After a one-day delay waiting out the rain deluge that swamped Virginia, I headed out on Route 58 to Longwood Park, an Army Corps of Engineers campground on the western edge of Kerr Lake/Buggs Island. I do love driving Route 58. It is mostly two lanes each direction and not much traffic between towns so it’s pretty relaxing as far as towing goes.
Longwood is a smaller park than my previous Kerr Lake fave, North Bend. It’s closer to a road, but I didn’t notice that much traffic noise. I did notice much less campground noise 🙂 And my site was just a minute’s walk down to the water, so I was able to enjoy beautiful views like this sunset.
The fall colors were starting to show up, and combined with golden hour, made for some entrancing photography sessions for me.
While we could have launched kayaks from our site, it was easier to drive a short ways to the official boat launch and use their sandy beach.
For the first time since July, I camped with other people, my friends, Steve and Karen. Not only do they have a Ridgeline (like me), they also have the same Oru Kayaks as me (the Inlet model). We had a grand time paddling one sunny afternoon, appreciating the flat calm water, and enjoying each other’s company.
All good things must end, though, and Steve and Karen headed home after a week. Me, I stayed here 13 days in total. It was a great respite from doing much of anything, to be honest. I read a lot, stared at falling leaves, listened to the rain fall on the roof, and generally relaxed.
The town of Clarksville is about 10 minutes away, which was convenient for the myriad number of errands I needed to run. And the laundry I needed to do. I was relieved to find the laundromat almost deserted, but I still wore a mask the whole time. And, nice surprise, the town offers free wifi, so I did a little surfing while my clothes were getting clean. Not many towns offer free wifi, so this was a pleasant surprise.
The only drawback to Longwood is a lack of hiking trails. This is a park meant for boaters, and almost everyone except us had boats on trailers or hardshell kayaks. I did a lot walking the three campground loops, but it did get boring after the first week.
Still, a small, quiet campground on a lake, a senior discount with the National Parks pass, and a nearby town with good supplies equals a good location for me. USACE does campgrounds right.
LONGWOOD PARK (USACE)
- Site 44 (water/electric) was close enough to the water to see great sunsets. In cooler weather, I’d go for the non-electric loop sites 34-37. Site 35 is huge; site 36 has a little beach spot where a couple of chairs would fit nicely. Water/electric sites with good water access: 59-61. Reserve at recreation.gov.
- Services: electric/water, one dump station, bath houses with showers and toilets. Aluminum can recycling only
- Decent Verizon signal. Great Verizon and ATT in Clarksdale
- Groceries: 10 minutes to the Food Lion in Clarksdale. The town has gas, CVS, hardware store, a farm market in the Dollar Store parking lot (those pies!), a laundromat (use the one on Route 15) and even a McDonalds.
And later, if I ever felt that I was getting swept away by the craziness of being in a band, well, I’d go back to Virginia.