Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Piankatank River

Say Piankatank really fast, at least four times in a row. I dare ya.

The Piankatank River is considered the dividing line between Mathews and Middlesex Counties. (Hey, I don't make these names up, I just report them as they are. I couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted to.) Piankatank obviously is an Indian name, which loosely translated means, SOMETHING. The Piankatank also divides Mathews and Gloucester counties. Around here, rivers do a whole lot of dividing.

The interesting thing about the Piankatank is that right here where the bridge is, the water starts to turn from salty, which is inherent to the Chesapeake Bay, to fresh. Meaning one critical thing: no stinging nettles (aka jellyfish to non-Mathewsonians).

One time, many moons ago, a male friend of mine who had a boat (which was and still is the Mathews equivalent of being DONALD TRUMP), invited me to go water skiing. Little did I know that when he said water skiing, he meant marathon skiing trip worthy of the Guiness Book of World Records. I "pulled up" right here under this bridge, right where the water starts changing. And I skied all the way to what is known around here as Dragon Run.

What you may not know is that DRAGON RUN IS LOCATED IN THE NEXT COUNTY OVER. Not Middlesex but Gloucester. And I am reasonably sure I skied the equivalent distance of Route 66. (And by the way, I have no idea how to spell the past OR ANY OTHER tense of "ski" but rest assured I did more ski-ing than any human being on this planet thus far. Because the Piankatank River Bridge to Dragon Run is MARATHON, I tell ya. I don't care how you spell it.)

Stay tuned for the next post, which will talk about The World's Smallest Post Office, located right across this bridge, in Middlesex County.

I swear I do NOT make these names up.


MommyTime said...

But what I want to know is: HOW did you get home again? And were any stinging nettles harmed in the production of this world record?

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

mommytime - excellent question. After we got to Dragon Run, we swang from GRAPE VINES into the river and on the way home I rode in the boat with The Donald. Even the boat ride, nevermind the ski-ing, felt like an eternity!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

No stinging nettles were harmed either. We steer plenty clear of stinging nettles. Except when they wrap their long tentacles around our neck. Then we run like babies screeching like monkies towards dry land.

cats said...

There is a road right past that bridge to the right. If you ride down that road, it goes right up to the water under the bridge. You can look up and see the cars going over the bridge. It is a real neat place. My husband and I used to go there for lunch back in the day.
My husband says that Stuart Gibbs jumped off of that bridge one time for fun. I think that is true.
Also, before you get to that bridge, there is a road on the right. It is called Green Point Lane. It is a boat landing now. My mother says, that was where they used to catch a ferry boat to get across the river when she was a child, before the bridge was built. I'm sure that your mom can confirm this.
Check that out. We have relatives that rode ferry boats, before bridges were constructed.
Another good story, cbw

soupisnotafingerfood said...

I grew up not far from Pennsylvania Dutch country, famous for such town names as Blue Ball, Bird In Hand, Lititz and Paradise. Oh yeah baby, that's how we roll.

Isn't every river over by you the Something-or-other-TANK?

foolery said...

Another winner! I so enjoy your stories. So, since you have A BOAT HOUSE, filled with A BOAT (whose fate I am sort of patiently awaiting news), may I call you Don, or do you prefer The Donald?

Still a teensy bit worried about all y'all out there in the wilds with the storms and the floods -- let us know, okay?

-- Laurie

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Cats - excellent contribution to this story. Yes, I did know about the ferries, my mother talks about them all the time. And I was gonna say something about Someone jumping off that bridge, but I couldn't remember the details. GREAT info!!

Soup-I love the names. And yes, we have many, many places and rivers that come from Indian names, so if it isn't a Something-a-Tank, it is a Something -a-hannock.

Foolery-I still have not checked on the boat. I can't look. No, we're not worthy enough to be called Donald because we cannot operate our boat. The boat is no good if you can't use it. So instead we just leave it out there and pray that either it DOES sink or DOESN'T sink, depending on the perspective that day.

Thank you all for commenting!