Heading to Maryland for a quick weekend? Why not make it a camping adventure!? But this time, lets save some gas and make it a tent weekend. I'm sure we remember how to do it...
The plan was simple: drive to MD and stay with Mom for the weekend. On the way back down, we leave on Saturday afternoon and tent it a few hours in to save ourselves some time on the drive the next day. We hadn't gone tenting since we got the trailer (two years), so it'll be fun to go back to our roots.
Every time we go to MD, we pass all the fun stuff in Luray, VA like the caverns and attractions. One thing I've always wanted to stop and see was Cooter's Garage.
I've always been a fan of the Dukes of Hazzard. Say what you will about dumb story lines and silly characters, but The General is the coolest car ever to hit the TV. Cooter's Garage is a Dukes of Hazzard museum owned by the actor who played Cooter in the series. It's filled with memorabilia, souvenirs, and of course, plenty of cool cars! We never get to stop because we're always on a mission, so this was our chance.
When we got to Luray, we climbed the hills of Virginia and made it to Cooter's. It was awesome! We got to see all the cars from the show and even got a General koozie to hold my "sodas." If you're ever in Luray (and a fan of the Dukes of Hazzard), I highly recommend a stop.
Anyway, that wasn't really about camping, but I couldn't resist posting some pictures.
We spent some time in MD, saw some old friends, and started to make our way back down to NC. We left Saturday afternoon around 5 o'clock. Our plan was to make it to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest in Virginia and camp for the night. It was about 2.5 hours from Mom's house and 5 from ours. The perfect late afternoon stopping point.
Sidenote: I never understood why it was called the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. I assume Jefferson is referring to Thomas Jefferson, but the exclusion of his first name makes it sound like it's referring to George Jefferson. Now, "The Jeffersons" was another good show from the 70's, but I'm not sure a fictional character deserves a national forest named after it. But I digress.
National Forests are fun to camp in, but they're risky. All the sites are first come first serve, so you can't make reservations. If you drive all that way and there aren't any spots available, you're out of luck. The campsites are also usually harder to find. You can't just plug in the address in your GPS. On the flip side, they're also usually cheap or free.
As we were headed into the National Forest, as luck would have it, it started to rain. Setting up a tent in the rain is no fun, and drying out a tent after you've used it in the rain is even less fun. We were hoping that it'd clear up, but we weren't that lucky.
We rolled into the National Forest around 7:30. Because it was a National Forest, we had to search for the campsites and took a few wrong turns. By the time we actually found the campground, it was getting dark. Our tenting skills were really about to be put to the test. Luckily, there were a few spots available, and they were free! We parked the truck and began to make camp for the night.
Apparently, setting up a tent is like riding a bike. We didn't have any problems, and everything went up smoothly. We enjoyed the rest of the night in the tent with some cold "sodas" listening to the rain on the roof. If the setup and cleanup weren't so bad, I'd camp in the rain all the time! You can't find a more relaxing sound.
The rain stopped by morning, but everything was still nice and wet. We packed up the soggy tent and headed home to North Carolina. It was a quick trip, but I'm glad we got to pack some adventure into it. Plus, tenting is a lot of fun, and we haven't done it for a while! Maybe we should do it more often. It does save a bunch on gas!
He likes pizza.