Friday, April 13, 2012

Get me my brown pants. . .

Terry jokes about the biggest challenge on the road through West Virginia. At Pluto Road, we reach the top of Sandstone Mountain which is the highest peak on the road. I think it is about 2700 feet. At the top of the climb up to Pluto Road is a mandatory truck lot where all trucks are required to pull in and check their brakes. The reason being that once you leave this lot, you have a 5 mile, 7% grade with three 90-degree curves and two runaway truck ramps.

We have traversed this road probably at least a dozen times, but it is still a daunting drive. I have been known to lay awake at night worrying about it. I didn't last night, but it certainly was on my mind all day today. Last summer we had new brakes put on the front of the motorhome and we have a new braking system for our toad which should all help with slowing down. We always stop at the top in the truck lot mainly so that when we start down the hill we are doing so from a stopped position and not already rolling at 45 mph, the maximum speed for trucks. Today was a great run down the hill. I had done some reading up on the Allison Transmission and thought some tips I learned might be better for the downhill run. . . and, of course, we have the exhaust brake as well. Turns out it was the slowest trip down we have ever made and I didn't have to do much to keep Phaeton Place right where I wanted her. Cha-Ching!!!!!

Later we stopped at a rest are just inside Virginia so we could get some tourist literature. Since we have two days before we go to Charlottesville, we thought we might check out some local points of interest. We had been traveling through smoke for several miles, sometimes heavy, sometimes light. The gals in the visitor's center said 10,000 acres of wildfires were burning in Virginia and 7,000 acres were burning in West Virginia. Oh my. As we rolled on, we ran into more smoke and we could actually see what looked like actual fires, but we could only see the smoke curling up at the tops of the trees. I would imagine at night, these flames would be visible.

We got off the interstate near Greenville, Virginia, to get to Stoney Creek Camp around 2 p.m. Then we had to traverse several miles through the beautiful Virginia countryside to get to Lake Drive which goes back to the camp. Previous reports about this being a rough road were not totally accurate. I'm not sure calling it a road is accurate. At one time it was paved, but the only asphalt left is a strip down the middle and it is all busted up, etc. Once you hit the clearing and see the lake and the camp, it is beautiful. However, getting back to the camp is a bit disappointing. Campsites are randomly laid out in this very rustic camp. It's too bad they've never heard of grading the landscape. We had to back up over a dip, then a rise to get into our site and we are not level. But we are level enough and will be here for two nights.

It was warm when we got here and it is to continue to warm up during our stay in Virginia. Yeah! Tomorrow we head over to Charlottesville (C-ville) and the young ones. Can't wait to see the kids and preemie baby Aenea who is strong and doing well at almost five weeks since her birth. Ronan turns five next week. Life is good.

Till next time. . .


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