Last weekend I laid out interior measurements on my dining room floor with tape to plan out interior build. I wanted to see what I could store under a platform bed with access hatches a/o pullout design. My camping gear is already streamlined since I am used to traveling in a Honda. Will buy material this weekend.
TRIP INFO: Then I took HellBetty on a 2-day maiden voyage down to the southern part of WV to visit an old FS fire tower in Jefferson NF (WV-VA-TN) A group now maintains it for raptor migration counts. I got up there before dark Tuesday but was not quite sure about it so ended up going to a nearby state park to camp. In the morning I went back up and met people replacing railing and floorboards on the tower and running raptor counts. They told me no one camping up there has had problems, good community of farms in the vicinity. It was spectacular! Someone put a set of Swarovski binoculars in my hands to use and when I heard I would need $3000 to buy a pair of my own I almost dropped them- lol. Now when there is a purchase to consider I compare it to the cost of this or that I would like to buy for HellBetty
Someone asked if I was the one in the 'big black van" camping the night before, so HellBetty already has a rep clear across the state.
I did not expect to stay long, but spent the morning because it draws you in. Especially breathtaking were 'kettles' or 'boils' of 24-30 broadwings in one group catching thermals. We also got counts on bald eagles, one osprey who snuck up on us travelling by. Good conversation with people from the southern part of the state.
From there I headed back north on 219, what is literally a Civil War Trail with the old farms and buildings to match. I decided to cut through a high area on 150 on my way home to scout camping spots in southern portion of Monongahela NF (WV). My original plan was to stay a second night up there but I had delays leaving town, so only out 1 night. It was a scenic drive on a ridgeline road and I saw several clusters of camps set up. I had forgotten that bear season started last weekend so it's just as well I could not stay longer. I walked up to an overlook above the road and heard one dog get started baying, then two together like they had just gotten something treed. Back on the road I talked to some hunters pulled over and found out how to find the access road I was looking for. One bear had been seen crossing the high road we were on... there were already 3 dogs running, and two of the trucks had crates with snouts poking out. At first all you see is are snouts, but when you get close there are pairs of eyes piercing deep into your soul, each pleading "I need to be out too and there is a good reason you should let me!"
HellBetty didn't seem so high among the lifted trucks in the hills. Got home way after dark again, already deciding when to go back and happy to have seen some new country and meet folks there.