Monthly Archives: May 2012

Blue Ridge Parkway

We are camped in Staunton, Virginia about 20 miles from the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We took a drive on it today and traveled about 30 miles south before turning around. We would like to commend whoever designed the Parkway and wish that we had more time to spend on it. There were many scenic turnouts and often many scenic views from the road itself. The speed limit on the Parkway was posted as 45 MPH but we drove slower most of the time, and stopped at most of the scenic overlooks. Traffic was light, but I have to wonder why everybody seems to feel compelled to drive at or above the speed limit. Fortunately there were enough turnoffs that we were able to get out of the way whenever a car or motorcycle came up behind us.

We brought a picnic lunch with us and ate at one of the picnic grounds along the way. The picnic area and the Parkway were well maintained and we didn’t see one piece of roadside trash anywhere. The weather was nice the entire time we were on the road which was a treat because we’ve had clouds and rain the last three days.

We are surprised that we saw a small motor home and a truck with a travel trailer on the Parkway. In the RV forums I frequent this topic has come up and everybody has said to leave your RV behind and take a car to go on the Parkway. The part we were on wouldn’t have been a problem for our motor home, but there may be parts where that is not the case.

We will make a point of coming back this way because we would like to see more of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is over 400 miles long and runs through Virginia and North Carolina, and we only saw a very small part of it.

Mountain Laurel on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Mountain Laurel on the Blue Ridge Parkway

There were at close to a dozen different species of wildflowers, Mountain Laurel and Rhododendrons in bloom along the Parkway.  

Panorama of the Shenendoah Valley
Panorama of the Shenendoah Valley

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Camp Freightliner

Most motor home manufacturers buy their chassis components pre-assembled from either from Freightliner or Spartan. Tiffin manufactured our Phaeton using a Freightliner chassis that came with the Cummins diesel engine and Allison transmission already assembled by Freightliner. Last Thursday and Friday I was at the Freightliner repair facilities in Gaffney, South Carolina taking the Camp Freightliner classes to learn more about how to care for our motor home.

Freightliner_Chassis
Back end of a Freightliner motor home chassis

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Charleston Museum

The Charleston Museum is on the small side, mostly one floor with two major wings. We followed a large clockwise circle through the museum starting from where we got off the elevator.

 The first section we went through was a comprehensive set of exhibits devoted to Charleston and South Carolina history, more or less in chronological order. I think it would have helped if we had some idea of what that history was in the first place because most of the exhibits were quite detailed with many small and large items on display, each with its own detailed placard. I think we felt more than a bit overwhelmed with minutiae and found it a bit difficult to piece together an overall view of South Carolina history. There was an attempt to show an overview of the driving forces behind that history, but unfortunately this was often overshadowed by displays that only told who did what and when they did it.

 The natural science section was next and was an odd mish-mash of items. There were skeletons of giraffes and bison next to the skeletons of a dinosaur and extinct crocodile. There was a long section of (stuffed) South Carolina animals in dioramas of their habitats. It felt a lot like the items came from several different exhibits and had been placed where there was room more than following some kind of logical pattern.

Charleston_Museum_1

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