Day 2 started off with a relatively late start from the Quality Inn. Both of us were pretty tired from the long ride after work into the night. We started off with a big breakfast that would have to carry us straight through to dinner. Our laundry wasn’t dry from the night before so we stashed our clothes in the mesh bag and strapped it on the bike in hopes that it would dry on the way.

Starting from just a mile or so from one of the ends of Skyline Drive we quickly navigated to the entrance and started south on the road through Shenandoah National Park. The 35 mph speed limit didn’t feel too limiting riding two-up on all the curves. Being able to take the time to stop at various rest areas to simply “chill” made for the start of a great trip.

The chilling in this case was both figurative and literal — this was the first of a week worth of nearly record-breaking highs for the area!

As we came to the end of Skyline drive it really started to smell like rain so we stashed the laundry in the pannier. We should have switched gloves too since as soon as we got onto the Blue Ridge Parkway the skies really opened up on us. We made it through the 15-minute storm all nice and dry — except for our hands in the newly soaked gloves.

We got to an overlook over Buena Vista and figured it would be a good time to start looking for some place to sleep for the night.

First off we found something in the Zumo about the Jefferson National Forest and navigated down off the Parkway descending through a few thousand to the valley below. The town seemed strangely quiet for a Saturday night. Despite that we stopped at a gas station/convenience store and picked up some spaghetti and sauce for dinner later.

We found the camp site. Or where the GPS said it was. We didn’t think that knocking on the door of some poor unsuspecting family would be a very kind so we started looking for a plan-B as it started to drizzle on us.

Plan-B wound up being a KOA since it was the nearest alternate campground. Or was that Kampground?

We pulled up to the castle walls and walked into the office. $30 later we had a kamp site in a quiet corner of the campgrounds.

Quiet? (imagine “as the saints come marching in” blaring on the horn of a passing truck)

The truck was pulling a load of kids dressed up as princesses and knights. You can’t forget about the golf cart driven by the dragon either.

I thought they could fly… must be a geriatric dragon in a golf cart and all.

We set up the tent on the pad and started boiling up some water for the pasta. It took far longer than I figured it would. Then I noticed that the two pots were still nested together. Doh! The pool pack towel between them was pretty carbonized as well.

In every battle a few must fall.

I kept kicking myself about that gaff for hours afterward.

Eventually the water came to a boil and the pasta was cooked up despite my dufus move.

While eating we started hearing some music. And singing. Questionable singing.

Ahh — the ice cream social and karaoke.

$3 later and I had a big bowl of the good stuff.

Walking back to the tent we found ourselves talking to some campers from a neighboring site. They came with an RV and we spent a while talking about our adventures. They had come north up the parkway and were visiting family and friends out east — sometimes staying at campgrounds, sometimes with family. They warned us that a bit south of Asheville there’s a detour that annoyed them quite a bit. They were only a week or so into their month-long vacation. This is the type of thing I want to do when I retire.

We wished each other safe travels and walked back to the the tent. We took a good swig from the flask of scotch and called it a night.

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