After breakfast at the hotel, I headed over to Fort Lee Military Base. After obtaining permission to enter, I proceeded to the Women in the Military Museum. I enjoyed learning about how women began to be engaged in the military and found a reference to my relative Phillip Sheridan and his female assistant during the Civil War. I also learned about how the WACS were formed. I found it very disheartening to learn that while females were paid the same as males stateside, they did not receive the overseas compensation or other benefits that males did. Oh well, while somethings have changed for the worse (discrepancies in pay) others (benefits for all) have improved.
Next, I walked over to the Quartermaster Museum. I learned about dogs parachuting and other means used to supply the military during wartime. Interesting information and exhibits.
The National Park Service (NPS) has a Petersburg Site that spans a large distance. I started at the visitors center and watched the video to get an idea of what happened here. Basically Grant laid seige to Petersburg and prevented the Confederates from resupplying-essentially ending the conflict. I wandered through the exhibits at the visitor center, stamped my passport, and drove the one way loop through sites 1-8 (there are 5 more sites further down the road). Then I headed for Hopewell.
I enjoyed some fried clams, fries, and hushpuppies at Long John Silver's in Hopewell and then headed over to see the Sears & Roebuck Catalog Homes. This was a planned community to serve Dupont employees and had very high standards. The Sears homes were prefabricated homes that were ordered with variations throught the catalog, shipped to the building site, and then assembled. They were all nice looking homes that remind me of quite a few homes that I have seen throughout the years. This was a very unique display of history.
My last destination for the day was Grant's Headquarter's at City Point. This is where he managed the seige from and met with Lincoln at. He basically set up camp and a military hospital at the Appomattox Plantation. I watched a brief video in the plantation's homestead, toured the out buildings, and enjoyed the shear drops and views of the river.
I checked in to the Hampton Inn in Chester after roaming the immediate area and finding nothing of interest. This is a repurposed Hampton and that always bugs me a little. I have come to expected a certain type of set up for most Hampton Inns and it throws me off to find ones that have previously operated outside the Hilton system. That being said the room was very nice and the cleanest Hampton I have stayed in since Alpine, Texas. I was assigned a room on the second floor (by request) but found that the closer I got to my room the stronger some chemical fumes became (they were painting). I went back downstairs and requested a first floor room explaining that I was sensitive to some chemicals and these were bothering me. The desk clerk reassigned my room promptly and courteously. Her manager apologized stating that they were painting. This manager went beyond what was expected and I appreciate the hospitality, cleanliness, and service I received at this location. I needed to do laundry today and found the laundry room complete with a big flat screen television (a very nice touch).
ROUTE: Colonial Heights, VA to Chester, VA (only 8 miles by interstate, but I wandered around the Hopewell area). VA 144 East> VA 36 West> Park Service Road> US 301 North>VA 36 East> VA 10 West.
Lodging: Hampton Inn Chester, VA
Long John Silver's Hopewell, VA
$$$: $73 Hotel $8 Toiletries $6 Meal $2 Laundry = $89