Archive for September, 2010

9.18-9.27.2010- Off to Kerr Dam & Reservoir a/k/a Buggs Island Lake

September 25th, 2010 No comments

Ever since meeting Gracie, I have heard about Kerr, Rudds, North Bend and, occasionally, Buggs Island. Well, Kerr and Buggs are the same thing… a huge lake/reservoir and dam system on the Virginia/North Carolina border. Rudds and North Bend are campgrounds on the lake. All is owned and administered by the Army Corp of Engineers.Gracie and her deceased husband, Reed, came to the lake, either tent camping or RVing, for about thirty years and Gracie decided she wanted me to experience the beauty and serenity of the place.


The Kerr Dam, on the Roanoke River, is at the upper right in the picture- it was originally constructed for flood control and the production of electricity. The lake is 50,000 acres and has an additional 50,000 acres of park land surrounding it. It has 900 miles of shoreline, including 30 areas used for public recreation (indicated in red). Rudds Creek and North Bend Park are two of the many areas dedicated to camping, from tenting to RVing. We have electric and water on site and a waste dump is available at each park. Being constructed and administered by our government, the facilities are excellent- your tax dollars are being well spent!

Mary, Lin and Gracie                                      Bud and Rick

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Ashley and Ginny                        Chris

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Above is the crew that met at Rudds Creek. Rick and Lin are probably Gracie’s best friends. Bud, Mary, Chris, Ginny and Ashley are so close they seem as a family. All are close to Gracie so it is natural that we spend the time together.

Day one, the 18th, included about 100 miles from White Tail Resort (where Gracie has a place) to the lake. Of course, yours truly doesn’t go the way advised but, rather, goes as the GPS advises… a two lane country road is not quite the same as a four lane expressway! So, two and a half hours later we arrived, able to get into the site (#35) early as it was not occupied. The site was in the same “loop” as our friends so it was very convenient and had a decent view of the water.


Each family decided to be responsible for dinner for all for one night. Our first night was Mary and Bud’s turn… a new and wonderful experience. I had never heard of a “flat iron steak” but, next to filet mignon, it is the best. Tender, no fat, moist, delicious and cooked perfectly. Now if I can only find it at the market!


After dinner it was a night trip for catfish… all I know is that we caught one and I didn’t do it (Rick did… that’s why he’s smiling).

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Sunday, the 19th… seemingly a very lazy day but got a lot done. Hung a hand vac in the bedroom and a plug strip by the dining  table, where the computers hang out. Lunch was over at Lin and Rick’s… my first catfish. They don’t seem to serve it up north. For a bottom feeder, it was amongst the best- beats talapia by a bunch! Being it was Lin’s birthday, Gracie decided she had to do the group dinner. Beef Stroganoff, peas with carrots combo and ice cream sandwiches for dessert. Delicious!


Monday, the 20th was spent exploring and going to town, specifically Boydton and Clarksville. Boydton is a little bit of nothing- seemed like about four intersecting streets, none very long. Did find a replica Esso sign in front of a cute store.


Clarksville is much larger… even has a nest with bald eagles in front of the Best Western motel.


Gracie and I had heard about these and made a point of going to see them. Drove up and parked fairly far away so as not to disturb them. Sat and watched them… awfully still… pulled closer… still no movement… got out of the car and walked up to the nest… yelled at them… still no action. Feeling somewhat stupid, we realized that we had been “had”…they are fake. Up close it is obvious- they need to fix the hoax up a little bit. A wasted but fun ten minutes!

Gracie wanted to shop so off we went. First to an amazing store that seemed to go on and on. Can’t remember the name but it had a huge collection of gifts, knick-knacks, etc. Gracie ended up buying a small artificial flower arrangement for the guest bedroom in Chesterbrook.

Then it was off to the Virginia Avenue Mall… nothing like any mall you have experienced. A storefront with almost 60 consignment stores inside. Ended up buying a few collapsable utensils for Scooter’s kitchen. Quite an amazing store… we had to wonder how it stays in business- the town isn’t that big.


Shopping over, it was time to meet Lin, Rick, Mary and Bud for a pizza lunch. Gino’s (owned by an Egyptian) is where Gracie brought the family after spreading Reed’s (her late husband) and Fantasy’s (Red Dog’s sister) ashes back in June. A pizza place with memories.

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On Tuesday, the 21st, I went out fishing with Rick fishing for catfish until around 2pm. We tried drifting so as to cover more territory. Also found that the prey can be at different levels and areas. Came home with five, two caught by yours truly.

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Even got a lesson on how to filet the fish. Seems to waste some meat but is very efficient and avoids having to deal with the bones.


For dinner, Lin did a “Low Country Boil”- shrimp, corn, potatoes and three kinds of sausage. Apparently, it is OK to “throw it on the table” (drain the moisture and dump the pot onto newspaper, or whatever). We didn’t due to the possibility of bugs. In any case… delicious!!! I never would have thought that the six of us would have finished the two pots worth… Bud could not quite finish the last of his many potatoes! Following was cheesecake in celebration of Mary’s 29th birthday.

After dinner, we went out on Bud’s fishing boat for a trip to Reed’s Cove, named in memory of Gracie’s husband. Very remote with lots of animal tracks, including bear. A beautiful evening with a campfire to enjoy before bed.

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Until, we got back to Scooter… Webster had gotten to my CPAP (for sleep apnea) and destroyed the pieces at the end of the hose, the holder and nasal pillows.


On Wednesday, the 22nd, we came over to North Bend Park… spent the rest of the day making things right, fixing and cleaning. Called the CPAP people- $100 including shipping to have the replacement parts in hand the next day. The site is not what Gracie had envisioned… she wanted one with pull-through parking so as to have a view of the water. We actually have a back-in site that is fairly well shaded. It ain’t all bad… very peaceful, quiet and pleasant.


Thursday, the 23rd, was a special day for us- after doing the laundry and some shopping (lunch at Cracker Barrel, always fun) and some other shopping, we had a campfire (thank you, Bud, for the firewood) and filets for dinner. We are having a wonderful time!!



On Friday, the 24th. we woke up late and I worked on the blog. Lin and Rick stopped by mid- PM and we decided to drive around the various camping sites. Rick will be retiring soon and, since there is a two week maximum for using these sites, they need to find another so that they can switch between the two for an extended stay. At the end of the day Gracie and I decided to watch a DVD, the movie “Seabisciut.” Went to turn the TV on and found it has no   power. Spent some time working on it… no answer… all plugs in the circuit are dead and the breaker is on and OK. Ah well, another service visit to your friendly repair man!

The 25th was a sleep-in day (the others weren’t?!). Always have to walk the pooches around 6:30 or so but then is back to the rack. Spent the morning thinking about the TV and taking a short trip to visit Kerr Dam. Due to 911, you may no longer take tours of the dam but can explore the exterior. Not quite (by a bunch) Hoover Dam but impressive in it’s own right.

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The rest of the day was spent working on the blog… as soon as I get Gracie’s permission it will be on the web. We have two more days to go… will be added ASAP!


The last two days at Kerr were spent relaxing (Rick and Lin surprised us with a short visit) and making our way back to Gracie’s home at White Tail Resort. The trip back was via Rt. 58, a four-lane highway much superior to the two-lane back country road we experienced on the way to Kerr.

Gracie and I had a a wonderful time. The camping is superior… the Army Corps of Engineers maintains the facility in top condition. It is a real bargain, especially for those who have a Senior National Park Pass- $10 per night… can’t be beat!

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