Our first stop was a KOA just inside the West Virginia state line on I-64. There was a time when a 13 - 14 hour drive was normal for the first day of vacation. Those days are gone. We spend that much time just stopping at bathrooms. Love these Golden Years! With the camper in tow, the mileage was averaging about 10 - 12 MPG. With a 20 Gal tank, it seemed we were stopping every hour to either fill or empty the car or ourselves. Too bad we couldn't synchronize to do them at the same time! By the end of the day, we were in the beginnings of the mountains. They are so beautiful but also stressful as we tried to get up over 30 MPH on some of the inclines. The old six cylinder Jeep was doing her best but when you have your house attached to your rear bumper, you can finally empathise with the slow moving tortoise as the Rabbits and other car models whizzed past. I just had to hope they were out of the way when we hit the downhills! It gives new meaning to roadkill.
We pulled into the campground before dark and got a pull-through site and didn't even disconnect. We plugged in the camper so we could have the air conditioner and microwave but other than that we were self reliant.
KOA's are usually pet friendly. This one even had a playground for Kira our new German Shepherd dog. She was a real trooper on this trip. We got her as a stray two weeks before vacation and she fit right in. She not only travels well but she behaves in the camper. We could not have asked for a better traveling companion.
Sunday morning we were off by 7 AM and headed deeper into the mountains. The ascending grades became steeper and slower. We decided although we love our Jeep, we might be considering a different tow vehicle for future mountain trips.
We crossed most of Virginia and headed northeast along Skyline Drive toward our campground, Big Meadows.
Above, the picture "foggy conditions ahead" would be an indicator of the weather for the next week while we were there. It was cool but we had considerable rain and fog.
We were greeted to the campground by the campground hosts, several deer. This would become a normal daily ritual. There was no lacking of wildlife here. The first day we saw, deer, a bear, several skunks and chipmunks. Birds were numerous.
We set up our campsite and settled in for a week in the mountains of Virginia. You can see by the picture that the sun had come out by late afternoon.
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