Day 98. Monday 5th August. Shenandoah National Park.Virginia.

Yay!!! Today we relax. One of the rare driving-free days this trip. 

Well, not totally driving free, because rather than walk a mile and back to get some supplies from the camp store, we drove. The reason for needing to go to the shop was our 2L milk had gone off overnight. Four days before expiring!

It was a fortuitous drive because we had some great interaction with a couple of bikers who were interested in our journey. One, had a nephew about to go to NZ to study Dairy farming practices. The other, a Dutchman with a Dutch/Spanish/American accent. The reason for that is having lived in various South American countries. The last, interacting with Amazonian Indians in Peru. He is a linguist and I think he said, an Anthropologist? We had an amazing discussion. Ironically, he lives in Holland, Michigan. The second such Dutchman I have met from there. 

Jen forgot to mention the many historic noticeboards lining the highway in to the Blue Ridge Mountains, depicting famous actions that took place in the American Civil War. We are in the middle of many battles sites, Manassas was one and one sign making mention of the departure of McLeland. Fired by Abraham Lincoln, having finally expended all his prior goodwill towards the general.

McLeland was a bit like Montgomery in WW2, where he would not move from his entrenched position until he had numerical and equipment superiority over his adversary’s. McLeland, kept finding excuses as to why he would not move against the Confederates, but Lincoln, exasperated, fired him and replaced him with General Grant, who got the job done for the north. This information was from reading the Life story of Lincoln, not from any of the notices, which very sadly we didn’t have time to stop and read. 

You can’t sit and do nothing all day. So we have taken the opportunity to do three washing machine loads of clothes and bedding. Checking gearbox and transfer case oils too, and trying to grease driveshaft nipples but the grease gun is next to useless and needs a different nozzle to inject the grease. I hope to get one tomorrow. A plastic door lock mechanism had broken also, so that is now repaired with Gorilla glue. 

After doing our respective chores and relaxing with books, two deer wandered onto the mown grassy area beside us and nonchalantly grazed, while we sat no more than 20m away.

Black bears also have a presence here, and there are warning notices everywhere, along with bear proof food cabinets for campers, and bear proof garbage cans. 

It’s tranquil, and while there is high cloud, apparently a 40% chance of rain, it is warm and there is enough sun to keep the battery running the fridge and accessories, topped up. What is missing and welcome today, is the lack of humidity. 

Jen has been giving me a hard time for under estimating the time it would take to cross America, as a far greater population density saps travel times. Avoiding the use of motorways also, is a major factor.  I’m picking we will be able to pick up the pace across the middle bit? There is just so much to see and do!

Virginia has a diverse history. Jamestown is the site of the first British settlers who sailed up the Chesapeake Bay to settle Jamestown, in 1607. However most had died from starvation by 1610. One, John Rolfe the husband of Pocahontas, had found the future success of Virginia, in tobacco. It was the South’s wish to maintain slavery which sparked the Civil war. I can strongly recommend the book ‘Snow-Storm in August’ by Jefferson Morley on the subject.

George Washington, the county’s first president, was a Virginian. 

Visits: 24


  1. You’re not to far off from the lands of the infamous Hatfield and McCoy Families, who feuding is known to all north americans!

    • Hey Bill, great to hear from you. We have had no time to write or when we have, there is no wifi. We’ll check your info..:)

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