Friday, June 17, 2016

Road Trip 2016--Floyd, Virginia

Instead of one giant road trip in 2016, we decided on a 10 day trip through Virginia, and more short nearby trips to give us a chance to better explore our beautiful mountains.

We headed out of town on Tuesday, June 7th. We got a later start than we'd hoped. Somehow we're having trouble working up to a morning exit, even when we do lots of prep on the day prior. This time, a work deadline and some email limitations slowed me down, which didn't help. We finally got away around 3:00, headed to Rocky Knob Recreation Area near Floyd, Virginia.

We had toyed with the idea of taking the Blue Ridge Parkway, but had decided in the days leading up to our departure to take interstates the first day, and leave the BRP for the next leg of our trip. Given our departure time, that was a wise decision. We ended up nearing our destination around 7:30. Our car GPS and google maps differed, and we elected to follow Google maps which proved to be a mistake. After numerous switchbacks down the mountain, we turned on Camp Road, which seemed encouraging. It was gravel, but that wasn't too off-putting. About 1/2 a mile later we reached a sign, that said the road was no longer state maintained, and what lay ahead was not something I would drive with our without a trailer behind us. Thankfully, there were a couple of houses off the gravel road and we only had to back up a 100 yards or so, before backing into a drive and turning around. A few minutes winding back up the mountain and we found that our Honda GPS got us close enough to our destination to warrant a sign pointing us to the campground. Whew!

While Barry dumped our tanks, which we hadn't dumped after our recent hasty departure from Edisto, Nella and I studied the campground map. I remembered we were site 22, but it turns out each of the several loops had a site 22. I had neglected to print out our reservation info., and with no cell coverage, thought we might be end for rough go of it, but we decided to start with loop T which looked vaguely familiar on the map. Fortunately we saw our name on the reservation tag at T-22!

The site was a pull through, which was nice and easy after our latest adventure. The section of the campground we had reserved was designated for Large RVs, which gave us a little pause, but easily half the sites were open and there were a few smaller rigs sprinkled around. Site 22 was relatively level, and though partially shaded gave us enough light to keep our solar panels topped off. After we were set up, I got out my new telescope and we did a little moon-gazing before turning in.

The next morning I headed into Floyd to finish up my work at the public library. It proved to be a cheerful, bustling place to work, with a nice set-up for those with laptops.


My work ended up taking several hours, but I finally got it wrapped up and swung by the grocery to pick up some ice for our cooler and a couple of other supplies. While I was working, Barry and Nella had had a fun day, biking around the campground and playing bananagrams.

I grabbed a late lunch back at the campsite and we were soon greeted by Jack Russel who had offered to show us around Floyd. One of the benefits of owning our Alto, is all the cool people we've gotten to meet. Jack and his wife, Lee Chichester, are also members of out Altoistes Facebook group.

He gave us a nice tour of the area on the way to the lovely log home he and Lee built.

Jack and Lee's lovely, restful home.

We had a great time hanging out with their dogs Chase and Mischief, and meeting Lee's red-tailed hawk and falcon.

Mischief, between chasing tennis balls.

Lee and her red-tailed hawk.

Lee's falcon.

After an enjoyable afternoon of conversation, learning about birds of prey, and chucking tennis balls for Chase and Mischief, Lee headed out to her book club and Jack took us for a delicious dinner at Mickey G's Bistro.

The next morning, Barry got in a bike ride up the BRP to the top of Rocky Knob while Nella and I biked around the campground. We then packed up and headed off to our next destination.

Rocky Knob from the Blue Ridge Parkway.


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