We wanted to begin leg two of our trip early so we could get as far west as possible. John wanted to leave sometime around 0400 but we didn´t wake up until 0440. Packing was a breeze because most of that had been done the week prior, but we still had to get dressed and say our goodbyes to Randal. We assured him we would be back!
Hitting the road at 0638 wasn´t bad considering and the traffic was great. Down I64 to Frank´s Truck stop and then over the Monitor-Merrimac Bridge Tunnel we went. Our plans were to head west on 64 through Virginia and West Virginia.
As I said, traffic was great in the morning ... well it was great all day. We stopped for lunch around 1030 and ate our pre-made ham sandwiches Sissy had prepared before departure. They were cool from sitting inside our 12 volt cooler in the back seat, and were a welcome treat considering the temperature was pushing 90 most of the morning.
Approaching the mountains we experienced 90± temperature and 90± humidity ... boy was it hot! The truck drove fine and the air-conditioner was cranking. Mountain driving through West Virginia was totally different from driving through the Rockies. They know how to build roads in the west! East Coast mountains have 7% grades for miles at a time, and the curves make you feel like you´re driving in a Formula One race.
We were getting tired around 1600 and decided to call it a day. Sissy looked up the campgrounds around Huntington, West Virginia, and we decided on Beechfork State Park. The Traveler´s Guide said the campground was 4 miles off I64 and the road sign said it was 8.5 miles. Actually, it was about 20 miles SE of I64 from Huntington through a very narrow and winding road. The 35 MPH speed limit signs were deceiving as we were able to make 15 MPH most of the way.
Beechfork State Park was a very nice park with many campsites (full hook-up, electric only or dry). We estimated the park being about 50% full. We drove through the park looking for a site to park the rig because John knew that was the procedure at state parks. After parking, the ranger would come to our site and collect the money. Well, there were about 2 dozen signs throughout the park telling visitors to go to the office and check in prior to occupying any site. So off we went back to the office.
There was a small line in the office, but we waited our turn to be served. The first words from the ranger´s mouth were telling us to go select and setup on a site then come back to the office and pay. John, knowing he was right all along, informed the ranger about the signs, but that didn´t matter. We were off again to select a site. The full hook-up sites were $2.00 more than the electric only so we opted for full hook-up.
After parking the rig and taking the bike out, we went for a ride to the office and then around the park for pics. The sky was threatening and we could hear thunder in the distance. That really didn´t matter to us because we were off again on our Adventure Across America, and a little rain wasn´t going to ruin it. After our ride it was back to the site for a hotdog dinner and then socializing with the neighbors. It never did rain!
We met a guy from Mississippi, who had been nursing his 15 year old dog all day, and another family from Jacksonville, Florida (Dave and Theresa). Dave had taken his family on a 3 week vacation and was planning to stay at Beechfork for 11 days with his wife and 4 kids (2 his, 1 hers and 1 their´s). Boy what fun!!!
We checked out Dave´s rig (Coleman tent trailer) and tipped a few before heading back home at dark. The bugs were beginning to come out and we were bushed from the long day driving. A little television and it was time for the sack.
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