This Cold Front is not pleasant. Spent another night in a hotel room in a town called New Bern. This town was in NC and a really great town. As a matter of fact Greg says it is his favorite town so far that we have traveled to. That’s pretty impressive!! This town is the birthplace of Pepsi. Greg and I are t really big soda drinkers but when in Rome…. we went to the corner store where Pepsi was “invented” and each had a Pepsi. We looked at all the Pepsi memorabilia and even bought a Pepsi post card which we mailed to Theresa who has been collecting our mail all these months on the road. She’s the best!! All of our neighbors and friends in Raquette Lake are amazing. However, we are in no rush to get back there just yet as it’s still extremely cold there. It may warm up here and there but don’t let that fool you. Spring is something you find in a mattress, not something you find in the Adirondacks. Haha
We continued on a little bit North to a Harvest Host location in Virginia. This place was called Hubs Peanut Company and they allow parking in their HUGE parking lot. We went in and bought a couple of cans of peanuts which, by the way, if you’ve never had a Virginia peanut, they are so much different than your typical Planters Peanuts. They are crunchier and larger and taste way better. Our overnight stay was pretty uneventful except for the temperatures dropping into the 20’s. It was pretty cold. We actually turned on the Mr Buddy propane heater. Once we warmed up a bit, we walked over to the Hubble House for breakfast. We’ve been seeing these here in the south and thought we’d give it a try and so glad we did because it was amazing!! I wish I would have taken a picture of what Greg ordered. It was a work of art.
On Easter, we got a special voicemail from Gladys Hardy. She appeared on the Ellen Show a few years back. We are friends with her grandson so every once in a while she sends us a message. Or more like Scott tricks her into sending a message. Haha
For those who have never heard of or seen Gladys on the Ellen Show, I found a “best of” of all her appearances. But there’s plenty more videos on YouTube that crack me up.
Spring is definitely in the air and so is the Pollen. We headed back into the woods to a State Park called North Bend. It’s on a reservoir and the pollen is coating the outside and inside of the van. It is on everything. I’m constantly using baby wipes to wipe everything down. And then the next day, it’s back again. But still I’d rather be amongst the trees then in a city. We got a beautiful site (#115) right on the water. The views were amazing.
They had some nice bike trails here. We even saw an eagle!! Plus we saw this peculiar caterpillar condominium. I’ve never seen so many caterpillars in my life.
The temperature finally hit 72° on the last day at the campground. Checkout wasn’t till 3pm so we just enjoyed our last day there. Then we headed to another free Harvest Host location. This one was at a marina and concert venue. It really was nothing special but an overnight stay.
Today, April 6th, we are heading to Monticello, which was Thomas Jefferson’s home. We have been here before but there’s always more to explore at that place. The grounds are huge. Plus it’s going to be a beautiful day today, I think it’s gonna get into the 80’s so we might as well enjoy it.
Seems everyone else had the same idea as us. The place was pretty crowded but it is so huge that there wasn’t a worry about getting too close to anyone else. Plus everyone was wearing masks. Most of the indoor exhibits were roped off and you were allowed to just gaze inside but not go inside. It was kind of a bummer but the outdoor exhibits made up for it especially his garden. His gardens are absolutely amazing.
Down the road from Monticello, that’s the name of Jefferson’s compound, was a KOA campground. It’s like the stepford wives of campgrounds. When Kenny was younger and we traveled cross country, the two of us always stayed at KOA’s. They are very safe and they are all exactly the same so you know what to expect no matter where you were staying. For Greg and I to stay at a KOA, it’s kind of silly yet fun at the same time. I was sweating in the 82° day with all that walking at Thomas Jefferson’s. I was excited to take a dip in the pool. Nope, not happening. Pool was halfway full with brown water. Bummer!! However, Greg got to enjoy the Jump Pad which most KOAs have. We also got to exchange some of our books out for new ones. Plus we got some icecream at their little camp store.
Checkout was at 12, way better than 11. We headed out and we’re planning on having lunch at Michael’s Tavern which was built in 1784. In 1925 the tavern was bought by a woman who had it disassembled and moved by horse and buggy’s to its new location over by Thomas Jefferson’s house. So we headed over for lunch. There was quite a long line to get in, really long, like 20-30 people in line. That’s not anything I want to be a part of so we went and explored their gift shop which was pretty awesome. Greg actually bought a chandelier. He has been looking for one for a long time to light up the screened in porch at our place in Raquette. when you live off grid, these kind of funds are a big deal.
We then headed to another Harvest Host location to spend the night. This place is the Shenandoah Caves. We explored a little indoors but didn’t do the cave tour. We decided to do the tour in the morning instead. We have a great spot by ourselves in their lot with an amazing view of the rolling hills and mountains.
From there we headed to the National Forest.
As we headed up the curvy mountain roads we came to a Natural Spring and filled up our water jugs. Things looked very familiar and when we got to the Wolf Gap Recreation Area, we realized why. We had been here before. I think it was two years ago when we took the van out for her maiden voyage to test out a few things. I think this was the first place we ever put the van into four wheel drive. So here we were again and we took the same spot as we had the last time. This spot is across the road from the campground. It’s such a great spot that is until about 30 Boy Scouts hiked into it and set up camp. They actually were pretty good kids. It rained most of the night so that kept everyone inside their tents.
We ran out of propane for cooking so we had to break out our twig stove that we use when we go backpacking. We did a couple of hikes while here. We stayed three nights here. There’s tons of hiking trails that leave from here so we were never bored.
Headed out to a Passport America Camoground. I love this membership cause the discount is 50% off! That’s a huge savings. We stayed at the Skyline Ranch Resort. The only bad thing about the PA discount is they usually give you the worst spot in the place and that’s exactly what happened here. Our spot was next to the maintenance yard. And they were very busy getting everything ready for the camping season. Now that we are moving north, the campgrounds started opening on April 1. This resort had some farm animals, the pool was closed, the showers were not so great and neither was the laundry. But we did have electric which meant drip coffee for me!! Woo hoo!!
Next morning we headed to Shenandoah National Park since we were right near Skyline Drive. That road really is so beautiful. It’s good to be in the mountains again.
As you can see we are heading North pretty slow. Maybe an hour a day. Our next hours drive ended at the MGM Grand in Maryland. We have donated money here before and donated again this time around. The lobby here is just the most beautiful of any lobby I’ve seen. This picture below is from the second floor but down below was huge garden scene with giant bird baths and spigots and flowers galore. I wish I would have taken more photos.
Next day headed to another state park (Patapsco Valley State Park) outside the town on Elicott, Maryland. We decided to ride the bikes to the town from the campground. This was an extremely hilly venture. We pretty much walked the bikes more than we road them. Either way, it was good exercise and the town was a great town to visit.
Movin on up. Next Stop, an overnighter in Delaware in the back of an outdoor store called Cabelas. on from there to another two hour drive towards a Campground called Spruce Run Recreation area. These last few days have been chilly and sort of boring so nothing to really write about. I’ll send this off now into Blogland for you to enjoy. We should be arriving to Long Island for doctor visits and can Maintenance them up to Raquette lake for a pit stop. So I’ll end the blog here, for now, until we hit the road again.