After two stops that were 14 days each, spending a quick four nights at Grindstone Recreation Area was a different experience. No awning, no firepit, and one tank of fresh water lasted me the entire stay. I snagged Site 51 a few months ago, which was a big, semi-private site. It was one of the better sites for socially distanced camping: no neighbors on one side, far off neighbors on the other, and loads of trees out the back window. It was also was a long site, so I could have put another Ridgeline and a half in front of where my Ridgeline is in the photo below.
I’m usually a very healthy person, but 2020 hasn’t been keeping that trend going. The flu shot I got on Sep 1st seems to be kicking my butt as far as muscle soreness goes, so between that and a pissed off hamstring (no idea what happened there…), I limited myself to short walks around the campground and less than 30 minutes hikes on the nature trail loop and the start of the trail up to Mount Rogers.
Even with those constraints, the campground was quite enjoyable. I sat outside reading for a few hours each day and finished off three different library e-books in my four day stay. Not having internet at my beck and call means I read more, apparently 🙂
I also took a fair amount of photos, most of them playing with the light coming through the trees at various times of day. You might see more of this in a different post within the next week…
I did need to get on the Internet one day, so I drove east to Route 58. Found AT&T signal about 10 miles into the jaunt, and parked at Grayson Highlands School to connect. Bonus: the storm came and went while I was sitting inside my pickup, so I didn’t have to drive in the rain.
A few weeks ago, I was at Grayson Highlands State Park, which is due south of Grindstone and on the opposite side of Mount Rogers. Grindstone feels more remote, and quieter because the campsites are more spread out than at Grayson Highlands. Either one, though, makes for a very cool and soothing mountain getaway.
Grindstone Recreation Area (USDA Forest Service)
- Site 51 is big, has privacy and close to the bath house. Sites 49 and 47 are also nice, and slightly sunnier spots. If you have dogs, site 52 backs onto a grassy area good for letting them play. Reserve at recreation.gov.
- Services: electric/water, one dump station, bath houses with showers and toilets. No recycling 🙁
- Zero cell signal, zero wifi. Nearest signal is about 10 miles south.
- Groceries: 45 minutes to the Food Lion in Damascas. 60 minutes to the Walmart in Abingdon. Both places have gas station; Abingdon also has a Lowe’s Hardware.
The country does what the city cannot. It quietens the mind and brings simplicity into one’s life. The city does what the country cannot. It enlivens the mind and brings culture into one’s life.