Making it work – Labor Day

Initially, Megan and I planned Labor Day week in Virginia Beach.  We faced an approximately 300 mile drive, so we decided to book a campsite and haul our trailer to the coast.  The drive there was slow, and we got to our campground at about 5pm.  Megan went inside to meet the campground host and check in, while I waited in the truck with Bojack.  When Megan came back, she was furious!  Our campground booked us on the WRONG MONTH!

People make mistakes.  This is not news to me, or anyone else I know.  Generally speaking, a mistake of this nature would surely upset, if not ruin someones holiday.  However, we’re not just on vacation.  We have nowhere to go!  Our lives are in this camper, and this reservation failure literally felt like an eviction with nowhere else to go.

Home is where we park it

Plan B - Walmart
You can always RV camp at Walmart!

 

So, we did what we had to do.  We starting calling every campground we could find, looking for a place to park.  Even if was just for one night, we needed to buy time so we could make other arraignments.  As expected, most campgrounds were booked solid due to the Labor Day holiday (not surprising in a beach town).  We managed to find an opening for two nights at Northwest River Park, located on the Virginia side of the Virginia/ North Carolina state line.  It’d cost us another 90 minutes of travel and a toll road, but it was worth it.  The campground was a muggy swamp next to a big river, and didn’t have water or sewer connections for the RV.  Now we can start our vacation! HA!

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Northwest River Park – Campground at night

Northwest River Park is a very nice place.  I mean that sincerely, even though we had never intended to go there, nor stay.  We got there late, and pretty much went right to bed. First thing in the morning, Megan found a campground near the Outer Banks, NC.  Megan took some downtime and relaxed in the RV, I spent the day exploring on my bike.  The area is gorgeous, very lush with swampy areas.  They had boat rentals where we didn’t try, though it looked amazing.  Visitors, bring your bug spray!

The campground in North Carolina (Hampton Lodge Campground) was about an hour drive, so we took our time.  We arrived on a Saturday, bringing us officially into the Labor Day weekend.  The park was busy, and located western bank of the Currituck Sound,  overlooking the Outer Banks and into the Atlantic.  FINALLY, it was looking like we could relax!

THE OBX!

The Outer Banks (known as the OBX locally) is a string of islands located on the coast of North Carolina and Virginia.  These islands are very narrow east to west, maybe the equivalent of three city blocks.  On one side you have the Atlantic Ocean.  The beaches are soft, waves perfect for your boogie board (and probably a lot more if you know where to go), and stretch for miles.  Then, you can walk to the other side, and see across the sound to the mainland. The OBX is a popular place for beach tourism, and is also notable in its history.  I will say, it’s hard to believe these islands even exist given the fierceness of the Atlantic right there!  *as of the time of this draft, hurricane Florence is forcasted to hit this area.  We are very concerned for the people of this area, and they are in our thoughts and prayers.

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In retrospect, I would’ve liked to explore the OBX further south (we only got as far as Kill Devil Hills).  We enjoyed Kitty Hawk beach, and table full of seafood platters at Hurricane Mo’s.  If we had the chance to do some prior research on the area, we could’ve done a much better job as tourists.

(Video) Bojack Fetch!

 

Honestly, we were both simply exhausted.  We’ve been traveling a lot and haven’t had much of a chance to settle in much during these past 6 weeks since leaving Colorado.  The mishap on Virginia beach didn’t help either.  Effectively, we turned this trip into a beer by the beach and embrace downtime type of vacation!

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In the end, we muddled our way into a great little trip.  We intended on posting about our week in Virginia Beach, but we’ll take our shorted time in the Outer Banks nonetheless.  The campsites, food, and people were all great to us during our stay.  We would love to visit again!

With Love,

Bobby & Megan

 

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