the Eastern Shore and westbound back home on Sunday.

According to one source, this bridge has been ranked as the third scariest bridge in the U.S. to drive and the 10th scariest in the world.  There are no shoulders or pull-offs on the bridge, and no stopping.  An accident or a driver too afraid to continue (e.g., with a fear of heights) can snarl traffic for hours.  For a fee ($35 during business hours, addition fees at other times), a 24/7 Bay Bridge drive-over service can provide a driver to get your car across the bridge while you try to relax as a passenger.

The photo below was taken from the middle lane of the westbound span.  The left-most lane changes direction during heavy eastbound demand.

This photo was taken on September 5, 2019. Specs are:

Canon 200D, ISO 100, f/8, 1/500 sec, 35 mm.


Follow the wet footprints — Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – January 5, 2018

This is our entry in Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – January 5, 2018.

The makers of these wet footprints  went up the stairs shortly before we went down, although we did not meet them on their journey.  Clearly, one of them was unsure which way to go, since they corrected course halfway to the stairs.  They were probably headed for another ride down one of the Carnival Pride’s giant water slides on a cruise we took to celebrate a major wedding  anniversary.

This photo was taken on the cruise ship Carnival Pride out of Baltimore, Maryland, on December 26, 2012. Specs are:

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, ISO 100, f/4, 1/400 sec, 4.3 mm


The Great Falls of the Potomac River

The Great Falls of the Potomac River are located 14 miles upstream of Washington, D.C.  with splendid views from the banks on both sides of the river, Virginia on the southwest bank and Maryland on the northeast bank.  Maryland controls the river. The National Park Service controls the shorelines. We visited Great Falls Park in Virginia, which provides three excellent overlooks for viewing the falls.

Great Falls of the Potomac River

In less than one mile, the river drops 76 feet in elevation over a series of 20 foot falls.  Above the falls, the river is almost 1000 feet wide; below the falls, in Mather Gorge, the river varies from 60 to 100 feet wide.

One of the waterfalls

In the opinion of the Park Service, “If You Enter the River, You Will Die.” Swimming, wading, and rock hopping are strictly prohibited.


However, Great Falls is a prime location for whitewater kayaking, with advanced waterfalls and rapids. Kayakers who want to run Great Falls must sign a release form with the State of Maryland.

Kayaking Great Falls
Kayaking Great Falls

For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/grfa/index.htm for Great Falls Park (in Virginia) and https://www.nps.gov/choh/index.htm for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (in Maryland).