~Monday, May 24, 2021~
Hoping it will leave as quickly as it came in, we are now in the clouds. As I was doing my journaling this morning, it went from high clouds with some slight sprinkles to being IN the clouds in a matter of 20 minutes. (The picture below is the view from our bedroom window.)
I guess we’re high enough. 3,600 feet doesn’t seem all that high to me to justify clouds.
Since we’ve always liked lodges, we thought a good place to start our day was visiting the lodge just around the corner from our campground. With the crummy weather, it brought a lot of people inside….people playing cards, reading books or taking advantage of cell service. Even a few Appalachian Trail hikers were taking a much deserved rest inside. You could hang out all day with its nice, inviting sitting area, large fireplace (not going at the moment), and the outdoor deck with amazing views (we think). Downstairs was a cool tap room that’s open daily at 3:00. We were too early, but will absolutely be back. The small gift shop next door was the perfect place for me to purchase another park sticker to add to our Yeti cooler. I also thought it would be nice to buy a postcard and mail it to the grandkids. We haven’t done that yet on the trip so far…..so it looks like that will be a new ritual moving forward.
The Visitor Center seemed like another good place to visit on this crummy weather day. With exhibits closed, they had set up information tables and staff set up outside. I had the good fortune of meeting a very knowledgeable park attendant who knows his hiking trails. He gave me 3 maps highlighting each trail that was his favorite, explaining why…...some strenuous, some not so much. But, one of the three has spectacular views that we hope to see, IF THE WEATHER COOPERATES. We’re tired of rainy, cold weather. Come on now….it’s nearly June.
Next to the visitor center, there is a small, but well stocked grocery store and gas station. Nice to see they’re not gouging people with their gas prices, since the cost seems to be the same as the closest town’s. Unfortunately, no propane like we hoped. The closest is in the town of Luray. And we need it today!
Not good planning on our part, especially knowing we were headed to a national park. It can be miles to gas stations, grocery stores, etc. Since we weren’t planning on doing anything tour wise today, we decided to take advantage of the hour drive to also visit Wal-Mart and make some phone calls. The best thing that came out of the whole trip, was yes, the propane, but mainly getting a plane ticket for our son to come out and join us in the New York area in July. So excited!
The hour long drive back was no fun once we got back up to altitude. The cloud haze was so dense, we only had 20 feet of visibility, leaving the driver (me) mesmerized. All I could do was keep my eye on the yellow line on the road, driving way under the already slow 35 mph speed limit.
The cold/damp weather called for some yummy soup and with all of the Vidalia onions we had left over from the last batch, it was the perfect soup selection. While Jeff tended to that task, I took Sadie on a much needed walk, then stopped by Margo and Greg’s campsite for some chit chat and a tour of their Grand Design travel trailer. Nice! It’s always fun to check out other people’s setups!