Sunday, August 03, 2008

Virginia Part 2

Sherando Lake
CCC sign at Camp Roosevelt
Big Meadows Campground

Black bear cub.
Mother bear

Virginia Part 2

July 23rd

Drove to the Sherando Lake Recreation area south of Staunton near the Blue Ridge Parkway; a Forest Service campground. $10/night. The 23rd was a cloudy and rainy day. I cold front was passing through. Went shopping in Roanoke on the way here. Carol was about out of books. Went to a Boarders and bought five new books.

Sherando Lake is a nice campground. Our site is nicely wooded with a large area by the picnic table. No electric hookups. The solar panels are a lifesaver in situations like this. I can charge the battery on Carols scooter without needing an external source of electricity. That’s exactly why I ordered the panels with our new Lazy Daze.

The weather is just perfect. Carol thinks it’s the best yet. The low last night was 58*. During the day it was in the mid-70*’s. The lake is a ten minute walk from our campsite. Gopher is having a ball chasing sticks & swimming.

After walking all around the park, we decided our camping loop, White Oak, was the best of the three. Sherando Lake Recreation Area will be one of our stops the next time we’re in the area.

Saturday, July 26

We decided to continue on our trip. Drove into Waynesboro for grocery shopping and laundry. Took VA 340 north towards Loray. Spent the night at the Camp Roosevelt NF Campground outside of Louray. This is the first Civilian Conservation Corps(CCC) project; started on April 17, 1933. In 1933 during the Great Depression, President Roosevelt created the CCC to provide jobs for single young men between the age of 18 and 25. Over 25% of the population were unemployed at the time. The War Department ran the project much like a unit of the military. The men were paid $30/month of which $25 was sent home to their family. By July, 1933, over 250,000 young men were part of the CCC. By the time the program ended when WW-II broke out, over 2,400,000 young men had participated in the CCC. This was the most successful of all the job creation programs tried during the Depression.

Sunday & Monday:

We drove to the Shenandoah National Park (Skyline Drive). Camped at the Big Meadows Campground. When we arrived on Sunday morning the campground was close to full. By noon it was perhaps 25% full. We had our choice of nice campsites. There are deer everywhere in the campground. They’re accustomed to being around people but not at all comfortable when they pick up Gophers scent. On Monday, a mother bear and her two cubs were walking near the campground. Got some good pictures. We had been wanting to see some bears on this trip and finally, on our last day in the mountains, we did.

The three of us enjoyed some nice walks around the Big Meadows area. There are a lot of paved trails.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday:

Drove into Luray then to our campground for the next three days; Low-Water Bridge Campground in Bentonville. The campground caters mostly to tenters, pop-ups, etc. When we were there we were one of only three campers in the place. The manager said they are only busy on weekends with tubers, kayakers, etc. In Luray, we discovered the new Hawksbill Greenway. It’s a wonderful ADA compliant walking path through downtown Luray. We stopped there twice during our visit to the area. The manager of the campground told us of a new grocery store in Front Royal. We went there on Thursday. The store is as nice as any we’ve been in. Well worth the trip. During our trip to Front Royal, we stopped at the Shenandoah River State Park. Right now they have tent camping only but are in the process of building an RV campground. Will be a nice place to stay in the future.