Harrisburg, PA to Harrisonburg, VA

July 27, 2023 It was hard getting up with the alarm this morning after being able to sleep in for a couple of days. We had hazy or smokey skies and already it was 78 degrees at 7:30. We pulled out of the campground at 8:30 for a 186-mile drive today through 3 states. We got a few sprinkles as we were leaving and the area is expecting more rain this afternoon. We hopped on I-76 (toll) immediately and crossed the wide Susquehanna River. The water was like glass.

Traffic was light on the toll road until we hooked up with I-81 south. Traffic was much heavier with lots of semis. We had an interesting time in Harrisburg, PA. You never know what surprises you’ll find when you visit a new place. Next time we are in the area, we’ll make a point of visiting Gettysburg. We missed it this time. [I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but Bob wanted to spend multiple days/longer periods of time in one location on this trip, instead of moving every couple of days. We definitely found it to be more relaxing and it gave us time to explore the area more thoroughly if we wanted to.] The drive through the southwest corner of Pennsylvania took us through farm country. We crossed the border on the far western arm of Maryland at 10:00.

We passed near Hagerstown, MD. Bob’s grandparents and other relations on his mother’s side had their homestead there.

Fifteen minutes later, we crossed into the far eastern corner of wild and wonderful West Virginia after passing over the Potomac River.

Thirty minutes after that, we entered Virginia.

It started heating up outside, so we put on the generator to run the AC in the mid-section of the bus for Auggie. Our vents up front don’t quite push the air back hard enough to benefit him. Soon we were all riding in comfort. We got a glimpse of Mt. Marshall (3,363 ft.) in the hazy distance which is part of a ridge that runs for miles and miles.

As we got closer to the mountains, they became clearer.

Virginia calls this “V” in the mountains a “gap”. New Hampshire calls it a “notch”. Out west, it might be called a “mountain pass”.

At our exit for the campground, we planned to stop for fuel. Diesel was $3.65/gal. which is so much cheaper than in Pennsylvania. Again, Bob did his homework well in advance and planned for this stop. With a big rig like ours, you can’t just pull in anywhere. As we approached the station, we got warning lights for low fuel and DEF, so it took us a little longer to fill up both tanks. We decided we would unhook the Jeep at the station, so I could follow Bob to the campground. All in all, we spent about 25 minutes at the gas station. From the gas station, it was another 3 miles to the campground down a very narrow, 2-lane road that could barely pass 2 cars and had no shoulder. Bob stayed in the middle where he could to avoid the tree branches.

We arrived at the Harrisonburg/Shenandoah KOA campground at 1:00. Bob checked us in and we were escorted to site #22 right by the office.

We were all set up by 1:30 with the AC going. We had a nice large site with plenty of shade. The campground was pretty full and was in a beautiful wooded area.

Auggie was anxious to get outside and check out the new area. Mary and John are in site #12 just up the hill from us.

They walked over from their site to visit. We shared stories about what has happened to us since we’ve seen each other in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. We made plans to drive the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park tomorrow. After they left, Bob worked on setting up the satellite receiver and couldn’t find a clear shot to get it to hook up with the satellites. The alternate plan is to hook up to the campground cable. I took a walk down to the office to check out the camp store. I found some interesting movies to borrow while we are here that we can watch in the next few days. Once I got back, Auggie and I sat outside in the shade. It became mostly sunny and 94 degrees with a heat index of 100-104. If I sat mostly still in the shade with a beverage, it wasn’t bad. There was actually a nice breeze. We enjoyed the afternoon peace and quiet as most of the campers were out and about doing something, somewhere. Auggie spotted a squirrel that came awfully close to where he was laying and stood by the tree. It’s a wonder he could even see Auggie because he sat so still. Auggie’s attention was definitely focused on looking for squirrels.

Bob cooked brats on the grill for dinner. While I took Auggie for his walk around the campground, Bob helped a fellow camper put some air in one of his tires on his 5th wheel that was low.

On my walk with Auggie, I saw some very cool carvings around the park. Someone is good at carving things and making signs.

It was still 88 degrees at 8:00 tonight. Luckily, the trees provide lots of shade during the day and keep it a little cooler. We watched a movie enjoying the coolness of our AC.

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