Quickie in Roanoke

At the end of the family weekend at Peaks of Otter Kate, Dazey, and I ran down to Roanoke for a day trip.

Blue Ridge Parkway

To get from Peaks of Otter to Roanoke the quickest route is on the Blue Ridge Parkway which you can learn all about here at the wikipedia’s. There are lots of great views on the road and they built a crap ton of pull off spots for you to get out take photos and have lunch. Please don’t stop in the middle of the road to look that views.

Kate and Dazey on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Roanoke Rolling with Grass
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8

Dazey looks at Kate and Roger being crazy on Blue Ridge Parkway to Roanoke Rolling with Grass
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8

Rolling in Roanoke

We stopped in Roanoke for a beer and walked around downtown. Its a pretty cool town and a place I would be interested in exploring more.

Kate and Dazey in Roanoke Rolling with Grass
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8

Peaks of Otter Fall Weekend

I have always heard that fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a sight to behold, but being from Colorado I always took the attitude that altitude was better. It turns out I was wrong and the Blue Ridge Mountains really are a sight to behold in the fall. Kate’s family has been coming to this area for decades to hike up Peaks of Otter and remember family and friends. This year Kate and I were able to join them and got a few photos.

Peaks of Otter

What a strange name right? Apparently there have never actually been Otters in this area. The names likely come from Scottish settlers in the 1700’s who named the places after their homeland. Here is the wikipedia page talking about the Peaks of Otter. We hiked up the second highest one called Sharp top cause guess why? The rocks on top are sharp and stuff.

View of Sharp Top Mountain at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10 2014
Canon 60d 50mm – ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/60th sec
Grass family at visitor center of Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/60th sec
Grass family on top of Sharp Top Mountain at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d Tokina 11-16 – ISO 160, 16mm, f/14, 1/60th sec

Abbott Lake at Peaks of Otter Lodge

At the foot of Sharp Top is the visitor center and next to that is Abbott Lake and the Lodge. At the Lodge on Thursday through Sunday night you might catch some live local bluegrass musicians, highly recommended.

There is a huge field of grass next to the lake and visitor’s center so we had Photos with Grass on the grass! Its an agronomists delight!

Bill Kate and Dazey getting crazy at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 500, f/8.0, 1/125th sec

Dazey Kate and Fall at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/800th sec
Dazey and Kate playing at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 320, f/8.0, 1/125th sec
Roger Kate and Dazey at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/400th sec
The whole famn damily on Abbott Lake footbridge at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 160, f/5.0, 1/100th sec

Campground Info and Map

There are 52 RV spots in this campground. They are not the most level and there is no hookups. They do have dump stations and potable water available but not at any of the individual sites. It was pretty chilly when we were there so make sure your propane is filled up too.
The drive into the camp is narrow and winding. If you take the 43 from west of Bedford it gets pretty hairy in places with less than no shoulder on some turns. I would advise not taking that route if possible.
Contact Information:
PEAKS OF OTTER CAMPGROUND
10454 Peaks Road
Bedford, VA 24523
Phone Number: (540)586-7321
Website for Peaks of Otter Campground

Sunrise RV Campsite in the trees at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

View down rv campground parkway at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8
Nighttime RV campsite at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

And here they are your moments of Zen…

Sunrise through the trees at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8

Sun through trees at Peaks of Otter Rolling with Grass VA 10-2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8

Jordan Lake North Carolina State Park

One word for this campground: beautiful
Seriously this place is nothing but beauty everywhere you go. The first day we arrived we were greeted with a pretty solid downpour that flooded our campground. Another advantage of being in an RV is that even if there is standing water you are still dry and with a 20 foot wide awning you can sit under a strong storm comfortably.

First Campground with Dazey

Davey Rolling with Grass Campground Jordan Lake NC Fall 2014
iPhone 4s ISO 64, 4.28mm, f/2.4, 1/120th sec

After picking up our newest family member, Dazey, in Asheboro we went straight to this campground. Nothing like trial by fire right? The good news is that she felt at home in the trailer right away and enjoyed running around camp on her leash. She is a camping dog at heart and is ready to rock and roll.

Short drive to Raleigh

Kate and Dazey Grass of Rolling with Grass at Trophy Brewing Co in Raleigh NC Fall 2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 100, f/8, 1/60th sec

The lake is just 20 miles from Raleigh, NC where we drove in for a cheeseless pizza at Trophy Brewing Co.

Hanging out with family

While there was some cell phone connection at the lake it wasn’t strong which meant we couldn’t watch any video. Perfect for hanging out with family and catching up on stories or taking photos by the lake.

Rolling with Grass family at Jordan Lake NC Fall 2014
Canon 60d 50mm – ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/60th sec

Homey at Apex

If you need any hardware supplies there is a Home Depot about 9 miles down the road:

Jordan Lake Campground Info

Rolling with Grass Campsight 2014 at Jordan Lake NC
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/60th sec

We stayed Monday till Thursday and the park was pretty much empty. By Thursday it started filling up though and the weekends are pretty packed when the temperatures are warm here. If you can avoid the weekends.
$25 per night
Register at the main ranger station.
Tons of sites, many with electric and water hookups.
Dump station at the entrance of the campground. Multiple drains with rinse water.
(919) 362-0586
jordan.lake@ncparks.gov
280 State Park Road, Apex, NC 27523
GPS: 35.7369, -79.0169
Website – http://ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/jord/main.php

Sunrise and sunset

And here they are, your moments of zen…

Rolling With Grass at Jordan Lake Sunrise Mist Water Trees Small Shot
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 125, f/8.0, 1/30th sec

Our campsite was all of 30 feet from the lake’s edge. So I was able to stroll easily down and get some nice photos of the sunrise and sunset on the water.

Rolling with Grass Sunrise Mist Shore Jordan Lake NC Fall 2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 320, f/7.1, 1/60th sec
Rolling with Grass Birds Water sunset Jordan Lake NC Fall 2014
Canon 60d 50mm – ISO 6400, f/4.0, 1/50th sec
Sunset Water Trees Jordan Lake NC Fall 2014
Canon 60d 50mm f1.8 – ISO 100, f/10, 25 sec

Harvest host at Sander’s Ridge Vineyard in NC

On our way to see family in Raleigh, NC we spent a night at a Harvest Host member farm in northern North Carolina. After a quick stop at a nearby RV park for fresh water we made our way to the Sanders Ridge Vineyards where they had us park a few hundred feet from the restaurant building in a field adjacent to their vinyards as you can see in the main photo for this post above.
Roger and Kate of Rolling with Grass sampling wines at Sanders Ridge Vineyards
Sanders Ridge is a family owned and operated vineyard with a variety of wines to choose from. We naturally sampled all ten that were currently available. They were all tasty and unique wines and following the Harvest Host recommendation we purchased a few bottles for future consumption.

However since we didn’t have far to walk to get home we went ahead and enjoyed a bottle on their deck while a light rain fell around us.
Kate of Rolling with Grass Enjoys wine in the rain at Sanders Ridge Vineyards
They also have a 15 line zip-line setup which we will definitely be back to experience but this trip we didn’t have a lot of time and headed out the next morning.

Even if you aren’t RVing Sander’s is worth stopping for. The wines are delicious and they have a gourmet restaurant on site. When we went they were having a painting course for about 15 participants.

Upsie Dazey!

When we lost Zeke on October 1st Kate and I separately started looking at different dog rescue websites in Ohio and the surrounding areas including North Carolina. We knew that the best way to remember Zeke would be to rescue another dog that was in the same situation as him. What better way to honor his life than by giving someone else the same love and attention?

One problem we immediately encountered was that most rescue organizations will not even consider an out of state adoption let alone one from a fulltime RV couple with a constantly changing address. Kate was undaunted though and after a week or so of searching found Claire at The Fort Rescue in North Carolina. The Fort has been around since 2012 focused on rescuing Pit Bull breeds and were open to adopting to people in our situation. Kate emailed them about our situation and Zeke’s recent passing and they replied immediately and enthusiastically that it would not be a problem for us to adopt one of their rescue dogs.

The main reason Kate reached out to The Fort was because of Claire. Besides being really cute Claire was also good with other dogs, children, and pretty much super relaxed. Since we are travelling the country in a trailer we need someone who can handle all types of situations with ease and it looked like she would fit that bill without a problem.

Jake Kate Dazey Karen and Abby First Meeting at The Fort Rescue in North Carolina
Jake Kate Dazey Karen and Abby First Meeting at The Fort Rescue in North Carolina

So on Monday October 13th 2014 on our way to Raleigh North Carolina we stopped by The Fort and met Claire, her foster family, and Jake (the owner of The Fort). We spend a couple of hours learning about her past. Apparently during one of The Fort’s adoption events a volunteer found her and her puppies in a garbage dumpster. They rescued her and treated her for a number of infections and parasites and fostered her to Karen and Abbey who cared for her while they searched for a forever home. Thats when we showed up.

Photo of Kate and Dazey talking
Dazey and Kate having their first conversation at The Fort Rescue

When we first met Claire she immediately wanted to get into our truck which we took as a good sign. She is about 40 pounds but has the strength of a dog twice her size. She doesn’t bark and only cries lightly when she needs to go potty. She is a cuddler and love bug and loves getting pets and snacks. When we drove away she immediately stood up on the center console and let us know she was keeping an eye on the road with us.

Photo of Kate and Dazey first ride in the truck.
Kate and Dazey first ride in the truck.

We knew from the start that she was going to get a new name to keep Kate’s tradition of naming her dogs with a ‘Z’ in their name. After throwing a few different ideas around we decided on Dazey since she is beautiful like a flower and she accepted it right away. So now Claire is Dazey and we are “Driving Miss Dazey” and we get to say “Upsie Dazey” when she gets into the truck. Its a good time for all.

Photo of Dazey and Maizey playing on the floor.
Dazey and Maizey playing on the floor.

As you can see we haven’t had any problems getting some good photos and are pretty sure this will be a regular tradition moving forward.

If you are thinking of getting a dog or cat please find a rescue like Dazey or Zeke. They need your love.

PS – If you cannot adopt consider donating to a rescue organization or volunteering.