Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vacation - the Mountains & Valleys part

Ahh, the beautiful Shenandoah Valley!

And that's the Shenandoah River that you see in this picture! There was a tower on top of one of the mountains we drove over, and we made the little hike to the tower, then up the tower (it wasn't extremely tall) and had gorgeous views!!
I don't remember if this is mountain #1 or #2 that we crossed... but the drive was SO pretty! Haha, I DO remember that this was the West Virginia side of the mountain! The VA side had gravel, and right at the top where the "state line" was, it was an obvious change from gravel to DIRT. This was probably the steepest switchback... it felt like you were doing a nose-dive. We backed up to get the picture.
Daniel getting out the blankets. Notice the blue tissue box that was going to bed with me that night to catch the snot from my nose that ran like a faucet all night. (Yes, I said snot - that's what it is)
This is actually the first morning... Daniel cooked/fried all our camp-fire food, all I had to do was bring the foodstuff to him, and he made it :) Old refrigerator racks make great grill racks!

We left here Monday afternoon and drove until we got to our first campground. It wasn't our first place of choice - the first place had done away with their tent sites. So we stayed in a Yogi Bear park. It was nice, their bathrooms were pretty good. But it was SO COLD that night! I had goosebumps all over, I'm not kidding. I had goosebumps in places I didn't know you could get goosebumps! I'm pretty sure I was coming down with my cold Monday, but the freezing cold night didn't help.

Tuesday we drove more country roads and eventually meandered our way up to the Woodstock Tower, where you could climb up the (aforementioned) tower and see the town of Woodstock, and multiple bends in the Shenandoah River.

It was fun driving the "state roads" over the mountains... they were on the map, but they were basically pig-paths carved into the mountain. One switchback was marked with a "curve" sign that looked like a backwards question mark with 5 MPH. Yeah. And going "up hill" was pretty steep in some places... stuff kept falling out of the little "catchall" place in Daniel's dashboard, and we joked that the radio was going to fall out next.

The trees were just beautiful. I'm not sure that we actually hit "peak week", but they were still pretty! We did drive some in West Virginia - we went through the little town of Mathias... (my siblings will probably recognize the name) it consisted of a few poultry houses, a few other buildings... and a mailbox or two. At one point in the booneys of Va, we did see a bear in the road.... a stuffed teddy bear. I wanted to go back and take a picture of it so I could blog about seeing a bear on vacation, but we didn't.

My favorite part was just driving in the country. It was really fun to look for old abandoned farm houses. But it was sad, too, because alot of them looked like they had been really nice places in their day and were just left to rot to the ground. Daniel and I would point them out to each other - it's nice to share the same dreams :)

The last night we spent at a state park on the western tip of Kerr Lake Reservoir (also Bugg's Island Lake). It was warmer that night, but poor Daniel - his firewood didn't want to burn! It took a long time to cook supper (polish sausage, onions and peppers), and then in the morning it took about 1 1/2 hrs to make bacon and eggs. He sat there and puffed and puffed (like the big, bad wolf) to keep the fire going. I mentioned that we could use the little gas camping stove that we'd taken along, but he wanted to do it on a fire, so we did :)

Thursday we meandered our way home, once again driving lots of little, no-yellow-line, a little wider than one lane roads. We saw tobacco fields, acres of tree farms, a prescribed burn, several old log buildings, and more beautiful farm houses that were just sitting empty and sad. It was a great drive home - it was a warm day, and I was faithful in taking Advil Cold & Sinus every 4 hours so I felt decent and enjoyed the ride :)

And that was our vacation!! Thanks for "coming with us" by means of blog posts :)

And is it ok if I just kinda mention that it cost us all of $60 and 2 tanks of gas for a 4 day vacation? C'mon, even Disney can't do that. All the food that we had was planned out in the menu for the week, so we weren't buying special food for the trip or anything.


Phoebe said... [Reply to comment]

Now that is how to take a frugal/fun vay-cay!!!
So gorgeous! I would love to see the mountains, especially in the fall.
Looks like you had a blast...

Sally said... [Reply to comment]

Oh, oh, "The bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mountain?..." and you saw him! Hahaha! I wish you had taken a picture, but it was funny to read about even without an image.

I think you are a full-blooded frugal freak, shown by calculating even the low, low, LOW cost of your vacation! Does that mean the next time you walk into my house, your mind will automatically be calculating what every item you see costs, making a mental note of how often the well pump runs and the duration, checking my fridge to see if I save old butter papers to grease pans with, and wondering how my conscience can allow me to burn more than one bulb in a light fixture? Maybe that's over-kill, but if you do all that, you are a dyed-in-the-wool frugal freak. Congratulations! Way to go!

P.S. I'm not there yet, so you don't have to hide the Tide detergent when I come.