October 21, 2020 – Pocahontas State Park, VA. the most beautiful setting is how I will remember this park. Huge wooded sites and quiet. We settle in, and go out to Fredericksburg National Battlefield. The park ranger gives us a lunch spot recommendation down the road some so we check it out. Wonder of wonders its poutine, french fries smothered in good stuff. Our first experience with poutine was in Vancouver, CA where the fries were drowned in delicious seafood. This version has the fries smothered in pulled port, bar-b-q sauce and cheese, all slathered in sour cream with scallions sprinkled on top. I know what your thinking, as my friend Carla Hollingsworth would say, that’s a heart attack on a plate. Yes indeed, but it was delicious!

October 22, 2020 – Pocahontas State Park. Out to see the world, at least this corner of the world. We visit what else, another Civil War Battlefield, Richmond National Battlefield. The visitor center is open under a tent outside and I get my book stamped. We walk on the short trail at the visitors center itself and then follow the shorter of the two driving tours. This is exhausting, stop the truck, get out, walk, walk uphill, walk downhill, walk across streams, make all 8 of the stops to read the informational signs and soak up the history.

Back at our campsite I try and start a fire but the wood is wet and I fail. Oh well, a glass of wine and leftovers instead of the hot dogs that were on the menu will have to do. We had a great day, walked almost 10,000 steps during that driving tour and are happy to use the microwave and tap that box of wine sleeping quietly in our refrigerator.

October 23, 2020 – Pocahontas State Park. We have no agenda today, I tell Carl to take a hike so he does, around Beaver Dam Lake in the morning while I hang out in the trailer enjoying my solitude. In the afternoon we drive into neighboring Chesterfield to the Food Lion for provisions and gas. Later in the day Carl hikes a second time and I write.

October 24, 2020 – KOA Fredericksburg, VA. What a zoo, we had no idea this park would be hosting an early Halloween trick or treat event for local kids. We lay low and watch TV.

October 25, 2020 – KOA Fredericksburg, VA. Rain rain go away….Kathy and Carl want to play. No luck, we drive to Robert E. Lee’s childhood home in the driving rain. On the way Carl has some kind of event with his left side of his face, primarily his eye. We pull over and it passes but scares us. The Lee family home is the quintessential plantation home. Wide staircases, huge rooms for dancing and an outside kitchen and laundry. All of this set on the Potomac River, wow. The gift shop is wow too and I spend a happy hour in there deciding what I would like to purchase. Two bee plates, replicas of plates that would have graced the table at Lee family soirees.

October 26, 2020 – Ft. Belvoir, VA. The showcase of the Army in the DC., no WWII buildings here! The most upscale Exchange and Commissary, Starbucks and restaurants you would never see at any other military installations. Housing, Officer quarters are small McMansions and the enlisted quarters are smaller versions of those, not like anything I ever got to live in. The RV park is perched on the north side of the Potomac river, with a stunning view. Big concrete spaces a good distance from your neighbor and every amenity, wifi, cable TV, laundry room, bathhouse. George Washington’s Mr. Vernon is right down the road. We are very comfortable here and can’t wait to get out and visit DC.

October 27, 2020 – Ft. Belvoir, well that’s disappointing, nothing (park service wise) is open on the George Washington Parkway (31 national park sites). Despite what their web site says and their voice messaging service says, it’s a nogo. So we drive back to Virginia and pass Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts (technically in DC). Not open but the venue itself is worth the time we took. Walking around I spot a park ranger driving a golf cart. He stops for me and I ask him if he has access to a stamp for my passport? He not only produces the stamp but bags of free stuff for the kids. Here take as much as you want, nobody else is..

Next stop is Manassas National Battlefield Park (Bull Run). I called and actually got a human on the phone who assured me their visitors center was open. In addition to the site stamp, they also have a “hallowed ground” stamp, I opt for that one.

We walked the entire site, ate our lunch and watched the short film in the visitor’s center. From the 1860’s photos of the battlefield it looks as if nothing has changed, I can see confederate troops hanging at the tree line, Stonewall Jackson sitting atop his horse.

It is supposed to be cold, windy and raining for the next several days so we stop and pick up a space heater on our way home. When I plug it in and turn it on it runs for 30 seconds before it dies and takes the TV, water heater and who knows what else with it. I know to check the fuse panel and when nothing is wrong with that I yell for help. Carl comes in, checks the fuses and gets out the iPad for some uTube help. The inverter, what’s an inverter and why do we have one in our RV? Moreover where the expletive is it? We go to bed before we crack the case. It’s under the mattress, in a hole with a screwed down panel, a difficult location. It took literally 1 second to push the correct button and animate everything. Hallelujah!

October 28, 2020 – Ft. Belvoir. At breakfast this morning Carl tells me he thinks the episode he had in the car on the 25th could have been a TIA (transient ischemic attack) or mini stroke. He also confides that wasn’t the only time it happened. So, although he seems fine, we make a difficult decision and decide to head home. We will both feel better when we know all the facts.

October 28, 2020 – Ft Bragg, NC. We drive to Lazy Acres Campground just off I95 near Ft. Bragg. Nice site with wifi and cable so we just chill for the remaining part of the day. When we checked in, the staff informed us that President Trump is due to hold a rally here tomorrow, argh. We don’t even put out the door mat preferring instead to hedge our bets and make our escape as soon as is humanly possible in the morning.

October 29, 2020 – Kings Bay, GA. Carl has a telemedicine call today at 1530 so we drive to the submarine base at Kings Bay and barely get there in time to park and make the call. It’s mostly good news, the cardiologist can’t rule out stroke but thinks the more likely culprit is an ocular migraine.
Carl agrees to be in Tampa on Monday for some cardiac diagnostics and on Tuesday for an appointment with his ophthalmologist. He is also advised to see his rheumatologist. Sigh.

Since we are relatively close to home and very comfortable here we book this site for two additional nights and resolve to just chill until Sunday.

And, it’s warm, a fringe benefit of that hard decision. It was starting to get cold in Virginia.

October 30, 2020 – Ft Caroline National Monument was closed on our way up so we try again and make the 30 minute drive to Jacksonville. Yeah it’s open. Reading the information, a “Le Gaule” was one of the original Huguenot settlers, I wonder… My family name is “LeGalley” and written family history attributes our presence in this country to Huguenot ancestry. I’ve always suspected I was a heretic!