In early October 2015, we were finally ready to head out for our first camping adventure! We’d originally planned a trip for the weekend of October 3-4 but had to abandon the idea when we learned that heavy rains were in the forecast. Due to our work schedules, our next free weekend wasn’t until October 24-25, but when I started calling around to various campgrounds, I was surprised to discover that most were already full, or they required a 2-night minimum stay!
A woman in a Virginia “Glampers” group posted that she and a friend or two were planning to stay at a KOA in Natural Bridge, Virginia that weekend. I called the campground, and when they said they still had sites available, I quickly made reservations. It was so exciting to start getting ready for the trip!
On Saturday, October 24th we loaded up the car, hitched up the trailer and headed west on I-64. Although the day was overcast, the fall colors were beautiful! Fall in Virginia is often pretty spectacular, and this year was no exception. These were the sights that greeted us as we crossed Afton Mountain.
When we reached Staunton, we opted to get off the Interstate and drive south on Rt. 11 so that we could enjoy all of the scenery at a slower pace. By doing so, however, we totally missed the entrance to the campground! Apparently the sign is angled toward travelers on I-81/64 and not Rt. 11, and so we wound up going way south of our destination. We finally turned around, backtracked about 10-15 miles, and then we saw the (big, yellow, hard-to-miss…) sign for the KOA at Natural Bridge.
We knew there would be a variety of Halloween activities for children, and the office and campground were nicely decorated.
After checking in, one of the owners escorted us to our pull-through campsite (which was, conveniently, at the end of a row), and we started setting up.
After getting the basics taken care of, we stopped for a moment when we realized that we were literally “living a dream” that had started a couple of years ago when we first began looking for a trailer. We were so thankful to have this opportunity; you can see it in our smiles!
Even though the inside of the trailer isn’t finished, it’s totally usable. With a pot of coffee brewing, and with lights (and bats) strung on the trailer for Halloween, it really did feel like a tiny house on wheels. 🙂
After a while we decided to walk around the campground and explore a bit. Very pretty place!
We visited the pavilion where a caramel apple-making activity was happening and joined in:
Soon it was time to start dinner, so we got the camp stove going and heated up the homemade soup we’d brought with us in a cooler. Very simple meal, but delicious–and it was fun to eat outside on the picnic table.
Right as we finished cleaning up, the trick or treaters started coming. Wow–there were so many cute kids and so many parents who’d dressed up with their kids. We’d brought candy with us–and bought more at the KOA store when we realized how many kids were likely to come by–and we had more trick or treaters that night than I’ve had at my house in all the years I’ve lived here–combined!
The real “camping magic” happened as it started to get dark…. I thought of all the times I’d camped as a kid with my parents in our small Scotty and Shasta trailers, and I thanked my mom and dad for the wonderful childhood memories that had led to our having this experience.
When our campfire started to die down, we walked up the hill to visit the “Glamper” women at their campsites. It was fun to sit around their fire and talk for a while. We were really quite impressed with all of the people we met in this pleasant and temporary “intentional community.”
Before going back to our campsite, we stopped by the bathrooms. Like the rest of the campground, the bathrooms were clean, very well-maintained, and quite large.
The “bathroom” in our Scamp is a porta-potty behind a pinned-up curtain…. While not nearly as large, fancy or well-equipped as the bathrooms at the campground, it proved to be a very convenient feature at 1:30 in the morning! 😉
After dark it was a little chilly in the trailer, and a small ceramic heater warmed it up nicely. We both slept well, again so thankful to finally be able to use the trailer that we’d bought–as an empty shell!–almost a year before on November 2, 2014! Looking back, you can really see our progress:
The next morning we got the camp stove going again and Wayne cooked toast and scrambled eggs.
Our Glamper friends stopped by as we were getting ready to leave, and we thanked them for their hospitality the previous night.
We had such a wonderful time on our first outing, and can’t wait to go “Scamping” again!