Very warm overnight – warmest evening in ages. When we woke up this morning I walked across to the washrooms and saw Mike and Frannie’s van parked right alongside the washroom. They had not come into the campground so far around as we were parked so wouldn’t have seen us.
We left the Parkway again today and made for Lynchburg. I was really interested in seeing some of the history of the Civil War, but it was raining when we got there so all we did was go to the Cemetery and walk through there. It was actually a very interesting place with a number of old buildings relocated into the cemetery area, including an old railway station that had been brought there from further up the line. There was an entire section devoted to Confederate soldiers who had lost their lives in the war (maybe 2,200 buried there) but we heard a statistic later in the day that of all the soldiers who died in the Civil War, 65% actually died of disease rather than war injuries. Nevertheless, I always feel that a cemetary is the true place to see/feel the history of a war and it was very interesting. Also, there were some stunning trees in there with the most spectacular colours.
From Lynchburg we drove to Appomatix to the Historical Park there, where Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses Grant. The old village of Appomatix has been faithfully rebuilt and we took the tour with a Park Ranger who was able to bring to life the military formations and where each part of each army was deployed within our sight. For me, it was a highlight as I could just imagine how it might have been as I looked at where each group was located. Going into the McLean house, where the two generals sat and had a chat before signing the terms of surrender was fascinating, even though I know it was a rebuilt house.
We then returned up to the Blue Ridge Parkway area, but went on through to Natural Bridge, where there is located what is termed as “one of the seven natural wonders of the world”. Nevertheless, we weren’t prepared to pay $18 USD each to view it, because we have both seen remarkable (and high) natural bridges in other areas & countries, where there isn’t a gift shop at the beginning and the end of the walk. We, and some other people who were leaving at the same time, thought it was a total rip-off. They could only justify the price by including admission to some carny show (wax figures) at a nearby location which neither of us was interested in.
So we moved on to a private campground at Lexington, so that we could get our ablutions done! The State Parks on the Blue Ridge Parkway have lovely washrooms but no showers, so we came here to this KOA to get showers and internet. Unfortunately, the internet is just as bad as we have found in many locations – I don’t think the campground owners give a damn whether it really works or not – just so long as they can see they “have internet”.
So, I went to the laundry room to get a signal and the first thing I did was to drop my wireless mouse and its cover and transmitter and, in spite of Bruce coming over to help me with a flashlight, I still have not recovered the transmitter. And I dislike using the keypad to manipulate photos!
On the upside, however, we have finally reached détente regarding the GPS! I lingered at the Appomatix Historical Park after Bruce had had enough and had returned to the truck. On my return to the truck he showed me that he had plugged in our next destination on the GPS – whoo hoo! While there have been (a few) occasions when we (and Maggie) have been confused, more often than not it has been a godsend and now, it seems, even Bruce is coming to that conclusion! He has asked me on several occasions to “see what Maggie says” when we are looking for something in particular (like L.L. Bean!) :)
The colours at these lower elevations are even more spectacular than anything we have seen so far! The brilliance of the reds and yellows amongst the bright greens is almost iridescent.
This private campground, a KOA, is jammed with boisterous weekenders tonight and we are happy that we shall be back on the Blue Ridge Parkway and in a nice, quiet State Park tomorrow night.