Friday, Day 10 – Travel day to Ashland, Virginia
Today we wrapped up our trek up US-17 that has brought us from Charleston, South Carolina, through Myrtle Beach, up past the Outer Banks to Virginia Beach. A nice scenic route, 4-lane for the most part, and a nice departure from the tedium of I-95. In Virginia Beach and heading North you have a choice of taking US-13 and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel to continue along the Coast or turning Northwest onto I-64 up through Colonial Williamsburg to I-295 around Richmond to points North and West.
We would have preferred the Chesapeake Bay/bridge experience but being Memorial Day weekend and the official start of the Summer camping season for many, we couldn’t locate a campground that wasn’t booked for the weekend.
I-64 did give us some interesting travel time as well with it’s own tunnel under a portion of the Bay. Long tunnels with 13’6″ clearances are NOT Niki’s favorite travel experiences. Not a problem though as our 5th Wheel is only 12’6″. That’s a whole 12″ to spare.
We did have to make a “comfort” stop shortly after the tunnel and found an exit claiming to offer a “tourist information center”. Now, those can sometimes be tricky. Some info centers offer huge parking areas, snack and picnic areas, comfort facilities and smiling helpful people. A beacon for weary travelers. The “other” tourist information centers may be a single building along a busy street with parking on a first-come basis. Well, with this one we found the busy street part but never did find the information center. We ended up just pulling off the street using 4 or 5 parking spaces to get the job done. Thankfully our semi-trusted GPS, “Thomasina” (Tom-Tom with a female voice), routed us back onto I-64 with no muss, fuss, or other police interaction. I don’t know about your GPS but we have on occasion had Thomasina usher us to closed back gates and some interesting back-up challenges.
We arrived at the Richmond North KOA Campground in mid-afternoon. The trip took 3-1/2 hours and 149 miles. This campground is located 8 miles North of Richmond just off Exit 89 of I-95. The campground has approximately 200 campsites, three-quarters of which are pull-thrus, FHU, with 30/50amp, free wifi and cable. The roads and pads are gravel. Each has a picnic table and most have fire rings. The price is $45/night with the 10% Good Sam or AAA discount. Note: If just stopping for the night you might choose the Kosmos Campground which we reviewed last year (http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/kosmopark.htm). It’s the same I-95, Exit 89 and $15/night less.
If you do make a stopover here at either campground, we highly recommend the Italian food at Guido’s just down the road; on the other hand, stay clear of the China Star Chinese restaurant. We found nothing redeemable about the place, neither atmosphere, food or service!
Saturday, Day 11
A day of rest and relaxation and shopping at the local Pet Smart and Wally World.
Sunday, Day 12
Our plans to tour Richmond today were postponed for another time. Our GPS died so we had to shop for a new one. Niki bought the new one for our team so Jack treated at Applebee’s. On the way home we filled the tank at a Shell station near the campground. $3.35/Gal.here, just up the road at the I-95 Exit it’s $3.49. It pays to get away from the Interstate exits and pay what the locals do.
Tomrrow, Monday, we’re on the road again toward Maryland for two nights.
Have a good Memorial Day and don’t forget to fly our flag,
Jack, Niki, K.C. & B.B.
p.s. B.B. has learned to play fetch. He does it well and always alternates between his Mom and Dad. Unfortunately he now wants to play fetch morning, noon, night, and all night in-between his catnaps.