Traveling the U.S.A. – Chapter 7 – Going Up the East Coast

Today is day 61 of our travels.  It’s hard to believe we have been gone for two months already.  We are not yet at our halfway point of this summer journey.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was our next stop after Savannah.  We pulled into the RV park, and I was in amazement.  Up to this time we had been in small parks.  I assumed most parks were on the smallish side.  Not this one!  We were at Lakewood RV Resort.  First of all, I’m not sure why it’s called Lakewood, because it is actually ocean side.  I had to do a count of RV slots on their map, and the number is, drum roll please . . . 1,714!  Yes, almost 2,000 RVs could park in this place at once!  It wasn’t 100% booked, but it was full.  There was a water park with swimming pool, water slides, and lazy river.  Our RV was parked only about a block from the beach, and they owned 1/2 mile of the beach front.  There were a couple ice cream shops, and golf cart rentals.  This park, by far, was a family vacation wonderland.  There were a lot of big rigs there along with families that also pitched a tent next to their RV for overflow.  We loved being able to walk the beach, and return for a cup of yummy ice cream.  Everything there was very laid back.  Everyone was friendly and seemed to be enjoying themselves no matter what age.  We stayed at this park for 4 days.

The clouds were amazing on the beach.
Birds and Humans all enjoying a day on the beach.
Planes flying in for more tourist to visit Myrtle Beach.
Dennis and I taking a ride down the lazy river!
The swim park
Golf carts with floating friends on top. I guess that how one knows which one is theirs.
Love the birds in this photo.
Our home on wheels, and our car that we tow behind.

It was time to move on to Charlotte, North Carolina.  I have been there once for two days for company training in January of 2007.  I was either in a hotel or at the company site, so I didn’t get to experience Charlotte at all.  We stayed the first two nights on the south part of town at the McDowell Nature Preserve.  It was a beautiful place.  We were excited about hiking one of the trails to the lake, but the trail was not marked well at all, and we ended up on the main road.  It was still a nice walk, albeit that we had to stay on the shoulder of the road as cars came zooming past us.  The following day we decided to visit the Michaelangelo Sistine Chapel exhibit.  When we arrived to the location we were sure we were lost.  The building was possibly an old school building that had shut down, nothing around it was very commercial or inviting.  Another couple arrived about the same time, and they assured us that we were at the right place—the signage was there—but we had to walk around the building to find the entrance.  Once inside, it was a lovely exhibit.  The room got quite crowded and it was a really hot day, so the warmth was generating in the room.  We were there long enough to see everything.  We stopped on our way back to our RV for a nice steak dinner.  Traveling in an RV, we don’t do a lot of meals in restaurants, so this was a special treat.  The meal, steak cooked to perfection, baked potato, and roasted brussel spouts, was delicious.

Parked at the nature preserve
Hiking the trail
More trail
The Sistine Chapel Exhibit
The Sistine Chapel Exibit
This one is called Judgement Day
I found it interesting that not all the paintings were biblical painting. He had “Sybils: who were actually Greek legend. It shows how culture can also influence.
Adam and God — Probably the most famous of the paintings.
Our steak dinner to perfection!

The following day we moved our RV north of Charlotte, but still in the area.  We were in Statesville, North Carolina.  There are some large lakes in that area and a lot of boats around.  Our RV park was oddly placed off the highway, and took a little ingenuity to find.  After setting up the our little home on wheels, we drove down to the Billy Graham Library.  I have always wanted to see it.  It was worth every penny.  Okay, let me correct that.  The admission was free.  The grounds are strikingly beautiful, and going through this renovated barn following the ministry of Billy Graham was so interesting.  

The Billy Graham Library
Left: photo of the house and barn (where the library sits)
A look at the house from inside the library. I thought it was a really pretty view.
Billy Graham’s first crusade was in Los Angeles. It lasted weeks.
Billy Graham being presented the Medal of Freedom from President Reagan.
Ruth and Billy Graham’s graves

As we walked out at almost closing time, I wanted to walk by Billy and Ruth’s graves.  One of the security guards was walking and talking with us.  He told me if he would have been asked to sing at Billy’s funeral, he would sing the song, “I’m a Winner Either Way.”  Then he broke out in song. What a wonderful singing voice he had.  

I thought he was finished, but he wasn’t so I quickly turned my camera back on.  I am so sorry I didn’t get this gentleman’s name, because I have to say, he made my visit to the library extraordinary.

The following day, we took as a lay back and relax day—we need those every so often on the trip.  We went to the pool at the RV park, but it was not terribly clean nor did it have lounge chairs, so I sat on the edge with my feet in for a little while, and went back to relax in the RV.  That evening we drove back into Charlotte to have dinner with a former coworker of mine.  It was delightful to see her again after so many years.

The following day we moved to Natural Bridge, Virginia.  I had no ideas where or what that was.  This destination was selected by Dennis.  What a great place.  We got our RV settled, and then drove over to the Natural Bridge State Park.  We took the 2 mile walk (round trip) to see the bridge.  The hardest part of the walk was the 137 steps to take down and then back up from the location.  They had large landings after a few steps, so it was really not a big deal.

The Natural Bridge is exactly what it is named.  This is not a man-made structure, but a God-made structure!  This limestone bridge is 215 feet high, 40 feet thick, 100 feet wide and spans 90 feet between the walls.  U.S. Highway 11 crosses over this Natural Bridge.  George Washington surveyed this bridge in 1750, when he was 18 years old.  As many 18 year olds do, he climbed the rock about 23 feet up and carved his initials in the rock wall, which can still be seen today.  In 1774, Thomas Jefferson purchased the bridge and 157 acres around it from King George III of England for 20 shillings (about $2.40). Quite a bargain, I would say!

That’s my 6’2″ husband dwarfed by the size of this bridge.
The view from directly underneath the bridge—at to think cars are driving over this!
George Washington’s initials (inside the box).
The path from the bridge to the waterfall.
The waterfall.
Coming back through the bridge.

After our beautiful hike, we drove to the town of Lexington, VA, for dinner at a lovely diner in their old downtown area.  The buildings are beautiful and pristine in this little city.  The following day we left Natural Bridge and drove our way up to Martinsburg, West Virginia.  We stayed at a pretty primitive RV park, but then we don’t need anything but utility hookups.  It would not be where I would want to bring a family.  There were no picnic tables, no playground or pool — actually, there was nothing but grassy RV spots.  It could be a lovely park if the owners wanted to do something with it, but I guess that would take too much work.  

The pretty buildings in Lexington, Virginia

We spent the next several days visiting with my sister, who lives in Ranson, WV, and her son, daughter-in-law and family who live in Charles Town, WV.  Do not confuse that with Charleston, WV—two different cities across the state from each other.  We have toured this area before.  My sister lives about a 15 minute drive to Harper’s Ferry.  If you have not been there, there is a lot of Civil War history there and in Charles Town (the city where they hung John Brown).  Our time was spent with family. We ate lots of food, played lots of cards, had lots of laughs, and felt lots of love.

Today, we left West Virginia, and just arrived in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  We will spend several days in this state seeing places I have been wanting to see.  Those will be in another chapter of this trip across the U.S.A.

12 comments

    1. Thank you. I’m not sure I’m brave. I love our trip, but to be honest, my anxiety level goes up each time we get back in the road. I just pray and ask God for safety and calm for me!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s funny that you say that..when I was younger, I was ALL about the road trip..now when we hit the road I have this uneasy feeling..like I need to have my papers in order just in case..HAHA! Maybe my anxiety is inversely related to my husband’s driving skills..the lower his get, the higher mine goes!

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      2. I understand that. Fortunately, my husband is a good driver. We sit so high in a class A RV that I can see over everything like bridges. Being afraid of heights, bridges and narrow winding roads just take my anxiety through the roof. I do a lot of reading while traveling!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh sweet heavenly heights.. you mention the bridges and I get weak in the knees..HAHA!! Thank God for books..and knitting..and texting..and any other diversion! –You are braver than you know not letting any of this stop you from living the dream. Keep enjoying this beautiful country!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’d have gone nuts for this trip when I was 10. At my current age, I’m just happy to follow along as you enjoy yourselves. Your photos are indeed beautiful, especially those of the natural bridge.
    Keep on truckin’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am really enjoying your travels and your pictures. What an experience!! You are seeing so much of the country. Stay safe!! Enjoy each day!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. More fantastic adventures, historical sites and phenomenal views to photograph for keepsakes and sharing with us. I do look forward to all of your travel updates and stories.
    I’m so pleased you got to spend some time with your friend and some of your family too! What fantastic memories you’re making together.
    Here’s to many more days of wonderful travel and adventure on your once in a lifetime trip around America.

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