Back Down the Hill to Durham

Current Location: Rolling View Campground, Falls Lake State Recreation Area, Durham, North Carolina

We pulled out of Boone this morning after hitching up and dropping our bag of trash off at the dumpster at the campground. Malcolm had looked up the campsites at Falls Lake State Recreation Area in Durham and had entered the address from the website into the GPS.

Leaving Boone to head due east, the GPS took us out US 421, which is pretty much all four lane highway. US 321 that we came in on is still two lanes and twisty as you get further up the hills towards Blowing Rock. On the way up that hill, we were praying nothing would happen to the truck since there was nowhere to pull out of the way in some stretches.

US 421 was the complete opposite. However, there was a long downhill stretch of 8% grade with a couple truck run-off ramps on it. Traffic was pretty sparse. The tuner we added to our truck has an engine brake function that we put to good use going down the steep grades. It held the unit back to some extent, but we still had to apply brakes occasionally just to keep speed down.

We descended in 2nd gear (0ut of four) at around 40 MPH or so. Trucks were supposed to be going 30. Other than not realizing that the engine brake was disengaged on the last downhill stretch (just required a little extra braking), no big issues.

Starting down the mountains on US 421.

Starting down the mountains on US 421.

One on the flats, we merged onto I-40 heading towards Raleigh/Durham. We stopped for fuel between Greensboro and Durham and ate lunch in the truck stop parking lot.

Truck stop lunch

Truck stop lunch

Once we got to where the GPS said the campground should be (or at least the address Malcolm typed in), we instead found the information center for the Falls Lake Recreation Area. It was almost a tight turn into the parking lot, but we got information on where the camping is (we passed one campground on the way) and headed back down the road, finding the campground the old fashioned way – with a paper map provided by the park staff.

Once at the entrance gate to the campground, we found it unmanned. An information board near the road indicated what to do if you had reservations (we didn’t) and what to do if you didn’t have reservations (like us). Our instructions were to find an empty site without a tag indicating it was reserved for that evening (pretty much every site was empty and not reserved for today). Once parked, a park ranger would eventually come around and collect camp fees. We found a nice pull through site right inside the gate and got set up. This is the first time we’ve been on a 30 Amp site. Fortunately, we have adapters for every situation.

Site B1

Site B1

View out the living room window

View out the living room window

Malcolm called his cousin, Theresa, and left a message letting her know where we were. Then we trekked out to the post office to mail a couple things and pick up a fresh sheet of postcard stamps. Then, back to the campground. Theresa called right as we were finishing cooking dinner and came out to join us for spaghetti about 45 minutes later. We visited for a while, then she left to go home. The park ranger came by to collect our $25 fee (in the form of a check) as we were telling Theresa goodbye.

Tomorrow morning, we head out to Virginia Beach and more family visiting.

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