Road Trip to D.C. and back (July 5 thru 15)

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by mckeapc67, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. mckeapc67

    mckeapc67 New Member

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    I had posted a thread previously (http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=58427.msg488110#msg488110) about making the reservations for our trip.

    We'll be pulling out in 2 days (July 5) not to return home for 10 days (July 15) for the longest trip we've ever taken with the PUP. Longest in both the time (10 nights) and distance (1100+ miles each way).

    We'll spend the 4th packing the PUP and will pull out after breakfast on the 5th. Here's the base itinerary (subject to change on the fly):

    [PUC] [TV] - Head out from home (Slidell, LA) toward Atlanta and then head north on I-85 toward South Carolina.

    [PU] - Pop up when we are tired of driving (hopefully near the GA/SC state line) for our first over-nighter.

    [PUC] [TV] - After Breakfast, continue north toward Raleigh where we'll catch I-95 toward Richmond, VA.

    [PU] - Again, pop up and spend the second over-nighter (hopefully near Richmond).

    [PUC] [TV] - On the third day, the plan is to visit Williamsburg, VA and then head on to D.C. (Cherry Hill Park in College Park, MD).

    [PU] - If all goes smoothly, we'll be in the D.C. area on Saturday evening and will tour the D.C. area for 5 days from the Cheery Hill base.

    [PUC] [TV] - On Friday 13th (no, we're not superstitious) we'll head back toward home. This is where the trip will get more fuzzy. I'm leaning toward a grand tour of the western side of the Smokey's on the way home if we feel up to more sight seeing. I'm leaning toward driving through the Shenandoah National Park (Skyline Drive) for the first leg.

    [PU] - Pop-up for another over-nighter (location TBD on-the-fly)

    [PUC] [TV] - We may head through West Virginia into Kentucky and then south through Tennessee toward home.

    [PU] - Pop-up for another over-nighter (location TBD on-the-fly)

    [PUC] [TV] - Head south towards home.

    Barring any travel woes, we will be home on the evening of July 15 . . .

    All of you PUP'ers out there, keep an eye out for us on the road. We'll be in our Red Expedition pulling the toyhauler PUP. Who knows, maybe someone will spot our Travel Bug (http://www.geocaching.com/track/details.aspx?tracker=TB481H9) and log the discovery. If any of you see us on the road, be sure to post the sighting here as well.
     
  2. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    If you have time, the trip down Skyline Drive through Shenandoah NP, then down the Blue Ridge Parkway the remainder of the way to the Great Smoky Mountains, is an experience of a lifetime. The parkway is one of the great motor roads of the world, and takes you through landscapes of remarkable beauty. All along the way are "parks" (basically parkway recreation areas) with picnic areas, campgrounds, and service areas.

    It's not fast traveling--you'll want two or preferably three days to enjoy the experience at it's best--but it's one of the greatest things America has to offer. It's 469.4 miles of spectacular scenery. I'm posting some photos of it on another thread.

    Whatever you decide, have a great time!
     
  3. mckeapc67

    mckeapc67 New Member

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    We've driven part of the Blue Ridge between the Great Smokey Mtn National Park and Asheville. It is a beautiful ride.

    I love visiting the Smokeys and will drive the entire Blue Ridge some time when we can make that our vacation and do it justice over like a week. Probably not this trip though.
     
  4. fmbhappycamper

    fmbhappycamper PuP Power

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    That sounds like an awesome Vacation, Stay safe and Have a Blast [8D]
     
  5. fallsrider

    fallsrider Active Member

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    That will be a great vacation. D.C. is such a wonderful place to visit. The Metro makes getting around so easy, and there's so much history there. So much to see.

    Have a great trip.
     
  6. Steve A

    Steve A A bad day camping beats a great day at work!

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    You'll enjoy the Cherry Hill location. The bus comes to the CG and will deliver you to the trains/metro. I stayed there spring of 2011.

    Walking shoes, camera and water. DC is in the serious H³ zone (Hazy, Hot & Humid).
     
  7. hvac1877

    hvac1877 Old Dominion Iron Chefs Highland Springs, Va

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  8. mckeapc67

    mckeapc67 New Member

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    We survived D.C. [:D]

    The trip went relatively smoothly. The trip up was nice.

    Spent the first night at Lake Hartwell State Park in South Carolina. This SP has very nice, shady/wooded, and mostly level camp sites. The bath house was showing age and needs to be updated. Since it was just an overnight stay (in around 7 p.m. and out by 8 a.m.) we didn't get to look around the park much. It does look like a nice place to spend a couple days, though.

    Our second night was Pocohontas State Park in Virginia. We really liked this campground. Too bad it's a 2 day drive from home. The bath houses were not air conditioned, but otherwise, it was very nice. The camp sites were nice and level. The staff was very friendly. Again, it was an over night stay (in around 6 p.m. and out by 8 a.m.).

    We visited Jamestown on the 3rd day and then went on in to DC. Traffic on I-95 into the D.C. area was quite slow. We also had a car do a spin-out from a blown tire in front of us in the D.C. area. I had noticed that they had a bad tire (probably an egg from the wobble/bounce) so we were staying back from them. Our brakes & trailer brakes performed flawlessly to avoid the crash. That would have been a very bad start to our visit.

    The Cherry Hill park in D.C. (College Park) was very nice. I would definitely recommend it for anyone staying in the area. Our camp site was shaded and level. The bath houses were nice (although no A/C) and the campground staff were very friendly and helpful. Having the Metro Bus pick us up right in the park was a great benefit.

    On our trip home, we drove through the Shenandoah National Park on Skyline Drive. It was a beautiful drive and we got to see a few bear and deer along the way. We then cut west through the mountains into West Virginia. The trip through the mountains was a bit more than I expected and took a bit longer than expected due to rain. We decided to catch a hotel room for the night since it was getting late. Unfortunately, the rooms were mostly booked with power company workers from the storms up there; so, we ended up with a much later stop than we wanted once we found a room. But, I wasn't up for finding a campground and setting up in the dark and rain either.

    The next day we headed west through Lexington, KY and then south toward Nashville, TN. Our second night coming home, we stopped at a private campground (Campers RV campground) in Tennessee south of Nashville. It would probably be an OK campground for over night in a TT or motor home, but I wouldn't recommend it for PUPs (The bath house was not very good). It worked out OK, for us, though. Next time, we'll drive the extra few miles to the State Park or find a better private campground.

    The rest of the trip home was pretty uneventful except for one of the coil packs going out in the TV. Not a big deal since the swap out is easy (only a slightly burned finger). Our Expedition looses one of these periodically; so, it wasn't really a big surprise and I was prepared my tool kit. About an hour delay on the trip to get the part and swap it out. There was a DQ (Dairy Queen) close by so the kids were happy. [;)]

    Overall, it was a nice trip. Got to see a lot of stuff in D.C. and scoped out some nice areas to visit in the future for more relaxed vacations through the SE USA. Got to see some very pretty country on the drive.
     
  9. gec66

    gec66 Active Member

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    Glad it all went well. Nothing like being prepared for those little surprises that seem to happen on long trips!
     
  10. Campit

    Campit EAT SLEEP CAMP

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    Sounds like y'all had a good time. Aren't you glad you didn't drive around in DC and took the Metro instead? Also glad you got to see alittle of what the great state of Virginia has to offer. We have beaches, mountains, battlefields, history, theme parks and great fishing. Hope y'all can visit this way again sometime. :)


    Campit
     
  11. Steve A

    Steve A A bad day camping beats a great day at work!

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    I'm not a fan of crowded camping, but Cherry Hill was a perfect location from which to base yourself and visit DC.

    Glad you had a safe trip and certainly glad you knew what to do with the dead coil pack.
     

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