Who would have thought that it would take so long to prepare for our first trip? In fact, our preparations brought back memories of the strains and stresses of packing for an overseas move. Days of hauling food and other items to the camper, and lots of questions like “Do we really need this?” and “Where can we possibly put this?” Learned that it is better to take things out of the fridge, because you need to use them up, than to buy new items for the trip. More last minute shopping trips and items plucked from the pantry shelves and finally we were off. A little later in the day than we had planned but we were off. Bad weather was expected the next day and we were in no way inclined to wait for it.
So, we headed out I-66 towards the Skyline Drive, hoping to camp at Lewis Mountain, the only campsite open at this time of year there. All went well until we arrived at the gate; the inn (or rather the campground) was full. The weather had been delightfully warm at last so you cannot blame people for heading to the mountains. So we headed over the mountain into Luray and had a Mexican dinner at a classic but not especially wonderful Mexican restaurant. Then Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park beckoned. We checked in for the night, taking a tent space with no services. It proved quite pleasant; much nicer than we would have ever expected.
The next morning we went back up onto the Skyline Drive and headed south through the rain and fog, admiring the ghostly shape of deer beside the road. We stopped for lunch at the Lewis Mountain campsite, but our planned walk was washed out by the rain. After over thirty-five years of camping beside the truck, we are slowly growing accustomed to the luxury of hot soup for lunch inside the truck – where it is warm and dry. This RV shtick has much to recommend it. Coming down off the Skyline Drive, we heading down I-81 in the sleet and rain. Fortunately, the weather cleared just at we arrived at the Attimo Winery, our first experience with the Harvest Host scheme. (http://harvesthosts.com/) The parking was free and we could even use the Internet, but we spent nearly as much on wine than we spent at the Jellystone RV park. We are really enjoying the excellent wine, so we plan to go back. Should you want to go there, start here: http://www.attimowinery.com/