Alternative RV trip

As Jolanda mentioned in the last post, our offshore sailing adventure was put on a hold for this year. So what to do? We decided as we already had our Pickup Camper and the weather was still rather cold in Jersey City to travel South. 

So instead of going for a month to Solomons / Maryland, we decided to go on a road trip to Nashville Tennessee. We took our sailing and I my skydiving gear with us and off we went. I was in charge of driving, skydiving and setting up camp while Jolanda worked.

Jolanda found a website called “Harvest Hosts”, for a small annual fee, you can book one night stays at small businesses like Wineries, Breweries and Local Attractions for free. Only thing is to buy some  of their products, not a problem especially in Wineries and Breweries 🙂

So on May 1st we packed the camper and Luna and off we went.

Fist stop was a Rescue Community Church at Harrisburg Pennsylvania. It was a bit of a residential area but enough space for us to stay the night. Unfortunately it was next to the railroad tracks so even with earplugs you could hear the trains going by all night.  We still had enough sleep and energy to travel to the next called James River Cellars Winery in Glen Allen, VA. On the way there we had to do a conference call at a service stop and we did not realize that Luna escaped and broke free from the leash. After searching for her for about half an hour we saw her behind a fence in the nearby forest,  where she did not find the way back.  Luckily I was able to climb over the fence and got her back. Lesson learned – always watch the cat.

This evening I had to work so Jolanda went for wine tasting at the winery, she told me it was well worth.

On the next day we went to a beautiful campsite called Sherando Lake Recreation Area, a friend of ours recommended the place.It was a beautiful campground with a lake in walking distance. Only downside was that there was no cellphone reception and Jolanda had to send an important email. Must have looked funny us walking around with a phone and a laptop to get a little bit of internet to get the email out. After a good night sleep we did Yoga in the morning and left to our next destination.

On day 4 we booked a stay at the Woodridge Farm Brewery at Lovingston, VA. This was our first stay at a brewery and even Jolanda liked the beer (she is not really a beer drinker).  The Brewery was a bit on top of a hill with an amazing view over the farm and a really nice garden with exotic flowers everywhere. On the next morning we did a quick run around the estate and off we went again.

Unfortunately we had to stay in the area as I needed to pick up my work laptop which was posted to a UPS store at Lynchburg VA. My consulting gig was starting and I needed to get set up for the next client. Luckily we found a tourist office close by where we could stay the night. In the back there was a very nice garden and a baseball field close by where kids were playing in the evening. The next day Jolanda wanted to go strawberry picking as this was recommended by the tourist office lady. The strawberries were very delicious.

Equipped with a load of strawberries and my work laptop we headed further west. Next stop was the Whitebarrel Winery in Christiansburg VA. For dinner we got a very nice pizza and their delicious wine. A quick run in the morning energized us for the journey to Greenville VA.

I found out that there is a skydiving place close by so since I had my gear with me, we stopped by the airport to see if there is any jumping going on. The skydiving place provided us a nice place to stay for the night and I could catch up with the local jumpers. Unfortunately the weather did not comply and after a few hours waiting for the clouds to clear we decided to move on without any skydive.

Now it was time to head to the next campground called Country Girls RV park, which was also recommended by the same cool friend Malisa from our Marina. We had to fill up our water tank and empty our holding tank. The RV park was next to a river, so we had a very nice view over the river and we also went hiking at a creek close by (Deep Creek). In the evening we had our first BBQ.

After staying two days at the RV park, our battery and water tank were full and the holding tank empty we went off to our first farm to stay overnight. The TNMtnFarm in Old Fort TN was in a wide open area which was just for us and the couple of pigs and cows. Also we had the attention of two dogs which were trying to make friends with us. Luna was a bit suspicious and after I found out that one of the dogs destroyed my flip-flops I knew that Luna was right. During the day I was able to watch my favourite football team Eintracht Frankfurt to win the Semi Final in the Europen Cup, thanks to new technology. The weather was perfect and a skydiving place was close by, so I took the chance to make 2 jumps at Skydive Chattanooga, Jolanda was able to hitch a ride to altitude on the co-pilot seat so she was able to enjoy the view from above as well. Super friendly drop zone which great facilities, Jolanda told me that it had the best restrooms she has ever seen at a skydiving place . 

The night we stayed at the Beans Creek Winery at Manchester TN, unfortunately we got stuck in traffic for 2.5hrs (I think a truck flipped over in a sharp corner), so we arrived after the winery closed. The place was besides to a highway so our earplugs provided us a good night sleep. Next day at another Skydiving place called Skydive Tennessee, I managed to do another 2 jumps followed by a wine tasting at the winery we stayed and then we were off to Nashville Tennessee. 

Our next blog will cover our adventures in Nashville and the way back home. At this point we travelled already about 1,200miles in 11 days (see map).

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