Yes, really. We put the pedal down and spent Halloween weekend in Brighton township near Pittsburgh. We awoke Saturday to a light snowfall. luckily we were staying at the home of Jim and Marge, two friends of Glenn.
Our destination for Monday was Camp Creek State Park in West Virginia, about 300 miles south. We saw quite a few old factory towns along the banks of the Ohio River. What a different era. The sky cleared as we arrived at Camp Creek.
Camp Creek State Park was formed from Camp Creek State Forest in 1987, when a tract of approximately 550 acres was set aside to create this recreation area. Still adjacent to the park lies Camp Creek State Forest. Consisting of nearly 5,300 acres of forest land this property has managed to demonstrate sound forest management principles through the concept of multiple-use. A hunter will find many species of game including deer, native wild turkey, ruffed grouse and a variety of small game. Camp Creek, from which these areas take their name, is one of the best stocked trout streams in the state and can offer hours of fishing enjoyment.
The park is situated just two miles off Interstate 77 at exit 20. Camp Creek State Park is an oasis for the vacationer. Whether you choose the park as a vacation site or a stop over on the way to another destination, rest assured you will find exactly what you are looking for. Surrounded by the breathtaking mountains of southern West Virginia, Camp Creek offers a chance to enjoy what state parks are all about. The Ranger told us that the campground is always full during the summer, so plan accordingly. Here are some photos:
The clear sky meant cold temperatures for Monday night. The fly on my tent was frozen the next morning and I had to put on gloves to touch my tent poles! After breaking camp, we looked at the ambient temperature gauge in the car and it read 27 degrees. With the sun out. Yeah.
Our campground for the next three nights is William B. Umstead State Park in North Carolina, about 10 miles west of Raleigh. We stopped in Hanging Rock State Park along the way to take photos:
Not far from the cities of the Triad area, off the four-lane highways there's another North Carolina to be discovered sheer cliffs and peaks of bare rock, quiet forests and cascading waterfalls, views of the piedmont plateau that stretch for miles.
Hike the trails of Hanging Rock State Park and let nature put life's hectic pace in perspective. Rent a vacation cabin and fall asleep to the lullabies of spring peepers and chorus frogs. Join an interpretive program and discover something new about nature's bounty. Nestled in the hills is a cool mountain lake that beckons to swimmers and fishermen.
The leaves are still turning at these campgrounds and the colors are spectacular. They are like a crunchy carpet as I walk the trails.
Tucked between the growing cities of Raleigh, Cary, Durham and the corporate world of Research Triangle Park is an oasis of tranquility, a peaceful haven - William B. Umstead State Park.
Here, two worlds merge as the sounds of civilization give way to the unhurried rhythm of nature. Highways fade in the distance as trees, flowers, birds and streams form a more natural community. William B. Umstead is a place to escape the pressures of everyday life, a place to picnic in the pines, to wait for a fish to bite, to take a hike or horseback ride on trails through the woods.
Small, with only 28 campsites, it is a great suburban park. Glenn went into town to run errands on Wednesday, so I hiked one of the many trails to Big Lake. Simply beautiful. Here are some photos:
Then I ended up at Big Lake:
I like how they posted this trail marker:
We will be leaving here early Friday morning to drop off the car at a friends house in Raleigh, and then boarding Amtrak for a 6 hour ride to Washington, DC. The weekend will be spent exploring the capitol and heading back on Monday.
I won't be posting again until the middle of next week from Myrtle Beach, SC. This is where the real camping starts as we follow the coast south to Key West, and the northwest to Texas.
Regards, Park Ranger