We are on week two of being in Virginia. It was so nice not to have to pack up and drive anywhere this week! We are defiantly going to enjoy staying at campgrounds for longer periods of time and have even talked about staying at a campground for a whole month. We have our trip planned through the month of December so we will see what happens during that time.
Over the weekend and the beginning of this week the weather was rainy and chilly. We decided it would be a perfect time to donate blood as we were overdue to donate by a month. Virginia Blood Services has a location fifteen minutes from the campground so we made an appointment for Monday.
The staff was super nice, took good care of us, and they even gave us each a T-shirt. They loved our story and are now following the blog! It’s so great when we can reach out to different people while doing everyday activities. For those who do not know, I am a big believer in donating blood. It comes from me being a nurse and having several family members and friends lives being saved from blood donations. Brad and I donate as often as we can and have been doing this for many years. One blood donation can save up to three lives so if you can donate blood, please go out today to save a life!
Since we’d donated and the weather wasn’t the best, we took it easy the first part of the week. Outside, lots of the colorful leaves had fallen, making the trees and mountains look bare. Even though Brad and I keep busy with work in the morning and early afternoon, we decided that camping in the rain isn’t fun. We normally take a walk or explore the area in the afternoon, but when it rains that doesn’t happen. We still get in our 10,000 steps everyday, but it’s not as fun running errands to get them in vs. hiking in the forest.
By Thursday, the sun was back out and the temperature was warm. Yea! Brad was able to golf, keeping up with his streak to golf every month. Later that evening, we went on the Blue Ridge Parkway and saw that we were at the official start of the Parkway, which was pretty cool. We had been on the Parkway in North Carolina many years ago so it was nice to see scenery different from that.
On Saturday, we wanted to get in a good hike and also wanted to be back to the campground in time for the trick-or-treaters. We went to Shenandoah National Park and as we checked in with the ranger, he told us about a short hike with great valley views. We decided it would be best to get the short hike out of the way because after the longer hike we might not want to do anymore hiking. The ranger was true to his word that the hike was short (1 mile) and we got great views of the fall foliage, mountains, and valley. The longer hike we went on was a combo of three trails. We started on the Appalachian Trail (AT) going steadily down. The trail then connected to the Browns Gap Fire Road and the John Runs Falls Trail that had multiple waterfall views along the way. The last two miles of the trail were all up hill and we ended up totaling 7.6 miles.
It was nice that the campground was hosting trick-or-treating and a haunted hayride. They closed the roads down within the campground and many neighborhood kids came to the campground. Brad and I are both not into scary movies or haunted houses and we thought about going on the hayride, but by the time the kids were done trick-or-treating, we were cold and ready to head in for the night.
We are off to North Carolina for two weeks where we will see Brad’s parents again and my younger sister will come to visit. Plans so far are to go to Blowing Rock, NC, drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and maybe even go cave exploring.