So .. last night we enjoyed a quiet, peaceful night .. grilling and a campfire .. we were awakened at 3:30 this morning by heavy rain and thunder & lightning !! Casita was being pelted by heavy rain .. glad we brought all our gear inside before we went to bed .. We went to bed around 11:30 last night .. clear skies ..stars .. half moon out .. crazy to be woken up at 3:30 by a rain/thunder/lightning …… Slept ‘late’ this morning . 8am .. sunny and blue skies outside .. awake at 3:30 this morning .. we’ve been here long enough to bet that in the morning .. weather would change again …. we were not wrong !!
Firing up the grill for some bacon & eggs this morning .. we are in no rush to get back to Park .. we want to be there for tonites sunset …
Got to National Park earlier than we wanted … took a 3 1/2 mile hike to Lewis Falls .. nice hike with great waterfall …but very vertical on the way up ! After that climb up .. we were fried … we couldn’t hold on till sunset (8:30) .. so we returned back to campsite .. shower .. grill some burgers .. and begin our packing for our trip home tomorrow morning … Plan to get an early start … stopping at a Camping World on the way back (Virginia) .. and perhaps .. Cracker Barrel for lunch ! Going to have another campfire tonite .. or as Terri would say .. another bonfire ! :).. She IS the fire marshal !!
Back to Skyline Drive in Shenandoah Park ! Arrived at Park around 10:00 … took a 2 mile hike .. lunch break .. than another hour hike. Weather was mostly sunny but a little on the chilly side … Our 2 mile hike took us on the Applachian Trail (AT) …On the way into the park we saw a car pulled over to the side of road .. when we passed them we found out why .. there was a bear along side the road .. Ladies in the car said the bear crossed the road right in front of them .. they almost hit it … We tried getting a picture .. you can just about see the bear in the backround … I’ll put the ‘bear’ photo in ‘trip photo’ link ..
Came back to campround in by mid afternoon .. fired up the BBQ and had some grilled salmon and asparagus …Another first for us .. we setup the awning on the Casita .. it’s the first time we have actually used it .. only took us a few minutes to set it up … breaking it down was even easier …. After supper got some wood from campsite office and started a fire …. had s good blazer going for a few hours .. Terri was the fire marshal and made sure I didn’t have too many logs on the fire .. 🙂 We have some wood leftover for another campfire tomorrow night !
Tomorrow’s our last night at campsite .. think we’ll head to the Park in the afternoon .. take another hike .. have dinner .. then hang around till we can try and catch a sunset … that of course depends on how clear the skies are …..
Woke up this morning to a strange site .. blue sky and sun !!!! Busted out the propane grill and make some pancakes & bacon .. nice morning (finally) to eat outside even if there are alot of flies buzzing around .. for some reason they like the Casita .. weird .. Terri has come up with a fly theory .. in that there is still construction still going on at campsite .. there is a ‘disturbance in the force’ .. causing the bugs/insects to come out of the woods !
We’re heading out to Skyline Drive again to get some good views and to do some hiking on the trails … Morning & afternoon had great weather .. Took a 4 mile hike that took us approx 3 1/2 hours … great path along a creek that has alot of water falls .. excellent scenery !! Rose River Trail .. if your ever in Shenandoah .. hike it !
After hike we thought we’d grab lunch at one of the places to eat in the park … while having lunch we noticed alot of dark clouds heading our way .. sure enough .. as we were eating .. we encountered a 20 min rain storm .. including some thunder & lightning !! when rain slacked off abit .. we thought it was a good time to head back to campsite … We decided this morning to stay an extra 2 days .. so we will leave Monday morning .. That gives us two sunny/dry days to complete our tour ! There is certainly enough to do to keep us busy .. On the way back to campsite to pick up some stuff .. walking out of store .. we discovered the wonderful world of the ‘Red Box’ . we’ve seen them around .. but .. never checked them out .. If you haven’t seen them .. they are DVD ‘vending’ machines .. for $1 per DVD … you select which DVD you want .. paying with your credit card .. Pretty neat idea in that you return your DVD to ANY Red Box in any town …. So .. we rented 2 DVD’s .. chick flicks .. ‘Mama Mia and Last Chance Harvey’ … so Terri can watch them while I zonk out early tonite ! :).. They are one day rentals .. so .. we’ll return them tomorrow morning …
Back at campsite at around 4pm .. showered .. and having a light supper .. then gearing up for tomorrow’s action … We hope to get an early start tomorrow for more hiking action … !! Crazy weather … it really pays to keep an eye on the sky .. twice today .. we had blue skies .. then saw grey clouds roll in and dump ALOT of rain .. then cleared up back to sunny day … Guess all that rain makes for better waterfall action .. so .. we’re not complaining ….
More photo’s in ‘Trip Photo’s’ link ……..
09:00 Decision has been made !! Spending the day in Luray .. we’ll just putter around town to do some ‘exploring’ in town. Had some rain showers this morning .. forcast calls for more rain later today .. Friday & Sat appear to be better weather days .. Internet weather forcasts never seem to agree .. weather.com & accuweather call for completely different forcasts .. guess it’s just best to go day to day for activity planning ..
While in town I’m going to look for some sort of indoor antennae for our TV … it would be nice to catch some local news & weather .. Since today will be a non Shenandoah Park day .. we’ll take some time do our camping chores .. dump tanks .. tidy up .. etc ..
After doing our house keeping chores .. showers .. etc .. we headed into ‘town’… First stop was a visitor center in New Market .. Armed ourselves with brochures .. and chatted with the ‘ladies’ in visitor center .. they gave us some ‘off beat’ places to visit that weren’t mentioned in the brochures .. First place we visited was the Rt 11 potato chip company … the company was not making chips today so the production lines were not in action .. but we did get a verbal ‘tour’ of the plant and company by person working in the visitor center … It’s a very small family run company .. but they make some tasty potato chips !! They distribute chips throughout USA .. but . typically in small stores .. deli’s .. etc .. we’ve had their chips in a deli in Scranton … After loading up with chips .. and taking some pictures .. . we headed to a wooden covered bridge that was in the area … very scenic ….
Chip lady told us that chips can be frozen .. hope she’s right .. we bought alot of chips !!! 🙂
After seeing the bridge .. we headed to Luray for lunch .. and checkout out a few stores in the area .. then took a walk on the town’s ‘river walk’ that went through a section of the town .. Path was approx 2 miles .. we walked for awhile, but humidity was too much for us … we decided to cut the walk short .. ot back to campsite at approx 3:30 .. temp inside Casita was 83 degrees .. turned up AC .. didn’t take long for trailer to cool off ….
Luray-Hawksbill Greenway .. paved walkway .. 10ft wide paths
Alot of murals painted along the riverwalk ….
Lunch at “the Artisan’ in down town Luray .. had a table overlooking main street .. good food .. nice views ..
Chilling out for the rest of the afternoon & night (with AC turned on) … Weather forcaster’s have missed on their predictions for today .. we had some morning showers .. but .. for the most part .. sun has been out with some blue skies .. Tomorrow should be more of the same .. we’ll finish up our tour of Shenandoah National Park if it’s a clear day …
Not many photo’s today .. but .. I’ll load some misc pictures on our trip photo’s link …
09:30 After a good nite’s sleep .. very .. very quiet at night … we’re heading out this morning to check out park .. threat of rain again .. but .. it’s not raining yet .. and we may have some periods of non rain .. at least that”s the plan … quick breakfast … and we’re ready to go !!
Before we left campsite we chatted with a couple a few sites from ours who had a small trailer we had never seen before .. called an R-POD ..pretty neat .. and it actually had a slideout that made trailer a little bigger .. it was an 18ft trailer that looked pretty cool .. Folks were from North Carolina .. guy was retired from the Air Force .. mentioned he was in the Air Force band .. as was his wife … After checking out each other’s trailers .. we were ready to depart ..
45 min drive through town of Luray then on to Shenandoah National Park .. encountered alot of fog & low level clouds (?) while ascending roads to the Park .. it was an adventerous drive in that at times we could hardly see the road .. passed a few crazy’s riding their bicycles up the mountain .. could hardly see them .. couldn’t pass them due to the many switchbacks .. Had a lunch in the Park .. rustic restaurant & hotel .. reminded us of Park we went to in Tenn .. After lunch we hiked a trail called ‘Dark Hollow’ that led us to a nice waterfall .. Drove around Skyline Drive for the remainder of the day .. a lot of scenic views .. but .. the foggy/cloudy skies prevented us from really getting a good look at all the fantastic views … On our return trip .. skies where starting to clear up a little .. actually saw some patches of blue sky !! Thought the clearing skies would be a good sign for a better day tomorrow .. but .. forcast for tomorrow is for rain and possible thunderstorms !! We’re thinking that weather will be better on Friday .. and we may stay an extra day in that Sat is supposed to be the best day of the week .. warm & blue skies !!! Got back to campsite around 6pm .. took our showers .. having a late supper .. then we’ll noodle on the net .. laptops make a great entertainment system … internet service has been excellent .. 🙂
If tomorrow is as bad as forcast predicts .. we’ll tool around town of Luray .. and as a last resort there is always Luray Caverns 🙂
You can check out our pictures by selecting ‘Trip Photo’s’
Check out the rare photo of a bear that we found wandering around the visitor center … 🙂
The adventures continue !!! Left this morning at 9 am under the threat of rain … Watching weather forcasts last nite .. we knew we were in for some wet weather .. so . last nite we hitched up trailer and loaded truck/trailer with our ‘stuff” .. This morning we just loaded up fridge .. and we were ready to leave ..
Rain didn’t hit us until an hour into our trip … the bad news .. we encountered everything from showers to a steady downpour .. the good news .. rain was intermittent .. starting and stopping throughout the entire trip … We made our first stop in West Virginia .. we needed a rest room break .. and it was a good time to stretch out .. then have some lunch .. Found a WV visitors center .. so we took our break .. and jumped in the Casita for a quick lunch .. BBL to WV rest stop was 215 miles …. As usual .. we surrounded by the ‘big’ rigs ….
After our pit stop we drove for another 100 miles arriving at our campsite in New Market VA at approx 3:15 .. ‘Endless Mountain” campsite … We stayed here back in March when we were on our way back home from picking up Casita .. it’s a nice .. rustic looking park .. still undergoing renovations … As we pulled into our site .. (yes .. a pull through site ! ) 🙂 we encountered rain again .. so we were rushing our setup …. setup went well .. although I almost buried a wheel chock in the gravel … forgot to pull the chock out as I was re-positioning the trailer … 🙂 Lessons learned while setting up … we need an extention for the ‘stinky slinky’ … we barely stretched our hose to dump connection .. we have an extra water hose .. and extra electrical cord .. now I see the need for an extention for the sewer hose … We passed a Camping World on the way here … might have to stop there on the way back home .. pick up more camping stuff !!!
Rain is in the forcast for the next few days .. so .. we’ll have to work around the weather for our visits to Shenandoah National Park .. if rain is too bad .. we’ll tour around towns in the area .. town of Luray being a town on our list of places to visit .. they are supposed to have one of the best Caverns in the area .. but .. I think our last cavern tour was more than enough for us .. don’t know if we can handle any more stalagtites and stalagmites .. Although .. if weather is bad .. we’ll be looking for some indoor activities !!
No TV connection at our site .. but .. we did bring some DVD’s that we can play on our TV to keep us amused …
Decided to cut our trip short in that we are planning to attend Aunt Mary’s funeral on Tuesday …. We had a ‘late’ breakfast .. 8am ?? and left the campsite around 10 am .. On the way home we stopped at Cabella’s (camping/outdoors store) to have a quick lunch and walk around for awhile … when we came back to camper we found a grey Nissan truck parked next to our trailer … turns out this guy had almost same truck as we have .. and he is a fellow Casita owner … very strange coincidence !! We gave him a tour of our trailer .. and chatted awhile with him before heading back home ..
While driving back home we started thinking about facing our next big adventure … backing trailer into driveway … This would be our 2nd attempt at backing up trailer into driveway .. our first attempt was not very successful .. I ended up driving trailer straight in … This time was different .. it took us awhile .. and tried a few different things … but .. we finally got trailer backed in !!! A major success .. yahoo !!!!!
All in all .. we had a great time on our trip .. and will now begin to prepare for next trip .. May 26-29 .. to Virginia’s Shenandoah State Park… We’ve already have reservation for our campsite .. Stay tuned for next adventures !!!
Checkout ‘Trip Photo’s’ for more pictures of our trip …….