James River & Kiptopeke VA State Parks

James River was my 4th campground hosting experience, and it was the most difficult and most remote.  Not having cell service or internet service was tough, but the actual duties made this hosting the most physically demanding.  Each campground has it’s own assignments, but at James River, I was driving a very old Chevy pick-up truck I fondly named “the beast”.There was an old bed pillow filling in for the seat that once was, it looked like a critter had eaten the seat.  The doors wouldn’t stay closed and would swing open when driving down the very bumpy roads.  If the driver’s side door was closed I had to reach out of the window to open it from the outside.  This is a photo of the driver’s side door.

But the very best part, she said jokingly, was the fact the tailgate did not open.  Cleaning the firepits is the number one assignment, so lifting the buckets over the tailgate was very challenging.

Thanks to two 90 minute massages at Massage Envy, I am able to move again.

James River is in western Virginia nestled in the foothills of the “Blue Ridge Mountains, the park features rolling grasslands, quiet forests and beautiful views, as well as 3-mile trail along the James River”.  Located in Buckingham County, it is north of Appomattox and south of Charlottesville.

In addition to the regular campground, there is an equestrian campground complete with horse stalls and large parking for trucks towing horse trailers.  I was the “horseshoe” host and a good thing I love horses!  I wished for my cowgirl pal Beth and my favorite horse Hope, we could have joined the campers for trail rides.  There are miles of beautifully maintained trails for people, bikes, and horses at James River.

I was grateful that Dave and Ann came to see me in their new Airstream, named Tin Man.  We had a lovely visit as always good food, wine, and lots of cards and games.  Our first dinner was on the banks of the James.

I was responsible for Branch Pond, a remote area of 7 campsites down a 3-mile road, in addition to the Equestrian and riverfront campsites. If you are planning a trip to James River don’t forget your enter tube, your horse, and a satellite telephone!

I am so glad to be back on the eastern shore at Kiptopeke VA State Park.

“Kiptopeke State Park is a state park located in the southern end of the Eastern Shore of Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula in Northampton County, near Cape Charles. From 1949, the site was owned by the Virginia Ferry Corporation and used through 1964 as the northern terminus for the Little Creek-Cape Charles Ferry service which crossed the lower Chesapeake Bay from the Eastern Shore / Delmarva to Norfolk and Hampton Roads harbor on the Western Shore. In 1964, the ferry service was replaced by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel which opened up giving automobile traffic convenient access to the park, the Cape, Delmarva, and “The Shore” to the urban centers to the west in North CarolinaVirginiaMaryland, and the District of Columbia.”   I love being close to VA Beach and Trader Joe’s.

Like other VA state parks, Kiptopeke and James River have “yurts” which are half tent, half cabin, and five new sunfilled cabins that sleep up to 16 people, in addition to the RV and tent camping.  We have a lovely sunny spot. Liz, Tim, and Lola were here last weekend in their VW popup, and Becky and Chuck are visiting this week staying at the newly remodeled Cape Charles Hotel.  Where we watch the VP debate and played our favorite board game Ticket to Ride.

We have enjoyed exceptional weather yesterday at the beach and today walking some trails to see eagles and hawks.  There is a new app for walking (aka hiking).

A new Avenza Map app uses GPS technology and specially created PDFs to communicate with satellites. As you proceed through the park, you show up as a blue dot for a moving “You Are Here” map on your mobile device. You’ll need a cell signal to download the map, and battery life to help you find your way. All the VA state park maps are available for download to your phone. So hopefully, you’ll never get lost, unless you want to!
And, you know I can get very lost!  Stay tuned.
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One thought on “James River & Kiptopeke VA State Parks

  1. Wow!! Arduous! Sounds like quite the challenge with some sprinkled in fun. The horses part is really cool! Did you get to go trail riding at night? Love hearing about your adventures. R and I just did 10 days in UTAH RV’ing in the national parks and are SOLD. We love having a bathroom in the car! Let’s catch up between fire pit cleanings!

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