We have gotten into the Road Trip scene recently. It's a perfect way to not worry about how much your packing, or stress about catching transportation, or having to navigate overcrowded airports and train stations. WE have been fortunate too! Due to Josh having multiple job trainings we have had the opportunity to road trip through some awesome American country that we wouldn't otherwise have planned to.
Out most recent road trip.....
Raleigh -> Charlottesville -> Bridgewater ->Niagara-on-the-Lake -> Niagara Falls -> Detroit -> Columbus -> Asheville
Our first stop on our most recent road trip was Charlottesville, VA.
We decided it would be fun to camp our first night on the road. In order to have time to set up for the night, before it got dark, we decided West Virginia would be the best place in between Raleigh and our next stop, Canada.
Well..... the first expected, unexpected twist of our journey set in a few days before departure. SNOW! An arctic air was about to fill the skies which meant West Virginia was out of the question. Which leads us to choosing the next realistic best thing. It wasn't a difficult choice to make.... Charlottesville, VA!
I was actually VERY excited about stopping in Charlottesville. I am a huge Dave Matthews Band fan and since he lived and is known to have started his musical career in Charlottesville, VA it was a treat for me to see where his old stomping grounds were. I also grew up with many UVA fans so hearing about it struck at least an interest in seeing the campus at some point despite the fact I wasn't a huge fan myself. These two factors alone were enough to get my excitement up for our change in plans. All was good thus far.
We drove down Highway 15 through Creedmoor which should be a destination in itself. If you get the chance to drive through the hillsides of Virginia definitely take the opportunity because it is truly breathtaking. The majority of our trip Friday afternoon consisted of "ooo's" and "ahhh's" and "look at that!" It was a beautiful drive with breathtaking scenery!
Once we arrived in Charlottesville we knew we wouldn't have an abundance of time. We were camping that evening a little ways down the road in Bridgewater, VA and needed to set up camp before dark. So, we had made a list of priorities. We had a lot to do in a little amount of time. One day I do hope to return and have more time to explore. The town had too much to offer for just a few hours.
First, we drove the beautiful twists and turns up to Monticello, the house of Thomas Jefferson. However, due to time restraints and our lack of desire to pay to get in we decided to save this stop for another trip. Although, it did look beautiful up there on that hillside and I would recommend if you have the time to make a trip out of it.
From there we headed downtown where we found the coolest bookstore, Blue Whale Books which was right next to Millers, the bar made famous by Dave Matthews. This was technically credited for giving him his start. It was fun to see. I had to sing a lyrical tune of "Best of what's around" to pay tribute. I was hoping we would have time to stop by the Trax, known for housing one of his earliest shows and albums. But, time didn't allow. Next trip!
So, after walking through the downtown brick streets, checking out The Jefferson opposite all the street vendors we headed over to UVA. The University of Virginia credited for its rigorous academics was settling into its campus throw downs of the evening. Fraternity and Sororities were dressed to the T heading out for the evening. A concert on the quad filled the campus air with music and guys wearing baseball caps carrying coolers, I'm sure loaded with Diet Cokes and Sprite (or so we would like to think), lined the sidewalks en route to their next destination. It was truly a college scene and the energy was seeping.
Due to the fading sun we decided we needed to make routes out of Charlottesville. So, we headed past the warehouses and train tracks one last time before hitting the open road.
Still surrounded by beautiful landscapes we headed over to Bridgewater, VA where we found a Food Lion to get our camping food for the night.
The road we drove to get to Natural Chimney State Park was like the road to nowhere. Probably one of the top prettiest drives we've taken! We stopped quite a few times just to snap of photo of the landscapes. Absolutely breathtaking!
We thought we were heading to no-mans land until we finally landed at the entrance of Natural Chimney. We were one of two other visitors at the camp that night. But, the camp host was SO welcoming! We had to build a fire out of wood and cook our steak and veggies over the open heat. By the time we finished setting up it was dark and cold. We bundled up, ate our food, got under every blanket we had brought and called it an evening. We had a full day of driving ahead of us.
We are the Best's! Jo and Mo. We have been immensely blessed with many opportunities to see various parts of the world. We live an average, working life in Raleigh, NC but through our many opportunities have developed a passion to see the world. Our goal is to share with other desiring travelers different tips and experiences from around the world as we begin to check them off our bucket list. If anything, we hope to provide a little sense of motivation and adventure to those wishing to embark on their own journey!
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