Lynchburg Redeems Virginia for Us
After our quick stay near Richmond, VA we drove down to the Thousand Trails park near Lynchburg. And when I say near Lynchburg I actually mean like 30 minutes away. Nestled back about 5 miles off the main road in Rustburg, VA the park was very much off the beaten path. Beautiful drive, though!
We got there right before Labor Day weekend and barely found a spot to fit our monster rig. It was packed. After squeezing into the spot and starting to get setup we noticed that the polarity was inversed on the 30 amp plug. Thankfully our surge protector caught it and wouldn't let us turn the power on. I found the maintenance guy and he was able to fix it for us - which was a huge relief because it would have been a pain to move.
The next day or so were pretty crazy there, but as soon as the holiday was over nearly everyone left. After that is was really quiet and relaxing.
This was our second Thousand Trails park - and after Sturbridge, MA we were really hoping for a drastic change in quality. This one was definitely better, but still pretty meh. I still can't tell if the membership is worth the yearly cost. We need to stay at a few more.
It wasn't all bad, though. There was a decent sized pond that was really pretty during sunrise and sunset, the staff was helpful and it was very peaceful once the holiday crowd had left.
We did have some issues - they closed the pool the day after Labor day when it was still 90 degrees out. We took the kids down there and it was closed because they had run out of chemicals. Ada cried. They lost points that day. They only had 30 amp hookups everywhere so we couldn't run both AC's when it was hot. Our spot caught a ton of rain washout - several times we had inches of mud on our rugs that we had to clean off. Having more gravel on the lot would have helped a lot.
All that being said, we really liked Lynchburg. Remember when we tried Virginia back during the summer and hated it? Lynchburg redeemed it. Why? Two words: Bike Trails. Someone had the genius idea to take several old railroads, turn them into bike trails and connect them to the downtown area.
We rode past waterfalls, over bridges and through tunnels. We saw deer, birds and all kinds of other animals. The trails were really well maintained and pretty easy to get to. This worked out really great for us because Jax had just started to ride his bike on his own and we wanted him to do the Virginia Creeper trial in a couple of weeks. He was able to get in lots of practice and grow his confidence.
We didn't realize it until we got there, but Lynchburg is a college town! Liberty University sits high on the hill and the surrounding area was packed full of shops, restaurants and civilization. So if we ever needed to get out of the RV, a 30 minute drive got us to just about anything we needed.
The Natural Bridge
One weekend we ventured a couple of hours away to the Natural Bridge. If you're not familiar it's a 220 foot tall rock bridge formed naturally when a cave collapsed. Like most places we've gone, the pictures just don't do it justice. The size and scale of the thing are just enormous.
It's a little expensive, but the bridge isn't the only thing there. A short half mile hike gets you to the replica of a Monacan Indian Village. The kids thought this was the coolest thing, and they even had people there explaining how they made rope, pottery and clothes back in the day. We may have spent just as much time in the Indian village as we did gaping at the bridge.
A little further up was an underground cave and a sad little waterfall (though I think it was just the time of year that made it small). All in all, a really cool little place to spend the afternoon.
Making new friends
Life on the road can be lonely. We've been fortunate to meet new and old friends almost everywhere we've gone. Lynchburg was no exception.
The first family we met were actually in the campground with us! We had them over for dinner one night and then went on a bike ride the next night. Our kids were about the same age so they had lots of fun playing together.
There was someone I knew from work conferences that lived in the area and we met up with his family at the Blue Mountain Brewery the night before we left. It was great to catch up, and one of his kids put on a magic show for us. My kids were talking about it for days!
The food was fantastic - and the view was just magical. The sun dipping down over the mountains was a perfect end to our time here.
Next up? The longest bike ride we've attempted yet: The Virginia Creeper Trail.
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