Thursday, June 27, 2013

Drive Day 1: Rocky Gap State Park

This summer I am heading to Colorado!  We’d been loosly planning a trip to Colorado for last summer, but then I bought Roxy and wanted to stay on the East Coast because it was closer!  This turned out to be very good planning when I had to head back to Virginia when Mike died.  This year I’m ready to go further afield and tackle the big drive – although not as far as the west coast. 

Mike’s death last summer is making it hard for me to really get excited about this trip though.  What if something else happens?  What if I need to get back, but can’t because it’s a 4 day drive back home?  If you think about it long enough the “what-ifs” fill your head and it makes it hard to think!  I’m hopeful that this summer will be “drama free" and we can all relax and enjoy life!  A cloud still hung over me today as a I packed, I didn’t want to stay home, but I also kinda didn’t want to go.

This morning I went to get Roxy so I could get her packed and get the fridge cooling.  Like last year my departure was determined by my CSA pick up.  Luckily this year I was able to move my pick up to a different location and pick up today rather than waiting until tomorrow.  I didn’t need to leave until 3:15 ish so I was able to take my time getting loaded!  I’d already put most stuff into tubs and laundry baskets so it just needed to be hauled out.  I did re-think how a number of spaces were used and so far it seems good – I just need to figure out where clothes go when they are dirty! It was cloudy and cooler all day which was very nice packing weather!  The sun came out as I was picking up my CSA veggies and it was nice for the drive!

After getting my veggies and stuffing them in the fridge, I can’t eat out during the drive I have *way* too much food with me, I was on my way!  Luckily there was no traffic on 66 and soon I was heading up 81 and cheering as I crossed my 1st State Line into West Virginia.  That joy was to be short lived. 

I was pulling into the West Virginia Welcome Center Rest Area when the radio announcer started talking about an accident on 81 N near Martinsburg that had shut down I-81!  yikes!  Traffic was being detoured.  That didn’t sound like any fun so I turned to my trusty Google Maps to help me find a way around the mess. 

When I was looking for a route this afternoon Google Maps wanted me to go up US522 from Winchester and pick up I68 in Hancock, MD.  I decided that it was going to take too much navigation around Winchester and it would be easier to take 81 to Hagarstown and get 70 to 68.  It was longer, but only by 10 miles.  Now, however, I was wishing I’d taken 522 and quickly located a route to get me there.

The good news was that my route to 522 didn’t have any traffic on it at all.  It was definitely a backroad route, I’m pretty sure I heard banjo music! There was  a double yellow line down the middle of all the roads so that was something!  It was all uphill and downhill and twisty!  Roxy handled it just fine, but anything bigger, or if I was towing a car, and it would have been different! It also involved crossing back into VA for a few miles before crossing into WV again! Finally, after missing just one turn and having to do only one u-turn, I made it to 522.  522 was also traffic free, but it was a 4 lane highway so we were cruising!

Now I turned my attention to needing fuel.  I wasn’t in dire need but I also didn’t know what was ahead – would I be able to make it to Rocky Gap and get fuel tomorrow?  Should I just do it now?  What are my options?  With all the technology I have I don’t have a good way to locate refueling opportunities.  I decided to ask Siri.  I never use Siri because the times I have used her, I haven’t found her helpful.  Tonight I asked her “where can I buy diesel fuel?”  She replied with “I can’t locate any fuel distributers".”   Like I said, not helpful. 

I’d been using Siri at a red light and I was behind a semi – after Siri and I were done the light changed, the semi moved and right in front of me was a Sheetz.  With diesel.  Problem solved. 

Soon after getting fuel I reach I68 and was about 20 miles from my destination for the night – Rocky Gap State Park. 

68 is a really pretty drive!  You go up and over hill after hill and the views are amazing!  There’s barely any traffic too!  Mostly trucks, but not even many of those! At the top of all the hills they have a sign with the name of the hill and it’s elevation.  The 1st one I noted was 960 ft.  The next  1040.  The last one we came down before Rocky Gap was 1289.  Soon I’ll be driving over mountains 10x a high!

I have a wonderful site at Rocky Gap – site 13.  It claims to be a 30ft pull through, it’s at least double that, maybe triple.  It’s very private too!  It have electric because I thought I’d have to run to AC, but it’s nice and cool up here! Once I got parked and hooked up the electricity I went for a sunset walk!  I walked down to the lake and along the edge on the Lakeside Path, then walked 4 loops of the campground.  There are 5 more loops that I didn’t walk through!  Big place! 

Towards the end of my walk I heard a whiporwill.  Whiporwills always make me think of my grandpa, Dr. Ben and the time he almost shot one out of tree while he and my grandma were camping in the front yard.  You can read the story here: Dr. Ben and the Whiporwill.  Dr. Ben died suddenly one morning when he was getting ready for work, not unlike Mike’s sudden death, so this evening when I heard it it made me think that maybe everything was going to be ok this summer. 

This is a very nice park, it’s location is perfect – just mere miles from the highway and close enough to home to get away but still have a short 1st day!

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