Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Age Old Question of Spring Camping

Whether is is better to attend to the weather and hie thee thither or stay and weather the winter and perhaps wither in the gale...


 Our last night in Cades Cove the winds descended and touched 40mph in gusts.  A nearby family awoke to find their staked down 3/4 man tent "play tent" in the trees.  (They slept soundly in their trailer.)  Other flies and awnings were rent asunder...


We had five days to join Anthony for a snow shortened Spring Break in New Jersey.  (Really? Spring Break in Jersey??)  So we were going to have to get tactical about threading our way through yet more "unprecedented"  Winter Weather. Of immediate concern was a band of severe weather from the Gulf to Nova Scotia and the attendant typhoon of dire predictions from the weather media.


We chose to pull out Sunday morning, weave through the hideous clutter that Sevierville has become and hit the Interstate,  Really? the Interstate?  We did that, and while dodging a winter season's worth of trashed tire debris, tried to pick an intermediate stop.  What?  Most of the Shenandoah sites were closed. Many others scheduled for a 1 May opening.  Others don't answer phones on weekends.  


We settled on Robertson Lake just 17 beautiful winding country miles from Historic Lexington Virginia.

 It seemed prudent to layover through two days of "Heavy rains, severe thunderstorms with chances of winds in excess of 45 mph in gusts, nickle size hail and temperatures falling to 26 degrees".  The weather mavens even shouted the "S" word for places just up slope of us.  Had any of that been true, this would be an inspired choice.  We sited ourselves on a hill overlooking a lovely lake, near healthy trees, but not beneath them, with water, electricity, only two other hardy campers and, surprisingly, Verizon coverage which to us means free WiFi.  We settled in and even considered a bike ride before the afternoon storms. 

Instead we hiked around the lake in the overcast, Patty toting  binoculars and sighting Osprey, perhaps an Eagle, a very industrious Woodpecker and, of course, the Black Vultures which circled above us waiting to pick our storm ravaged bones. 


She sat a long time looking up at the East slope of the Alleghenies wondering if an Osprey would eat a fish from her hand...


  Our little retreat might  have proven ideal. Scenic roads invite biking in the foothills of the Alleghenies.  Lexington is an intriguing city with cultural, historical and gastronomical delights aplenty.  It even has a Drive In Movie with lush green grass, rated one of the Ten Best Places to Cuddle. We learned this while studying the very well presented tourist literature WHILE IT DID LITTLE MORE THAN DRIZZLE for two days.  Our trepidation kept us indoors and we finished our books and caught up on the blog.   Sure, it's getting colder...it's April and "unprecedented" has not yet run its course. Tomorrow we venture closer to Jersey in weather sure to nip the Dogwood buds.


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