Two Hams on the Road

Surprise! Hurricane Arthur

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Virginia Beach does not typically get hurricanes this early in the season! We were away for a short time and had not done the routine of picking up all the garden flags, plants, etc. so our neighbors took care of it for us, then called us. Great neighbors!

We spent a weekend at Candy Hill Campground in Winchester VA at one of the monthly campouts with our dealer. We had a great time visiting with folks, and finally saw another Grand Design but since this was a dealer organized campout, it doesn't count. Candy Hill is ok for a one night stop (but expensive) or a group gathering, but not much of a destination.

We traveled a short ways down I81 to stay at Shenandoah Valley Campground in Verona VA. Guess I'd characterize this as a 'country' campground well suited to families with kids. The access road is a typical Virginia curvy, narrow, no shoulders country road, and the roads in the campground are a bit tight. The campground is on the Middle River, and our Golden Molly was happy that she got to swim every day! We also rented tubes and took her down the river with us. She wasn't used to having a life jacket, so she just kept swimming to shore and ended up very happily tubing down in Dave's lap. She also liked the 100s of rabbits in the campground, and the associated tons of flies didn't seem to bother her. Yeah, we will not be returning here.

I was concerned about the drive over the mountain from I81 to the Blue Ridge Parkway on US 501. Dave grew up in Lynchburg VA and is very used to the mountain roads so I was concerned for no reason. We stayed at the NW Lynchburg KOA (formerly Wildwood Campground) over the 4th. We have stayed here since the late 90s (starting with the popup) as a location to visit family. The new owners have done a great job of improving the place. Our daughter joined us for a couple of nights so we got to try the sofa sleeper. She said it was pretty hard, but she slept fine. We did have a scare the last night, kept smelling like 'hot' or 'burning' electronics. We finally narrowed it down to the pantry, where we had put the new outdoor rubber welcome mat Dave's sister gave us. Phew! Guess that is why it is an outdoor mat.

Dave installed 31' fiberglass push up pole using a flag pole buddy for a vertical ham radio antenna (holds a wire). He made 45 contacts, including all of the 13 colony special event stations and a couple of W1AW stations. (To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American Radio Relay League, the league station W1AW is operating special stations from each state this year.) So, the new antenna setup seems to be working very well.

We have not had any other problems with our Reflection. The awning fix seems to be holding just fine. We are now up to 70 nights and nearly 4800 miles. Really looking forward to the next trip through Michigan on our way to the rally.


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