Cave Mountain Lake 2024

Posted on 05/14/2024 in misc

Trip: 41
Nights: 138-139

The 2024 camping season is off to a great start. We spent the weekend at Cave Mountain Lake campground in the Jefferson National Forest. It's our 3rd trip there. No hookups and large, private campsites with no cell service at all. There are restrooms and showers available.

Friday night was clear and cool, with a low in the mid-40s. We spent the night catching up with friends who were camping in the neighboring site.

On Saturday morning, we went birding around the campground to contribute to Global Big Day. We bagged 20 species, including a lifer with a Northern Waterthrush. After lunch at the camper, I took a 25-minute drive to a trail head on the Appalachian Trail to do a fairly easy 4.5-mile hike. I forgot to download an offline map for the trip, which was an issue since we had no service at the campground and I needed to navigate a few country roads to get to the trail head. I'm an old who learned map reading in school, and I keep both a Rand McNally and Virginia back roads map in the car, so I navigated the old way. It was fun, and there was a sense of accomplishment on getting there after using a paper map that you just don't get from Google Maps. While on the trail, I met Viking Man, a through-hiker who was not through-hiking this year. He is doing 172 miles to celebrate turning 72 years old. I’ll repeat that because it is so damn amazing.

He is doing 172 miles of the Appalachian Trail to celebrate turning 72 years old.

Some afternoon rain chased us into the camper for a couple of hours before dinner. After dinner, we hung out around the campfire with our friends.

I have one maintenance issue after winter. The cassette toilet won't flush, so I get to do camper maintenance this week. It's not a huge deal as a cup of water works just well. After doing some YouTube research I think it's either a fuse or the water pump. I'll know later this week when I have time to look into it. I upgraded the battery and power center last month so it’s possible that something was missed in the power converter swap, but simple is more likely, and I’m thinking the water pump didn’t survive winter.

I didn't realize how much I missed camping over the winter. I need time in the woods. Next is VA Beach for Memorial Day weekend.

Photo collage

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