The journey of thousands of miles begins with a single mile … our first 4,000 miles in our new Lance 1685 Travel Trailer included adventures … first-timers learning curves … and most of all memories that will last forever. But it’s easier to say it in photos because we all know a photo is worth a thousand words and you really didn’t want to read 35,000 words! 🙂 Enjoy!
How many people visit a scenic gorge to witness a train wreck? New River Gorge, West Virginia … almost heaven…
Following the historic road, winding through the gorge, the only way before the magnificent new bridge. Luckily no one was hurt and everyone was busy trying to empty the grain cars so they could be retrieved and fix the tracks.
Even more luckily, after 4000 miles with our Lance 1685, we have no major issues! Our 2006 Toyota 4 Runner pulls it better than we had hoped and we’re looking forward to taking it west starting March 2015!
Our original intent was to start at the New River Gorge in West Virginia and follow the fall foliage south. But we quickly realized that we started too early and the fall foliage tour will have to wait until another year… but we loved the hiking, and the river and the history … the grist mill at Babcock State Park…
…. and the Sandstone Falls, an hour south of the gorge bridge …
Then pushed our limits driving to Oregon Inlet, Cape Hatteras (Nags Head) in one day … we couldn’t wait to enjoy the Outer Banks and check it off our bucket lists …
Good thing we stopped at the Park Visitors Center to ask for the latest information or we wouldn’t have known we could climb the Bodie Island Lighthouse which turned out to be a highlight of our Outer Banks adventures.
Camping on the beach in the outer banks national parks campgrounds … we kept pinching ourselves … were we really camping right on the beach for $10 bucks a night? Really?
While on Cape Hatteras, I went flying with the Wright Brothers….
And wanted to try hang gliding on the Jockey Ridge State Park dunes, but we settled for climbing these amazing mountains of sand.
Then on to our first, but not our last, ferry experience with the trailer … yes, we survived! It wasn’t even as hard as we anticipated (can you say DREADED?). We almost didn’t go to Ocracoke Island because David was so leery of putting our truck and trailer on a ferry.
Aaahhhh … Ocracoke Island … almost heaven and we weren’t even in West Virginia anymore!
Where else could this be our front patio … looking over the dunes right on the beach.
With our very own “fleet” of friendly faces – that turned not so friendly when you accidentally startled one of them!
Grilling fresh fish ….
Beachcombing for highly polished shell fragments — not sure what I’m going to do with thousands of polished shell fragments, but maybe I’ll learn to make jewelry? We couldn’t help ourselves, especially David.
Bike riding daily … a great bike path between the national park campground and Ocracoke Village, where we enjoyed the museum, took a daytrip over to Portsmouth Village (if you go take lots of mosquito repellant!), explored the quaint artsy shops and enjoyed several Park Ranger talks on various topics and the Nat’l Park Visitor Center.
Attend the Park Ranger talk at the pony pens to learn more about why the wild horses on Ocracoke are in a pony pen … and get to feed them hay!
And after almost a week, bid a fond farewell to Ocracoke Island…
Then successfully navigated the Ocracoke to Cedar Island ferry … and took a day to explore Cape Lookout National Seashore … not long enough!
Had to make a pitstop to spend some time with our grandsons in Atlanta. The kids wanted to go camping, but the weather objected. Another time…
Then on to Providence Canyon State Park in southwest Georgia en route to Gulf Shores, Alabama. Great hike to the canyon floor, click here.
A brief stop at Gulf State Park, Alabama let us enjoy the famous wide sandy beaches … plus visit my brother and go for long bike rides …
Then on to St. George Island — you don’t want to go there, trust me. 🙂 Keeping it all for myself!
Manatee Springs State Park had gorgeous turquoise springs water – one of Florida’s First Order springs and an amazing bike ride, but only one manatee. And it was not in the spring, but out by the Suwannee River.
The last campsite … our trusty Lance 1685 and old 4 Runner did it! So much fun and so much more of the USA to explore!
There’s a first time for everything … this was the first campsite we shared with a resident armadillo!
Can’t think of a better beginning to exploring the USA in our Lance 1685! We’ll love the boat this winter and look forward to March 2015 when we pick up the trailer from covered storage and head west … a total of another 7000 miles (11,000 total) before we arrive back in central Illinois.
Enjoy every day! Cheers! Jan