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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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
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
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.
Homey at Apex
If you need any hardware supplies there is a Home Depot about 9 miles down the road:
Jordan Lake Campground Info
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 email@example.com 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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.