I have always been described as a little crazy, but in the past weeks the word "insane" had been used more than once when colleagues got a look at my travel schedule. Before you find out where my pants presently are, I want to share one of those Top 10 stops while traveling in Virginia.
Mr. Peanut meet Mr. (Ohio State) Buckeye in Knoxville
During my last trip 2 weeks ago, I stayed a night at Fairy Stone State Park and the following morning went up to Claytor Lake State Park using Route 8. Route 8 is a breath of fresh air after all the miles I had driven on highways the week before to go out to Knoxville and Bristol for NASCAR FanFest events. The ride takes you through apple orchards with trees loaded with red, green and yellow apples. It winds up and over the Blue Ridge Parkway with stunning views along the way. Eventually you reach the quaint country town of Floyd, a place where old times meet modern art.
Traveling North out of Floyd on Route 8 and only 15 miles off I-81 is a real gem that I have to stop at if I am passing it, The Bread Basket. The store will take you back to the times of how grocery stores once were back in the day. Breads, cookies and pies are made right there in a kitchen, with all kinds of bulk spices, mixes, homemade jams, fresh cheeses, meats and so much more available to take home. I strongly recommend the next time you are zipping down I-81, to take a break and head South on Route 8, or travel the back roads like I did for this trip.
Today you can find me in Chocolate World, Hershey, Pennsylvania as I am working the Pennsylvania RV Show, the largest RV Show in the country. This is part of Virginia Tourism grant and partnership with the Virginia Campground Association, Fish Virginia First and the Virginia Beach Tourism to promote Virginia as a tourism destination. We will take this same show on the road to Tampa in January.
Upon arriving back home after a very long week up here, I will have time to unpack and repack before heading down to New River Trail State Park to help get everything ready for race week. NRT Challenge triathlon is Saturday, September 21 and pre-race party at the Pulaski Train Depot on Friday, September 20. It's a busy week as part of the organizing and set up team, but at some point I will have to switch gears and join my team in the race. During my last trip to the park I kayaked the 12 miles of the race and knocked off 45 minutes from my race time for the 2012 race. After the race, I think I get a day off before a 2 day conference followed by 9 out of 11 days at the State Fair of Virginia.
If I survive this stretch, in mid-October you can find me relaxing at Kiptopeke State Park for our annual Virginia State Parks' Benevolence Fund Family Fishing Tournament, and of course, I'm not just one of those enjoying fishing, I am part of the committee for this event.
The Colors of Competition
My New River Trail Challenge triathlon workout update:
Since the last Episode:
1,000 sit ups, 75 miles of kayaking, 5 miles of hiking
TOTAL since May 20th:
11,000 sit ups, 21 miles of hiking, 1 mile of biking, 137 miles of kayaking/canoeing and countless hours of my mind telling my body it doesn't hurt!
Until our paths cross at a Virginia State Park, hang onto your pants!