Monday, June 27, 2016

Stony Fork Recreation Area.

Well, Carole and I stole a few days, hooked up the Casita travel trailer and provisions and headed up to the mountains of western Virginia to go camping and kayaking. We decided to stay at Stony Fork Recreation Area where we had camped once before, way back in 2009. The drive up was not much trouble at all, only a little more than two hours' time.

We pulled in to campsite #45 which we had reserved a couple of weeks earlier via which has been an invaluable tool for us over the years. The only minor problem was that we had thought our space had water and electric but upon arrival we  realized that #45 had electric hookup but no water. Since our site in 2009 had both, we just assumed that all of the sites had water and electric. Wrong! So we filled the onboard tanke with fresh water and problem solved. No big deal.

I want to say now that Stony Fork is a very well run National Forest campground. Extremely nice in all ways. The two main campground hosts were brothers and were very helpful and they actively policed the campground to make sure everything was clean and orderly. I can't say enough good about those hosts. There are bathrooms around the campground and they have flush toilets and warm shower facilities. One was just a few yards from our spacious, shady campsite.

The only negative thing that happened was that on the second night we were there a horrible thunder storm rolled through the campground. Not long after dark the lightning began to land all around us. Finally, one bolt hit very, very close and knocked off the power. I told Carole that it was so close that I had no doubt that I would be able to find the tree that was struck within a few yards of us when the sun came up. In the meantime we just shut off and unplugged everything in the trailer. It was very cool that night and we slept well.

In the morning our power would still not work. Eventually, after trial and error and the campground hosts checking the main breakers in the campground, I realized that the lightning strike had fried the power converter on my trailer. The AC and the microwave plugs still operate (they bypass the converter) so we plugged in a lamp and used the fan on the AC some. The temperatures stayed low (especially with all of the shade) so we didn't need to use the air conditioning to mitigate the heat.

I'll post more later on the trip as a whole (including our drive to Mountain Lake Wilderness and our kayaking trip down the New River). But this post is mainly to serve as informational on the campground that we used. I highly recommend Stony Fork. It's convenient to the Interstate, but far enough from it that one finds quiet and lots of green Mother Nature all around. There are tremendous hiking opportunities everywhere in the vicinity. If you forgot to bring something, it's a short ten mile drive to Wytheville to pick up supplies.

Our campsite (#45). Shady. Spacious. Electric hookup. (No water, although some sites in the campground have both).

The white pine that got hit. As I told my wife after the strike, it was easy to find. Just about 50-60 feet from our trailer. No wonder it fried our power converter.

This campsite was beautiful. Large. Shaded. Plenty of space between other campsites.

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