We had one more stop before we headed to New England for the rest of the summer and that was to our nation’s capital.
We found a lovely national park campground that could actually fit our 40ft RV right in the heart of the DC metroplex. The Prince William Forest National Park is about 23 miles (or a 1 1/2 hour drive) from the city in Dumfries, VA. There was a trail that lead straight from the campground into the heart of the park making it easy to hike and bike the trails.
With a two week stay we expected to make multiply trips into the city but after one day of driving in the horrendous DC traffic we decided to spent the rest of our days exploring the park, swimming in the pool, relaxing, and going to Mt Vernon.
As we decided to not brave the traffic twice it made for an epic sightseeing day in DC. We started with a walkabout the Capital building going by the Supreme Court & Library of Congress, then on to the National History Museum. They had just opened their new Fossil Hall with all new displays of the dinosaurs and prehistoric history. It is quite different from the old stuffy museum now with modern interactive displays and new dioramas showing dinosaur behavior. It was very crowded but fun!
After lunch at the Sculpture Garden Cafe it was on to the monuments. Walking down the mall past the Smithsonian Castle we saw the Washington Monument and then decided as we did not want to repeat the long lines in traffic to come back we powered through and saw the rest of the monuments in one day. So it was on to the Jefferson Memorial, the FDR Memorial, Martin Luther King Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. Passing the war memorials on the way … Korean, WWI, WWII …. all in all a 22,000+ step day!!
After several days in the pool to recover, we headed off to Mt Vernon for a day in the countryside. Though they were doing restoration work on the outside of the house we were able to tour the inside, walk the beautiful grounds and had tea with Martha. The gardens were spectacular, the presenters on the farm were knowledgeable, and the animals were cute! You could really understand why George just really wanted to be a gentleman farmer and would return to Mt Vernon at every opportunity.
After a fairly rainy two weeks and high temps we were off to the cooler mountains of New England. On our way we stopped at the Saucony Brewery and Gastropub in Kutztown, PA. This was another Harvest Host location and though we were just parked behind the pub in their parking lot the views of the surrounding fields and the excellent meal made for an enjoyable overnight.
We finally made it to cooler weather when we got to the Adirondack Gateway RV Resort, in Gansevoort, NY. Ahhhh …. finally out of the city congestion and into the mountains and woods! This campground is quite large and is predominately for seasonal campers but we were warmly welcomed and enjoyed chatting with the locals. This would only be a three night stop so were made the best of it with a hike along the High Falls Gorge and then a gondola ride to the top of Whiteface Mountain. The White Mountains are beautiful and definitely worth the stop.
It was then a rainy drive through Vermont and the Green Mountains to New Hampshire. We are trying to take as many of the “blue roads” (off the major highways usually indicated in blue on your maps) and we were able to see much more of the countryside and many, many New England villages. Even though it rained the entire way the views were still spectacular and we were able to stop in a little village and get lunch at a roadside diner.
In NH we stayed at the Twin Mountain/Mt. Washington KOA. This is a nice park with new premium sites with patios, chairs, and lots of space between them (they have several older sections of the park that are quite tight but the sites on top of South hill were great). This stay would be for 5 nights giving us a little more time to explore. We took the Auto Road to the top of Mt Washington on a perfect day (well except for the black fly bites!). It was in the 60’s, sunny, and clear. We could see as far as Maine and Canada! The Auto Road is privately run and cost a bit to drive up but the views are so worth it. We stopped many times on the way back down to not only cool our brakes but to also hike a few trails and take it all in.
And then we had to drive back down the road!
I have been trying to get a glimpse of a moose for years. But alas, even though we took an evening after dinner and drove the back roads we did not see nary a one. I am now convinced they are really mythical creatures!
Flume Gorge at its finest!
It has been wonderful to be back in the heart of nature, enjoying beautiful waterfalls, lush forests, and even the rainy days. We are now in Maine visiting with our wonderful fellow Workampers from Barbeville, John and Lucy. But more on that in our next post!
(Wow, another lonnnggg post! Gotta do this more often!)