The last week of our adventure has taken us off the beaten path and we’ve covered (at least slices of) the following states:
– West Virginia
-… and a few miles into Indiana
This is a part of the country we’ve never seen aside from Josh’s recent trip along the Bourbon Trail (luckily distilleries don’t have great RV parking). One of the most striking things is the beauty of the old towns, the river communities, and the vast, untouched space.
We’ve managed one loooooooong 7+ hour day and a shorter 3 hour day. The kids are really doing well with the driving. They’ve mastered the exit ramp potty breaks; not talking when we are towing in traffic (or down a hill which makes me exceptionally … um… animated 😬); changing their own DVDs out; and more or less doing their thing as we cruise. Of course, there have been meltdowns, and “are we There yets” but we feel they’ve actually exceeded our expectations for the road.
It was slow going through the mountains. Josh actually counted the number of cars we passed the entire day – 3. That’s right 3, 1 of which was an ice cream truck. We’re pretty sure a few bicyclists and a couple of hitchhikers passed us as we drove through Maryland, West Virginia, and Kentucky. On the plus side, we don’t have to worry about getting pulled over for speeding!
Salt Lick & St Criox
In an effort to stay in National and State Parks our travels took us to the Daniel Boone National Forest and the Hoosier National Forest the past two days. The national park was eerily very empty. There were only 5 other campers in the entire park. We have definitely realized how many people (ourselves included) don’t take advantage of our great national park system to see all the natural beauty around us.
If you’ve been following along, you can guess we hiked, fished, and played in water. No biking riding this time (see: “awesome jump” from day 16).
*driving, driving, driving *
After settling in at Hoosier National Forest, we set out for Hemlock Cliffs for some hiking and climbing.
On the trail, We met another unexpected friend – a raccoon! I know, what are wild animals doing out in nature! I’m not sure if it was more afraid of us or vice-versa but needless to say, I had visions of a rabid battle to the death. Thankfully we did not have to star in the real life version of Cujo 2
After that hike/sprint we headed over to the Schwartz Family Restaurant. This is about 10 miles off the highway with truly nothing between. It’s run by mom, dad, and their 12 (twelve!) kids serving Southern cooking, buffet style and honestly it was darn good! Our kids haven’t been to a buffet yet and definitely experiences the stages of:
– overwhelm (how does this work???)
– over-joyed (you mean, alllllllll this food???)
– over-filled (last bite… ok no really this is the last bite…)
This was only our 3rd meal out in 20 days and it was sort of nice to have it done for us. Josh and I have been splitting the cooking, following the meal plan mostly, and doing a combo of campfire cooking and airfryer meals (<— def a solid investment!).
I digress, we came back, washed up, and played our favorite game: Uno.
Not sure if we’re really ready to come home yet but on to the final stretch! Home tomorrow!