On the Cusp – Hurricane Florence

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Hurricane Evacuation Route

A hurricane is a nightmare for those who are in its path.  The media tells us a story, which includes video footage of a newscaster attempting to report while being battered by the fierceness of mother nature.  Then, images pour in of large amounts of flooding, wind tearing off roofs, and the obligatory, albeit very saddening, casualty count and those affected by its devastating aftermath.  So when Florence started moving in, panic sunk in fast.

In our area, Roanoke, VA, initial reports started claiming forecasts of up to 20″ of rain causing severe flooding, as well as severe wind gusts which could potentially knock down trees and power lines.  The instant presumption was, we need to leave.  We have a house on wheels, so let’s get out of dodge!  Of course, this is much easier said than done.  Where are we going to go?  Will Megan have to take up lodging near work? If so, where will we park our RV, and will we have to separate for a few days?  We decided the best thing to do was to start an evacuation plan, while also keeping our eye on the National Weather Service (NWS) for Roanoke.

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Screenshot from Weatherbug when the hurricane hit.  Our location on top left.

For three  days, we remained on the cusp of Florence’s predicted path. Our campground host, as well as local community were all mixed in their advice towards us.  This was incredibly stressful!  DO WE STAY OR DO WE GO!  Of course, nobody is going to answer that question for us.

When Florence made landfall in New Bern, NC, it was eerily quiet here.   Also, by this time our friends and family back home were reaching out regularly, insuring our safety.  We couldn’t help but pray for those in this monster’s path.  Being from Colorado, we’ve never been anywhere near a hurricane.  All of our experiences came from what we’ve seen in the media. But now we’re waiting for it and only a few hours drive inland, it’s a very different story!

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The storm didn’t hit us too hard.  We experienced significant rain, and some areas with minor flooding.  The access roads near our campground had a fallen tree in the road, and the local creek ran significantly higher, but that was the worst of it for us.

We cannot express enough how terrifying hurricanes are.  After this experience, we’re left feeling hurt for those who’ve been impacted.  Business as usual resumes for most, rebuilding starts for many.

In the end, we wish to give thanks to those who reached out in concern.  Also, we want to send our best to anyone reading who’s been impacted by the storm.  It has not left our minds.

All the best,

Megan and Bobby

 

New River Junction – Blacksburg, VA

New River Junction (NRJ) was our home for 3 weeks.  Simply put, the place is beautiful.  NRJ is located in the mountains outside of Blacksburg, VA and sits on the banks of the New River.  NRJ offers camping, but is also locally known for renting tubes for floating down the river.  Located on the line between Montgomery and Giles county, the area is popular for outdoor enthusiasts.  During our time there, we went tubing, canoeing, mountain biking, road biking, and hiking.  This section of the Appalachian range sits about 2,000′ elevation, which is a far cry from the Rocky Mountains we’re used to.  This area is know as the “Blue Ridge Mountains”, which stretches from Georgia to Northern Virginia.  Despite the lower elevation mountains, this area was a welcome taste of home for both of us!

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New River and Blue Ridge Mountains from New River Junction

When we arrived, the area was experiencing lots of rain.  Our first night, we were scrambling around our maps because local news indicated tornados, hail, flooding, and a dam breach in the area.  Not something you want to hear when you’re parked next to a river!  We had very spotty WiFi and no cell service unless we took a 20 minute drive into Blacksburg, effectively taking us off the grid.

Once the rain cleared up and the river calmed down, we decided to rent a canoe for a day.  The river was majestic!  After one trip (approximately 1 mile) the NRJ bus picked us up and drove us back to camp.  Once we arrived, we decided to attempt another canoe trip, this time with Bojack!  He wasn’t as thrilled as we were… but we succeeded getting him on the canoe and completed our first family canoe trip!

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Bojack on the water

Obviously, the time we spent at NRJ was spent outside.  The biking and hiking (which will be touched on in later posts) was incredible.  I’m honestly surprised (and glad) the area isn’t commercialized.  I supposed we are used to the beauty of Vail, CO as an example, to include a large section of development to accommodate the many tourists and locals of the land.  At NRJ, we enjoyed the simple life and the natural beauty surrounding us.

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Bojack enjoying a nap on his favorite sofa (New River Junction)
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Getting outside between rain storms
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Enjoying a cold one – admiring the view
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Megan, Bojack, and I rescuing a lost dog (Butters) who ran away during a storm.

We cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed the three weeks spend in Blacksburg and New River Junction.  A special thanks Bernie, and the whole NRJ staff for accommodating us for so long.  We really had a great time, and your suggestions on nearby hiking and biking were fantastic!

With Love-

Bobby, Megan, & Bojack