Sunday, May 29, 2016

To Claytor Lake State Park, Dublin, Virginia

The things you see on the road.
This is called the Peachoid, Mr. Peach, or the Peach.
It is a water tower in Gaffney , South Carolina about exit 90 to 92 on Route 85.
Holds about one million gallons of water--not peaches.
From Route 85 we head north on Route 321 out of Gastonia,N.C.
From there it is a right on Route 268 towards Wilkesboro,N.C. 
This a great scenic route with farms along the way and mountains.
Everything is super green or yellow green.
Good place to raise beef cattle it seems.
Warrior Creek Campground is another Corps park on W. Kerr Scott Reservoir.
This is still a beautiful campground, but the sites are not all level and not all sites have good access to the water.
Plenty of room at our site and quite level.
Leaving the campground, we head east through Wilkesboro, N.C. ,
actually, more around it on Route 421 , over to Route 77 north.
The Wilkesboro, N.C. area has a history in Nascar with a track that was here
from 1949 to about 1996.
A native son, Junior Johnson was quite successful at the track for
the Sprint Series.  Now 84, he still lives in the area.
Along some of the North Carolina highways, crews have taken
pains to plant ,and not cut, large sections of wild flowers.
The North Wilkesboro area bills itself as "Key to the Blue Ridge"
This area of Route 77 north offers many views.
Any of you who have traveled this route would remember the 
Fancy Gap area entering Virginia.  
Some might even remember some white knuckle driving.
In Wytheville, Va we head north on Interstate 81 to Dublin and the exit for
Claytor Lake State Park, one of our favorites.
State Parks are not inexpensive.
Many times they can be as expensive as private campgrounds when taxes and day use fees are added in.
We choose a nice site in area B , dry camping, that gives Lady  Blue a chance to use
the solar panels.  Even in the trees, the panels catch a bit of sun 
to recharge the house batteries.
Claytor Lake has a number of hiking trails that are just right for us.
Quiet sections winding through the woods and then great views of the lake itself.
Now and then we mention state parks that offer cabins for rent.
Not all are as nice as these. There are some in Texas, for example, that are only
a shelter to protect your sleeping bags and equipment.
These , however are first class , waterfront lodging.  They have full kitchens, screened porch,heat pumps, outdoor and indoor fireplaces, grills, and new docks for your boat.
All of that , plus the view, for $115 per night off season. 
In this area, prime season is the summer plus all of October, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

These two are the smaller cabins. There are larger cabins that will sleep about 10 and also have a larger kitchen and washers and driers.
The reason we mention this , is that we know a number of friends and family who travel a bit, or are RVers who may have retired from the road.
State Park rentals can offer a taste of the RV life at beautiful locations, often for less than what a motel on a busy interstate might cost.
Research is important and some rentals are for a week minimum.
The beach is quite large, three lifeguard chairs, well kept white sand, changing area and snacks.
A good sized, but not huge, marina.
Near the office, which is the historical Haven B. Howe House
is this gazebo on the point.
Yes, it is used often for weddings.
A nice view of the lake from the gazebo and also the dam.
Some fishermen just fish from the rocks.
A large fish was caught the few moments we were here.
Lastly, we will mention the activities at Claytor.
The last time we were here, 4 years ago, there were some great ranger activities and campfire for kids during Halloween.
Not all are just for kids.
Note these activities for Memorial Day Weekend.
Come on now, who wouldn't want to join in on
Snake Feeding, S'mores, or Owl Prowl?

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