Friday, May 31, 2013

Misty Mountain Camp Resort (Adults) Trip, Charlottesville, VA - Day 2

On Friday morning, we woke up and got ready for our hike on RipRap Trail.

Originally, we were going to hike the circuit; a total of 9.8 miles. Jessica has been having some medical issues that made us reconsider the 9.8 miles for her. The weekend before, I had my first tri of the season and my inner quad was not feeling good. So... there went the 9.8 mile hike for me too. We decided the 3.4 mile out & back to Chimney Rock would be a better option.

Around 10:30, we headed towards Shenandoah National Park. It was surprisingly close to the campgrounds (5 miles or so).

Once in the park, we headed to mile marker 90 to the parking lot to start our journey. We put on sunscreen & bug spray and started up the trail.

RipRap Trail hits the Appalachian Trail and follows it for the first little bit. There's a left turn off the AT and then you're on RipRap for the rest of your journey. This trail isn't too hard, some sections of up & down, but also a good number of flats.

A little bit of an incline, but not too bad
Clearing along the path
The guys leading us
We reached a viewpoint that we took note of the rocks (for lunch potential!); we thought this was Calvery Rocks. Looking at the map now, I'm not so sure it was.

As we continued on, we hit what we thought was Chimney Rock.

Jessica & I were getting hungry, so we decided it was time to get the guys to turn around to the viewpoint to have lunch.

Lunch with a view!
Jon on the rocks
RH sitting on the rocks
Where we actually ate lunch
Ready to get moving again
After lunch, we headed back to the parking lot. Most of the trail was downhill on the way to the viewpoint, so we were in for an uphill hike on the way back. It wasn't too steep, so that was good. We only saw one other person on the trail and it was on our way back.

Headed back
Once we got back to the parking lot, we saw another group getting ready to head out on their hike. We piled back into the car and decided to stop at a couple of overlook areas and to keep the windows down as we drove out of the park.

The second overlook area we stopped at, we didn't get any pictures. Some bug decided to go down Jon's shirt and bit his back. Jon was driving, so we pulled over and got him treated (with bug bite stuff).

All of that taken care of, we decided to find a grocery store in the area since we needed a few things. After a quick stop to Kroger, we headed back to the campground. Jon & I were in charge of dinner for tonight. I decided we were having pesto shrimp, asparagus, and maple balsamic quinoa salad. I prepped dinner and RH & Jessica came over as I was cooking dinner on the grill. (Somehow there are no pictures of this!)

We lingered a bit over dinner and then got ready for the Lewis Black show. We got into town a little early and had Sweet Frog. RH & Jessica had never had it before. After Sweet Frog, we headed to the Paramount Theater and waited in line for a bit for the doors to open. We were a little surprised that they weren't opened 30 min before the show, but no big deal!

I wasn't too sure what to expect, but I enjoyed it. At some point, it started to rain. After the show, we headed back to the campground for the night and prepped for our winery tour the next day!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Misty Mountain Camp Resort (Adults) Trip, Charlottesville, VA - Day 1

When? May 16-20, 2013
Where? Misty Mountain Camp Resort, Greenwood, VA
Cost? $45/night (Good Sam & AAA discount - 10%)
Hookups? Full
Type? Water, electric, & sewer
Site #? T-9
Check in? 1pm
Check out? Noon
Characters? Heather & Jon, Jessica & RH
Weather? 60s-70s during the day, 50s-60s at night, rainy

RH & Jessica invited us to come on this camping trip before we even owned our trailer. We originally thought we'd be getting the SylvanSport Go, so we had booked the slot for a pop-up. Oops. I called back to change our site to a full hook-up and to "link" our reservations as best as I could. The man I spoke with said he'd put us as close together as possible. I was a bit surprised that so far out the campground wouldn't have much availability, but we found out why while on the trip.

On May 15, Jon & RH left work early to pick up the trailers and then worked from RH's place for the rest of the day. I met them at RH's and we all had dinner together. Jon & I came home, packed, and went to bed. 

Thursday morning, we woke up, had breakfast, got ready, finished packing, and headed to RH & Jessica's. Once there, we packed up the trailer, parked the car, and started our journey to the Charlottesville area. 

It took about 2.5 hrs to drive to the campground. We stopped in the middle of nowhere to go potty and also had lunch. Jon & I paid for that later! (McDonalds... yikes!)

Random driving down the road picture
When we arrived at Misty Mountain Camp Resort, Jessica & I went to check in. RH came along too because he's never actually checked in when they've gone camping. Funny, neither has Jon. 

The trailers at check-in
After checking in and figuring out where our campsite was (V-9 as opposed to 9 - a little confusing for a second), we noticed that the sky was starting to get a little dark. We drove to the site and immediately got to work. We knew we'd have to level, so we put out the slide and got to leveling. 


View from the trailer next door
I got the power hooked up & the water started. Jon was done with getting unhitched and finished up hooking up the water. Right around then, it started to drizzle. Jon then started to put the stabilizers down. We could tell that it was going to downpour, so we got done what we could and got into the trailer... just in the knick of time!

Ducks hanging out in the rain
After the rain stopped, Jon finished up with stuff outside and we went to RH & Jessica's spot to go for a walk to check out the campground.

After the walk, Jon & I went into the camp store to pick up some toilette chemical (after having forgotten the spare at home... oops!). We looked around for a bit and then got ready for dinner.

Tonight's dinner was at Hamilton's in Charlottesville, VA. RH's birthday was today, so we were celebrating! Dinner was very good - especially the pea & ricotta ravioli with pesto that I had. After dinner, we walked around downtown Charlottesville for a little bit. We came upon Paramount Theater and saw that Lewis Black was going to be there the next night. After a bit of research, we found that there were tickets still available and decided to buy them when we got back to the campground. It was getting late-ish, so we headed back to the campground.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lake Anna State Park Trip, Spotsylvania, VA

When? May 11-12, 2013
Where? Lake Anna State Park, Livingston, VA or Spotsylvania, VA
Cost? $38.60 (after taxes & all)/night
Hookups? Water & electric
Type? Standard water & electric (no sewer at any sites - dump station)
Site #? 28
Check in? 4pm
Check out? 3pm
Characters? Heather & Jon (and Team Z!)
Weather? 70s during the day, 50s at night

We headed to our storage unit, got everything hooked up and ready to roll. Then the decision... get on I-95S or take backroads down as far as we could before getting on? We decided to just get on and sit in traffic. We'd be putting in just about the same amount of time once you took lights & local traffic into play. It took us just over 2 hrs (for a trip that should be just over an hour!) to get to Lake Anna State Park.

Welcome to Lake Anna State Park
Once there, we pulled into the reservations office and got checked in. There was an older lady doing check ins and a man named John, who served as our "camp host". We were told to find any open spot from 26-46 and pick whichever we wanted.

Site for the night. Each site had a table & fire pit with grill grate. Some sites had a tent site as well.
We settled into spot 28 and went about getting set up. This trip, we only had to level side to side. Super easy now that we have it all figured out. After getting all set up, we wandered over to the beach (by way of a walking path) to pick up my triathlon race packet for the next morning. We stopped by the Team Z tents and chatted with a few people. 

Path to beach
Team Z village
Kinetic Tri setup
The deceivingly calm Lake Anna
Map of the park with the trails
After all of that, we headed back to the camp site and started on dinner (wild mushroom chicken sausage and Annies's mac & cheese). We ate outside and just chilled the rest of the night. We played a few games of "Take it Easy" and called it a night. 

Just before we went to bed, we heard a weird noise in the trailer. Turns out, it was raining! It was the first time we've been in the trailer with rain. It rained off and on all night. It was also the first night that we've needed to use the AC. If it hadn't been raining, we probably would've slept with the windows open. 

The next morning, we got up around 6:45 and got ready for the day. I had a 9am race start, so we had an "easy" breakfast of oatmeal. I got a few things ready for the race and we were headed over (via same walking path as the previous night) to the race.

First tri of the season done!
After the race, it was so nice to be able to head back to the trailer for lunch and a shower. It's the first time I didn't have to sit in the car to get home to shower. Points for camping with the trailer! Once we were done cleaning up from the morning, I started packing our bags & getting ready to head out.

We were hitched up and ready to roll around 2:30. We headed over to the dump station, dropped off the trash, and got to dumping. This process took about 30 minutes. We let the flush in the black tank run for a while this trip. While we were doing this, a male blue jay found the truck and kept flying between the door & top of the mirror. He kept running into the mirror thinking it was another bird. I was amused (probably too much). Jon was busy having water fun of his own. 

All in all, a great trip. Would love to go back here for longer!