Entries in Virginia (8)

Tuesday
Jun062006

RVing with Lucy - in Virginia, Part 3

Finally -  another update on our RV trip to Virginia.  This is a series of posts to share what it is like to RV - including riding in our Bus. If you missed Part 1 & 2 you can read them here and here.  A lag between reports exists because as some know my Dell died.  I sent it to surgery, they did a brain transplant and presto - it is now reborn.  Funeral and hospital bills avoided - this time. 

We arrived at North Bend Park on a Saturday afternoon and stayed 3 nights.  This beautiful campground is on the John H. Kerr dam and managed by the Corp. of Engineers.  Sometimes our trips are “tourist related”  like the time we went to Savannah or Hilton Head - but not this trip.  This place is pretty remote - our purpose here is to relax and enjoy the atmosphere, the campfires, bike rides, etc. 

201966-357159-thumbnail.jpgBefore i get into much more — i must share this.  Look here - this is a good pic to show how talented Tom is at backing up the Bus.  

He must come along on every trip - i insist.  Relieved.

We love campgrounds that are heavily wooded like this one.  The bad news - we could not use our DirectTV here - too many trees interfer with the satellite - but we did get a few local stations with our standard antenna.  

north bend site 96 patio.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The good news - well who needs a TV with a setting like this?  Here’s Tom enjoying our site one afternoon. 

We like to put up our awning lights  as do most campers.  I always hope we can leave them up overnight - but you never know about the weather - it’s always a crap shoot.  We do not leave our awning out when it rains.  The weight of the rain could damage it.  A heavy rain that is.

hail.jpgNot only did it storm one night - with a good heavy rain - it hailed ! These are not camera flash spots — this is hail.      

Thankfully the bad weather did not last too long - so Tom and I headed out to explore this place on our bikes. There are fantastic paved roads and bike trails throughout the park.  

Here we are headed up one of the bike trails.  A few hills created a lot of distance between me and Tom.  He is the “fit” one in the family - he’s actually much further away - than it appears.  I huffed and puffed to keep up and used my zoom feature to get this shot.   

The tall pine trees - are so breathtaking.  If you have any stress - a visit to this place will cure it.  north bend bike trail.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each camping loop has a nice size beach - 201966-357241-thumbnail.jpg
Day Use Beach Area - Loop A
here is the one in the Day Use area which we like best.  I don’t think i’ve ever been to a beach where just a few steps away you have big shade trees in the sand.  We had a nice rest here.. i needed it - all that bike riding - my thighs were like Jello. 

 

Nobody here — but us. So peaceful.  In another month after school is out - i bet this place is just packed. 

north bend beach in loop a.jpg

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Back on our bikes. Tom is still full of energy and i’m running out of steam -*sigh*.   Thank God for my 2nd wind and the zoom feature otherwise he would look like an ant in this shot.  

We rode thru a couple other loops trying to find a lakefront site for a future trip - one  where the Bus would fit and still have water/electric.  We are wimps..we must have basic services.  How can someone love an object?

big site on the water.jpg

And we found this great site.  WOW -  lots of trees and beautiful water views.  201966-357828-thumbnail.jpg
Beach next to campsite on the point
The only concern is this beach is right below the campsite - no problem this time of year, but in the summer it could be quite noisey.   

As the day winds down, we head back to our campsite.  Tom started a fire and is sitting here waiting for me to join him.. but i’m still taking pictures of him “from behind”.  *smile*

About an hour after this shot - we could no longer see the trees - it was pitch black.  It got a bit chilly, but we stayed warm with the fire and our cocktails.  We watched the fire until it was down to just embers and then turned in for the night.  

lgb campfire 3.jpg 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be cont’d  ( Depart North Bend and head to Goose Point in Bassett, Va )

Tuesday
May232006

RVing with Lucy - in Virginia - Part 2

Welcome back - much to share today. If you were not here yesterday - Today’s post is a continuation of that one.  A recap of our most recent RV trip to Viriginia.  Page down and read that first - if interested.

Boy oh Boy - do i have lots of pictures.  I’m going a bit crazy trying to get them all sorted, resized - etc.  But enough complaining let’s get on with more of the trip. 

We are now in Virginia.  Seems nobody cares much about this stretch of I-85 either. It’s just as bad in Virginia as in NC.  But thankfully we are not on it long - there is our exit ahead. lgb_exit 223.jpg

We are always excited when we get to the next turn off.  Sometimes we will be apprehensive - you never know about the road conditions - but we know what is ahead this time.  

Since this place is just 85 miles from our home - we took a drive up in our Jeep a few weeks ago -  just to be sure it could accommodate our 40’ Bus.   Not all COE (Corp of Engineer) or State campgrounds work for us - (in fact most probably do not) but thankfully this one does. 

201966-345903-thumbnail.jpgWe are now on Route 4 - about 10 miles til we reach the park entrance. Obviously, this road is much better than I-85 and somewhat pretty — though we have been on more picturesque roads.  Should be an easy, traffic-free drive into the park - just like this.. 

but lo and behold —

 

Time Warp.. Time Warp.

 

lgb old cars 2.jpg201966-345906-thumbnail.jpgWell - we certainly were not expecting these guys.  How cool.  I think we passed about 10 or 15 of them. 

They were probably just as stunned to run into us — unless this is a common route for them - as you see.. we are close - real close to the campground.

 How do i know? 

 

 Because the Co-Pilot GPS (my right hand woman) says so.

 

 

lgb copilot.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite part of this job — is this tool.  Beats paper maps..any day.. I hate paper maps.  They sound like a forest fire as your try to fold them and i’m ready to set them on fire trying to. 

Yep - i love my co-pilot job — as long as i have this tool.  Not only can we both see this map easily…it tells Tom (not me) where to turn, when to turn, what lane to be in, etc.   It’s worth a MILLION dollars to me. 

A switch changes the view on this screen from the back of our Bus..to this program.  We can also setup the GPS  so a man or woman gives the directions.  Of course, the woman does the better job. 

This tool was a requirement for both of us.  It eliminated those awful arguments we would have figuring out when to turn going 55-60 MPH.  Oh god i hated road trips back then.  We also have a version of this in our Jeep. 

+++++++

What a great sunny day.  We love it when the sun shines and no threat of bad weather - especially the day we arrive a campground.  Sure reduces the stress - no one wants to setup camp in the rain.. let alone a storm. 

Just as our GPS lady told us - we are almost there.  Look at this.

lgb kerr dam.jpg

This, my friends - is the beautiful John H. Kerr Dam.  What a sight!   

201966-345966-thumbnail.jpgThis is not a bad ride in — The pic on the right - is crossing the Kerr Dam.

Tom’s a pro at this now — in Sept. last year - on our maiden voyage..the 2nd day driving the Bus -  he drove across the bridge in pic below.  Recognize this?  It is the Mackinaw Bridge in Michigan - 5 miles long — they say this is the largest expansion bridge in the Western hemisphere.  EEK

I did not say a word the whole time we crossed it 201966-168311-thumbnail.jpg
Mackinaw Bridge
.. the rails on this bridge were only as high as the Bus wheels.  It was frightening to me.  

We learned later - that they now close it in high winds. OMG. Yep -  reason why -  a young gal was blown off the bridge in her car into Lake Huron — she died.  Oh how tragic… I cannot imagine.   It still shakes me up to think about that young gal. 

Anyway i’m getting distracted - but i had to tell that story. Who knows when we will be back to Michigan.

Back to today’s topic.

 

 

 

 

We are here!  lgb north bend entrance.jpg

Geez .. you cannot avoid big turns.  They are everywhere - even into campgrounds.  

Wish i could give you the pictures of parking the Bus.. but i cannot.  The camera is put away at this time.  It requires close and careful concentration by both of us.   I help guide Tom back into the site with hand signals. You have to watch everything and go sloooow.  Tom often gets out and we both look at the situation if things get tight.  

Once parked..Tom takes care of the outside and i do the inside.

Here’s Tom..almost thru his outside setup. 201966-345980-thumbnail.jpgWe have a weatherproof rug, 2 LaFuma Recliners, 2 regular lawn chairs (for sitting by the fire), grill, cook stove, etc.   He also plugs in the electric and water and extends our interior slides. 

Here are couple of indoor shots with the slides extended and decor setup.   You get an idea of the space we have inside..very comfortable . Most ladies like to decorate their RVs — and i do too. Makes it more home like.  I added a rooster collection..i love roosters - i have several in our regular home too. 

  207967-313905-thumbnail.jpg207967-313906-thumbnail.jpg

    

 

 

 

 

 

lgb 5 o'clock.jpgThe day is winding down.. we are ready for a campfire.. and my lord.. look at this. 

It is Five-O-Clock.  

You know what that means.

 

 

 

 

lgb cocktail time 2.jpgCocktail time! 

 

A good RV rule we learned early on - 

Park before Dark 

So we always try to meet this goal and also have the campfire going by 5.  

 

 

 

 

Here’s one last pic for today. Our campsite at North Bend, COE -  near dusk.  Tom’s waiting for me — he’ll cook some steaks on the grill and then we’ll spend the evening enjoying the campfire.  

lgb site near dusk.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

to be cont’d tomorrow ( another day and night at North Bend — and then onto Goose Point )