Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Falls Lake State Park (Rolling View CG), Durham, NC

Date of Stay:  Wednesday August 13 – Wednesday August 27, 2014 (14 nights)

Rate:  $25/night

Website:  Falls Lake State Park (NC)
   4201 Baptist Road (coordinates 36.0048,   78.7273)
   Durham, NC 27703

Description:  Large cg with paved roads and gravel sites, many of which are right on Falls Lake.  Loops A and B are W/E(30A) while loop C is no hook up. There is decent separation with lots of trees.  Big boat launch in the park along with a swim beach.  We were waterfront on site B17 next to D&T for her big birthday.

Activities:  The first weekend was a celebration of Tricia’s 50th birthday.  Most of her family and close friends who live in the area came in either on Friday or Saturday.  I hiked with many of them through the woods of the park.  There are several clearly marked trails here but it was hot and humid in mid August.  Several of them kayaked on the lake one day.  After the party was over, Gin and I had several quiet days to relax and enjoy watching the squirrels run amongst the trees.  We joined D&T and Kork on T’s birthday for supper at a Mexican restaurant.  We even wandered over to Kork’s (D&T’s NC homebase) a couple of times, one was an early birthday party for Dan.  Bike riding is doable in the cg but there are a few hills.

Trash and Recycle:  There are several trash cans grouped together throughout the cg.  Recycle cans (aluminum, glass and plastic) are located at the bathhouses and the dump station.

Site B17 in the middle of D&Ts two fifth wheels  Site B17 between D&Ts two fifth wheels
Site B17 between D&T’s fifth wheels
Site B17  Swim beach at Rolling View CG
Site B17                                                    Swim beach

Hiking with Bruce, Tricia, Barbra, Amanda, Brandon and Dan  Hiking with Tricia, Kathy and Amanda
Hiking in the woods
Brandon, Amanda and Tricia  Everyone wears Merrells
We all wear Merrells

Dan, Barbra, Tricia, Bruce and Kathy at the lunch table  Tricia's 50th birthday gathering
Birthday gatherings
Grilled pizzas... yum!  Nice salad too
Grilled pizza and salad… yum!

Tricia's 50th Steve, Pam, Linda, Kork, Gin, Barbra and Tricia  Opening gifts
Getting ready for the sausage dinner                        Opening gifts
On 'The Rock' Tricia, Bruce, Amanda, Kathy, Brandon and Dan  Barbra taking a picture of Linda and Tricia
Group on ‘The Rock’                               Barbara getting a pic of Linda and Tricia
Having fun!  Happy 50th Tricia!
All of us having fun                                    Happy birthday Tricia!

Tawanda's lonely during the week site B17  Syl and Gin on 'The Rock'
Tawanda’s lonely                                      Syl and Gin on ‘The Rock’

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Stony Fork Campground (Thomas Jefferson National Forest), Wytheville, VA

Date of Stay:  Friday August 8 – Wednesday August 13, 2014 (5 nights)

Rate:  $14/night (Access Pass discount)

Website:  Stony Fork Campground
   109 Krenning Road (use coordinates 37*0’35”N, 81*10’54”W but look for directional signs as you exit I-77)
   Wytheville, VA 24382

Description:  This National Forest CG is located only 4 miles from I-77 (left from exit 47) and has paved roads and sites.  About half of the 50 sites don’t have facilities but about a dozen have W/E (30A) while the other dozen have just electric hookup.  We had site 11 which was electric only (30A).  We knew this ahead of time so our fresh water tank was full.  Luckily, we got sat dish tv reception in this wooded environment.  The tree branches along the road in the cg could use a good trim in a couple of places.

Activities:  It rained some every day we were here!  I did manage to walk the mile long Nature Trail in the cg with D&T one day even though it was still wet.  We had planned to hike the nearby Seven Sisters Trail and bike/shuttle the Virginia Creeper Trail about an hour away, but the weather just didn’t cooperate.  Hope we can return here sometime next year.  Wytheville is about 10 miles away and has all the big box stores needed.

Trash and Recycle:  There are a couple of dumpsters located within the cg but no recycle.

Hidden in site 11  Stony Fork CG site 11
Hidden in site 11                                               Site 11

East Fork of Stony Fork Creek in the cg  East Fork of the Stony Fork Creek in the cg
East Fork of the Stony Fork Creek that wanders through the campground

D&T under rhododendron canapy on the Nature Trail  Seven Sisters Trail of of the Nature Trail
D&T on the Nature Trail                         Nature Trail junction with Seven Sisters Trail
D&T under rhododendron canapy on the Nature Trail  D&T on the Nature Trail
Rhododendron canopy on the Nature Trail                               D&T enjoying the trail

Friday, August 8, 2014

Shenandoah River State Park, Bentonville , VA

Date of Stay:  Monday August 4 – Friday August 8, 2014 (4 nights)

Rate:  $38/night

Website:  Shenandoah River State Park (VA)
   350 Daughter of Stars Drive
   Bentonville, VA 22610

Description:  Located on Hwy 340 not far from I-81, this state park opened in the 1990’s so it’s made for big rigs.  Nice level gravel sites with big patios.  Only 32 sites here along the Shenandoah River but they all have W/E (50A).  One dump station at exit.  Separate sections for tent camping, cottages and day use area.  We stayed on site 14 the first night but moved to site 10 the next few nights because it got more afternoon shade.  Very nice park with well maintained hiking trails both in the woods and along the river.  Nice Visitor Center has free wi-fi inside.  Only drawback is the fact that there is no Verizon reception (our internet too) anywhere in the park.  The Ranger said that there was Verizon in Fort Royal and Luray, both several miles away.

Activities:  I hiked with D&T some and we all enjoyed the Visitor Center.  While walking beside the river, I saw someone fly fishing and several people floating the river using inner tubes.  We all enjoyed a ride on Skyline Drive between Fort Royal and Luray.  Beautiful views of the mountains melting into the sky on a hazy day.  Gin’s knee was still acting up and she busted her big toe so it was nice to relax with her at camp too.

Trash and Recycle:  Dumpster near the cg exit along with recycle bins (aluminum and plastic).

Site 14  Site 14 with D&T next door
Site 14 with D&T on site 12
Site 10  Site 10
Site 10

Beautiful Shenandoah River  Folks floating on the Shenandoah River
Shenandoah River                                    Floating on the river

Visitor Center at Shenandoah River SP  Koi pond outside VC
Visitor Center with koi pond in front
Bear cub display inside VC Display inside VC Hawk display at VC
Big display in the VC
Red Fox display at VC  Display at VC
Display at the VC

Hiking with D&T in the park  Gin at Culler's Overlook after a heavy rain
Great hiking trails in the park along with this view from Culler’s Overlook after a heavy rain
Culler's Overlook inside the SP  Culler's Overlook inside the SP
D&T at Culler’s Overlook

View from Dickey Ridege VC of Skyline Drive  View from an overlook on Skyline Drive
View from Dickey Ridge VC on Skyline Drive             View from an overlook on Skyline
View from an overlook on Skyline Drive  Overlook view on Skyline Drive
More gorgeous views from overlooks along Skyline Drive
Tricia capturing the view  View from an overlook
Tricia capturing the view from another overlook…   the mountains melting into the sky