After $200 million dollars, the original structure of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was opened to travelers in April 1964. You, however, can experience it for a mere $15 dollars (one way). It is well worth the toll. I can truly say that it is my favorite part of the trip when we return home to the Eastern Shore. I love this picture that I found online, but don't be lulled into thinking this tranquility is the only view. On a recent trip, we drove through a real Mother Nature hissy fit. Driving rain, wind, lightening and its companion, thunder, and a couple water spouts. Then a beautiful rainbow appeared. It was a package of awesome and scary all in one.
In Wings of Time: Breaking Darkness, the bridge-tunnel is both an actual and fantastical crossing for Hallie, the main character. I now love the scene in Gull Island's cafe and gift shop, but not so much love for it when I was faced with having to change it. I had mentioned in a previous blog that the trilogy was started about eight years ago. At the onset of my endeavor, the interior building had a short-order grill and souvenir shop. On a trip a few years into the story, I walked in to see the renovated version that is depicted in the now published story. I panicked because I really wanted to keep things current, and I knew publication at the time was still far off. It took several days of mulling it over, but I eventually decided it had to change, and I used my own real reaction to the changes for Hallie's. It also gave an opportunity to bring the concept of time and change into the mix much earlier.
My original manuscript included a walk on the fishing pier as well, but I had to cut it to keep the word count down. I don't feel much was lost with this, but the pier is a true experience, and worth a visit. A second tunnel at the Thimble Shoal section (same location of Gull Island) is being constructed, so the rest stop is closed and you can't go into the cafe, gift shop, or pier. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2022, but I don't know how long the Gull Island rest stop will be closed. Once it re-opens I will be anxious to see if there are more changes to be found.
One thing lost with the first reno was the penny pressing machine. I couldn't get rid of it for the book though (if you have read it, you know why). Maybe it will make a comeback with the most recent changes. Only time will tell...