Saturday, October 29, 2016

Smith Mountain Lake 10/28/2016 (Backpacking Test)

Mailing Address:

HUDDLESTON  VA  24104-9547

Phone Number:

Information:  (540)297-6066


  • Site 29 is a good site but all the park in sites are good ones.
  • There are no lights so be sure to bring lanterns.
  • The tent pads are fine gravel
  • There are enough trails there so that you can hike a different one each day for a week. Several of them you would have to drive to the trailhead
  • The outdoor recreation area is a short drive away

Friday, October 28, 2016

I started the morning by going to the gym. I wanted to see what my pack weighed and to get a head start on training for the spring. I stepped up on the scales and the read 263 pounds!! I stopped to calculate the weight and then it hit me like a ton of bricks, this is what I weight three years ago when I went to Doctor Millers office. I was carrying 37 pounds on my back and that represents the weight I have lost since July of 2014!! I was ecstatic, to say the least. Well after I got over the excitement of what I had done, I stepped up on the treadmill and started walking. I walked for 24 minutes and I could tell it in my hips. Will need a lot more training before I decided to head out into the woods for two days!!

Well, we left Friday about 3pm and headed to the Lake. I took us about 1 hour and 20 minutes to get there from the house. We checked in at the Visitor Center and it cost us $26 for one night. We drove around and picked the tent site all the way in the bottom of the campground. 

We set up our tent and started supper. We had chicken and rice and all w had to do was add water. After waiting 10 minutes we ate the chicken and rice with some french fried onions and sweet tea. Afterwards we had an ice cream sandwich and made smores in the fire.


We turned in around 9pm and went to sleep. We were both restless during the night but slept OK. Saturday morning I was up at 6am and started a fire so Amy and I could keep warm. I read some of the Minor Prophets, had a cup of coffee and got Amy up around 7am. She had eggs for breakfast and I had oatmeal. 


 After breakfast we decided to take a hike and we walked 4.3 miles in just over 2 hours. Here are a few pictures of our hike.


After our hike, I broke camp and then went and took a shower. After Amy had changed we headed to Lynchburg. We picked up Louise and took her out for her 93rd birthday, we ate at Cracker Barrel. While there we were able to see Nicole for a bit and that was great. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Myrtle Beach KOA, September 16-18, 2016

Myrtle Beach KOA, September 16-18, 2016

Friday 16th

   We left home around 1pm and drove to Rockingham to fill up our gas tank and empty our bladder. This time we came in on 501/22/31 and was at Walmart at 5:25pm. We picked up a few groceries and headed to KOA to check in.
   After unpacking the car, Amy was ready for the beach. We walked to the beach and watched the ocean for a few minutes and then headed back to cabin.
   For supper we had spaghetti, real fries and garlic toast. After we cleaned up Amy helped me hang the tarp. This is a new 11'*11' that I picked up at Harbor Freight.
   We started a fire and started a LIVE broadcast over Facebook, that was fun. We then made some smores and they were good. Afterwards I cleaned up for the night and Amy read a local paper.

Saturday 17th

   Coffee first thing this morning. Then I got Amy up and we took a walk along the beach. We walked for about 3 miles and we were both hungry when we got back.
   I made scrambled eggs with bacon, sweet potato hashbrowns and toast. After breakfast I we showered and changed. Then we went bowling and that was cool. After bowling we came back and rested awhile.
   We then took another walk, this time we went north. We walked up to the Bowery and eat ice cream at Peaches Corner, it was good. My knee was hurting so I used the Uber app to get us a ride back to the campground.
   We thought we would go see a movie (Sully) but it was sold out. We then went to Victoria's Secret and Amy picked up some lotion at no charge.
   Stopped by Walmart and got hot dog buns then started supper back at camp. We had hit dogs, potato salad and cole slaw.

   After supper we played putt putt at Jungle Golf Amy won.


Sunday 18th

   Up early this morning, lots to do. I cooked breakfast this morning and Amy washed dishes. We had scrambled eggs, sausage, pancakes and apple butter. While Amy washed dishes I started taking down camp. Folded our new tarp, which worked nicely, and it is a 11 x 11 tarp. I then packed the camp bag
  • two folding camp chairs
  • 1- 11'x11' tarp
  • 4 spools of rope for tarp
  • 1 small extension cord
  • 1 outdoor extension cord with 6 outlets on it
  • 1 queen size air mattress
  • 1 air pump for mattress
  • Fire poker and shovel
  • 2 seat cushions
   After the dishes were done I started on the kitchen box and after I had it all nicely packed it was time to remove the strap that holds it to the table. Well I had put the cast iron pot on the table part of the box and when I removed the strap it toppled over onto the ground. The only thing that had broken was the two coffee mugs we had purchased last year. Well we repacked it and started putting the stuff in the trunk.

   After we got everything but suitcases packed we showered and changed for church. We put suitcases in car and went to the office and checked out. We had time so we decided to go to Dunkin Donuts for coffee and of course a donut. While we were there Amy and I saw the news about the terrorist bombings in NY and NJ. We did not know anything about it since we had not TV or radio at the campsite. Afterwards we went to morning service at Friendship Baptist Church on 6th South Street and the pastor preached a message on Psalms 122:1 about being at the house of God.

   After service we headed to 21st North and ate lunch at River City Cafe. One of Amys relatives had bragged about the place and she said it had the best burgers in town but that it looked like a shack. She was right on both counts. The place looked really run down but in reality it was very clean and efficiently run. The burgers were really good as well.

   We left there and headed for home. We came in and left this time on Route 22 and it was a much easier drive and cuts 10 minutes off the drive time.  On the way home we stopped at Sparkys (overpriced) and McArthurs Farms. McArthurs Farms was really nice and prices were OK. In Rockingham we had to stop at the BP instead of the Citgo because Citgo was out of gas. The BP was OK but the bathrooms were not as nice. Met a nice Sheriff Officer at the BP that was telling me to be careful heading home. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Harrisonburg/Shenandoah KOA May 2106

Notes about KOA and Harrisonburg

  • About 20 Minutes from Harrisonburg but a nice drive
  • Route 11 or Interstate 81 will get you back into Harrisonburg depending on where you want to go
  • KOA has one bath house but it was really clean and has three showers
  • D17 was a nice tent site and was really isolated from the ones next to us
  • No water or electric at tent sites but water was a short walk away so that was not a problem
  • Places to Visit
    • On the drive up there is an antique store at the intersection of 151 and 250
    • Paulies Pig Out on 151 is the best BBQ I have eaten
    • Grand Caverns (We have been)
    • Endless Caverns
    • Luray Caverns (We have been)
    • Frontier Museum
    • Downtown Harrisonburg
    • Skyline Drive
      • Stony Man (hiked 2011, 2016)
      • The Falls (hiked 2011)
      • The AT runs along a lot of Skyline
      • To camp on Skyline you will need a permit
      • There are some campgrounds on Skyline and would be a good place for an overnight hiking/camping experience for beginners

Friday - We left home on Friday morning about 10 o'clock made a couple of stops and I arrived at the campground around 2 o'clock. We took our time setting up camp rested for a little while and then had supper. For supper we had pork ribs cooked in tomatoes with a little broccoli and corn bread. I was able to bring my new hammock and test it out and I really like it. After dinner we went to the movies and saw Captain America Civil War. After the movie we went to Walmart picked up a few supplies came back to camp and went to bed.



Saturday - we slept in this morning because we were out so late last night. For breakfast we had egg sandwiches with provolone cheese and bacon. After breakfast we going up to Skyline Drive and hiked Stony man Trail. We took round 11 up to Skyline Drive and then make a right onto 11 and it was a pretty good drive. Coming back we did not have the opportunity to stop anywhere because we had to meet Matthew. We spent the afternoon with Matthew doing a little shopping downtown and then went to the mall. Afterwards we had dinner at a German restaurant call Black Forest. After dinner and I came back to the campsite and I finally was able to start a campfire. Soon after we had s'mores we just couldn't help ourselves.




Sunday - We had pancakes with fried apples for breakfast. We went to worship service with Matthew at Freedom Baptist Church and Pastor Dale Goodwin preached on how we were to put Jesus first and he was starting a series on the 10 commandments. After service we went back to Matthews place and we had lunch there and spent some time with him. About three we went back to campsite and it was a slow steady rain falling. I started reading my book and as I did the rain became heavier. I will need to purchase a larger tarp, at least 12'x12'. We decided to go catch a movie since the rain did not look like it was going to let up. We went to see Xmen and ate popcorn in the theater. Afterwards we went to Buffalo Wild Wings and had the House Sampler and a Strawberry Lemonade and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We went back to camp and the rain had let up enough that we were able to get in the tent without getting soaked.




Monday - I was up at 4am today, don't know why. The rain had stopped and the sun looked like it was going to come out. I started a large fire to get warm and I wanted a fire. I made my first Facebook Live Video this morning as well. It was of my campfire and me having coffee. I got Amy up about 7am and we started breakfast which consisted of eggs, beef sausage and real hasbrowns. After breakfast we started breaking down camp and by the time we were done everything was dry and that made our day. We left to meet Matthew at Starbucks for drinks and brunch. We left Harrisonburg about noon and headed for Lynchburg. We arrived in Lynchburg about 2pm and visited with Louise until 5pm. We meet Nicole at Cracker Barrel for supper and then headed home. We arrived home about 7pm.