Moving On… Natural Bridge SP, KY – Wed, July 2 to Sun, July 13, 2014

Summer Travel Map
00 - Travel Map to Natural Bridge SP, Slade, KY
A - Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach, SC -  June 18-25
B - Zooland Family Campground, Asheboro, NC - June 25-26
C - Stony Fork Campground, Wytheville, VA - June 26-July 2
D - Natural Bridge State Park, Slade, KY - July 2-13
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 – Travel Day to Natural Bridge SP, Slade, KY
Bill got a good nights sleep and was feeling well when he got up.  We were up early and on the road by 6am!!  Google Maps had rooted us through the mountains to Natural Bridge SP in Kentucky.  But I just wasn’t feeling comfortable taking Baby that way.  So I rerouted us north on I-77 to Charleston, WV and then we headed west on I-64.  It was 300 miles, about 60 miles further than through the mountains.  But the travel time was only 20 minutes longer.  I’ll trade 20 minutes for a more comfortable trip any day!! Also, I was going to follow Bill today so he could set the pace. 
We had some early morning fog until we reached West Virginia.01 - Welcome to West Virginia
Click on any photo to enlarge or hover your mouse on any photo for a description.
It was a beautiful trip north to Charleston, West Virginia on I-77.02a - I-77 through West Virginia02b - I-77 through West Virginia
Just after we passed the West Virginia State Capitol Building, 03a - State Capital Building, Charleston, WV
I-77 continued North and we stayed on I-64 West to Kentucky.03b - I77 and I64 together in WV04 - Welcome to Kentucky
It was a beautiful day to travel and traffic was very light!!
We are headed to Natural Bridge State Park which is in the Daniel Boone National Forest.04b - I-64W through Kentucky - entering Daniel Boone NF
We arrived at the campground about noon… 6 hours to go 300 miles… not bad:o))
The campground was rather empty when we arrived. 
Smart idea to arrive mid-week on the 4th of July !!!
However, the campground leaves much to be desired.  The sites are tight with no area to park your vehicle.  Our site said it was designed to handle a 40ft rig and Baby is only 35ft.  There still is no place to park the Tahoe other than our patio area;o((

Once we got as set up as we could (no screen room on this site),
we headed to the Kroger’s in Stanton to replenish our groceries.
The rest of the afternoon, we just chilled.  It has been a crazy few days!!
After dinner, we went for a walk to Hemlock Lodge where most of the hiking trails begin.
We are staying in Middle Fork Campground which is about 1 mile from the lodge.
Click on any photo to enlarge or hover your mouse on any photo for a description.
05 - Map of Natural Bridge State Park
Click HERE to see a PDF version of the map.
The road from the campground to the lodge area runs along Middle Fork Red River.06 - Road from Campground to Lodge Area06b - Road from Campground to Lodge Area runs along the Middle Fork Red River
The lodge area has a pool, snack shop, gift shops and small lake.06c - Approaching the Recreation and Lodge Area  06d - Hemlock Lodge is Up, Up, Up
You head Up, Up, Up to get to the lodge which is just average,
but the view is spectacular!!
06e - Hemlock Lodge06f - View from Hemlock Lodge
Just behind the lodge and down the walkway is the Original Trailhead.
We plan to hike this tomorrow to Natural Bridge:o))06g - Location of the Original Trail to Natural Bridge
On the way back to the campground,
Bill made a quick stop at the snack bar for a Slushy!!!
06h - Bill at Snack Shop to purchase Slushi06i - Orange Slushi for Medicinal Purposes
He insists it is strictly MEDICINAL… for his swollen throat;o))
Once back at the campground, we called it a day!! 
Need our rest for hiking tomorrow:o))
06j - Middle Fork Campground before the crowds arrive
Doesn’t Middle Fork Campground look so peaceful and quiet??


  1. Glad you made it safely. I'm with you, I would do about anything to avoid mountains...even driving through Atlanta!

    I think the slushy is definitely medicinal! Glad he's feeling better.

  2. You are the only people I know who would get up to be on the road by 6AM! Glad it was a good trip. I'll bet Middle Fork isn't so peaceful and quiet this weekend though!

  3. 6am . . . that's an EARLY start!! We never get going that early, but 300 miles is a long day so it was probably best to get going early to avoid the heat of the afternoon. Get plenty of rest & relaxation over the next few days!!

  4. So you're one of those couples that crank up the diesel at 6:00 am! Gin wants to have a word with you. :)

  5. I'm with Bill on that medicine. He's justified in my eyes. ;c)

    Good choice of route, we've found sometimes it's better to go a bit out of your way for an easier ride. Not to mention better mpg driving on straight roads vs hilly, back roads.

    Noticed those pictures from the road looked pretty empty of cars. I guess that's what 6am on the road looks like! :cD

  6. Did you want to go the safer route so you could take more pictures while you are driving? I just had to chew Catherine out for doing this on our trip! Granted, you are not driving the motorhome but please be careful :)!

  7. On the road at 6am, I just have to laugh. I'd have to get David up at 3am for that to happen. VERY smart thing to take the major roads through West Virginia. It's iffy taking a car through there forget an RV. Glad you made it safely, hope you have great weather and the troops for the 4th give you a break.

  8. Looks very nice. We took the same I64 from PA to KY last year as I was also leery of some of those mountain roads in West Virginia. Better safe than sorry!

  9. I don't blame you for taking the longer route to avoid steep grades. We're doing the same when we leave here and land at Amazon in Kentucky. You picked a good park!

  10. Smart choice not to go through the mountains!! Those roads can be very scary for a RV. 6am? Yikes!

  11. I think root beer floats and ice cream sundaes are good for swollen throats too. :-)

    Enjoy your time there!