Friday night started out kinda late. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we headed out around 6:30 or so, and got to our campground in western VA around 12 midnight. It would have taken less time except that driving on ridiculous curves on mountain roads at night takes more time then in the day. Drew hit a possum! It was sad. The first of many things we killed this trip. Don't worry though, the rest were all bugs (oh, and that one guy...). So we stumble around this campsite in the dark and haphazardly set up camp and I pee in the woods. Things looked better the next morning, aside from the fact that the morons on one side of us were blasting bad alt-rock, then country, way earlier then they should have been. I wandered around a bit, there was a stream that ran along the side of the camp beyond a chunk of forest, and a trail that followed it down a ways. The water was clear and pretty, and the next day we went wading in it.
The rocks were smooth and colorful, very god for skipping, and there were these little shell guys in there at random.
Alot of the bottom of the stream was jutting rock, some looking a bit like it might be petrified wood.
We went to Douthat State Park on Saturday (as well as Sunday), and went canoing, here's Drew looking all happy!
There wasn't a day on this trip when I didn't eat cheese whiz, it was a beautiful thing. We also got delish ice cream at some point. Mmm, ice cream!
We headed back to camp, here's the campsite!
Saturday night we built a fire, and heated up cans of soup and made smores. It's amazing how good a cans of soup taste when you've built the fire to heat them yourself and you're dead exhausted and starving!
So at some point we were driving around, and there were these dogs, like 5 of them, just hanging out near the road. Ah, the country.
There were a few guys with very strong accents staying in a camper kinda near where we were camped, sunday morning one wanders over and offers up some corn they're not gonna finish off. So I'm all like 'yeah! free corn!'.
Sunday we did a bit of hiking on the trails, here's a view of the lake we had canoed on.
Not as much hiking done as we'd hoped on Sunday, turned out we were actually really exhausted. So we were feeling stinky and had already pre-decided to get a hotel room, and it ended up being for that Sunday night. It was just off I-81, and had a great view and a conveniently located restaurant where I decided to redneck it up and got country fried steak and okra!
Here's the view from the hotel:
Said hotel had resident dogs, which Drew took a great liking to! Here's his redneck shot with the beer and the dog!
A few more dog shots:
The shower I took Sunday night was one of the best showers I'd taken in a long time. Ah the joys of washing off 2 days of stink! We played some Magic that night, I should note that I schooled Drew good in the 2 games we played, where I crushed him with my mighty cattle! Well, I also suspect there was a strong pile of luck at hand as well.
So, Monday was our big day to go to Natural Bridge. We get there bright and early only to discover that it's apparently $12 a person to see it. This made us cranky, as it is a rock formation and we'd seen many other rock formations at the top of mountains, quite nice ones I might add, for free. So we walked down as far as we could go without admission and took a picture. It's hidden just behind that tree, you can see the side of it even!
We then dumped some colored Goldfish into a nearby stream and watched the little fishies fight over the pieces.
After acquiring some overpriced sunglasses and dessert products from the gift shop, we moved on to some of the more pertinant tourist attractions of the area. And by 'moving on', I mean 'gazing from the side of the road at some really bizarre decrepid things'! This place ha probably been closed since the early 80's I'm sure.
We took a side trip to England.
Oh wait, no we didn't! For it was merely...
It was very stylin'.
Upon recommendation from Charlie at work, I'd decided to seek out the legendary dinosaurs v/s the civil war exhibit, and indeed we found it. AKA Dinosaur Kingdom, it was as cheesy as anticipated.
Watch out, Drew!
Mmm delicious soldiers.
This guy looks constipated!
What a wedgie!
An obligatory picture of myself, whereupon I wear the anti-camping outfit.
Beef, it's what's for dinner!
Also in the price of admission was a monster museum (but really more of a haunted house), which was also entertaining, especially as our 'guide' was in character. It actually made both of us jump several times!
I've no clue why there was a giant chicken on the porch for this place.
After our shenanigans in the Natural Bridge area, we decided to head over to West Virginia, in the hopes of securing some sort of white water rafting. We drive over, and we end up on some 1 lane road going 1 way, so that if a car starts coming from the other direction you had to go drive 1/2 on the gravel curb. And this was a road marked on a US map, oh the insanity! We tried one campground, only to find that they didn't allow multiple things we were interested in, like no gathering of firewood and no alcohol. So we tried another one, drove up a ridiculous hill of gravel that made my car cry to find a redneck haven, decided it wasn't the place for us and drove back down, only to then see the 'closed' sign'. The 3rd campsite, i.e. the one we actually ended up staying at, was rather decent. Had facilities and all that and was nice and isolated, especially since we were one of 2 groups of people staying there. Made a big ole fire, cooked hot dogs and smores and corn and it was all very tasty.
We barely slept that night, due to it being much colder then we'd planned for. Next day we got up early, reserved a rafting trip, and left to discover that they were located 1/4 of a mile from where we were staying, how convenient!
The rafting itself was one of the most awesome things I've ever done, and I totally wanna do it again. We went on the New River, which is beautiful as it's at the bottom of the aptly named New River Gorge. We did class 3-5 rapids, the trip lasted for several hours. We stopped 1/2way through, first to jump off of a ridiculously high rock into the water, it was terrifying as I'd never jumped off anything that high before. Then we ate lunch, provided by them, and continued on our merry way. Drew got a ridiculous sunburn, and I got hit on (?) or at least more attention then I was expecting from some high school kid from Chester that was sitting beside me who babbled at random about anime and, well, nothing at all. He asked me if I was still in high school, I gave the vague answer of 'nah, I'm working now' rather then 'I graduated from college 4 years ago'. We drove back, eating at a mildly mediocre restaurant in Lexington along the way, and then I slept like a baby.