Sunday, May 31, 2015

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway and checking out a work camping gig

After all of Monday's crazy festivities, Tuesday was a low-key day for us.  We took another motorhome test drive in the morning, and then along with Don & Cheryl and Don & Lois, we took a drive up to Little Switzerland for a late lunch.

We had heard good things about the Little Switzerland Café,

and it was all true -- we enjoyed a delicious lunch!  Little Switzerland is a tiny little town; in fact, there are only a couple a small shops -- but one of them is a really nice quilt shop!

I looked around, and she had some beautiful fabrics and wools, but I didn't need anything, so I left empty-handed.

Leaving Little Switzerland, we drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoyed the view from some of the overlooks. 

The view was fantastic!

We continued along the Parkway -- it was a great day out with friends!

From the Parkway, we turned north on County Road 80, and travelled a few miles north to the Clear Creek Guest Ranch.  They advertise pretty regularly in Workamper News for summer help at the Guest Ranch, and it looked like an interesting gig, so we decided to check it out while we were in the area.
The drive up County Road 80 was interesting, to say the least, and we weren't quite sure how it would be going up it pulling a big rig.  We found the Ranch and turned up their driveway, eventually making our way to the Lodge -- after a wrong turn towards the barn, which resulting in our car bottoming out and scraping on the rocks several times!!
We finally made it up the very steep driveway,
and pulled in behind the lodge.  We met the manager, Marci (how 'bout that??!!), and she very graciously showed us around and told us about how the ranch operates.  We were also very surprised to see one of our fellow RV-Dreamers from the Reunion Rally in the office!  She and her husband are currently working at the Ranch this season, and they said it's going pretty well.
The Lodge is home to the ranch office, a small gift shop, a HUGE kitchen, and the Dining Room and Recreation Room where guests gather for all their meals, and to enjoy time together.
All meals and snacks are provided for both the guests AND the staff, including work campers -- that's an interesting perk! 
The front of the Lodge has a large porch overlooking the mountain,
and it looked like a pretty cozy spot to pass the afternoon.

The Guest Cabins are off to the sides of the Lodge,
and the work camper sites are tucked into the woods, up on a ridge overlooking the river.


It was a beautiful location, and it sounded like it would be a really fun place to work for a summer.  They have 42 horses for trail rides, and they also take the guests on hikes and to other nearby attractions.  In the evenings, they have bonfires, square dances, movie nights, and many other activities.  There's even a pool and hot tub for everybody to enjoy!  Yep -- I think we'd definitely enjoy spending a summer here!
After our tour, we thanked Marci and left her our card  . . . promising to keep in touch for future seasons.
The drive back down the mountain was twisty and turny -- and we had this guy on our back bumper the whole way!!  :)
Back in Marion, we didn't need dinner since we had a late lunch . . . but dessert was in order!
The salesman at Tom Johnson had told us how good the ice cream was at Jack Frost, so we felt obligated to try it out . . . and he was right!
An excellent day spent with good friends!



  1. The Ranch looks really nice, but getting a big rig there would be a challenge. Just love the BRP and the amazing views!! Fun day with friends:o))

  2. Sorry we didn't get to say our farewells in person nor spend more time together but there is always that visit somewhere down the road.
    When we drove the Parkway and 221 we always had someone tailgating us but it was their problem not ours.
    That ranch does look like a nice work-camping gig but I can hear the truck groaning to get the trailer up that driveway.
    Glad you were able to have a nice day out with friends and hope you hear good news on everything soon..
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. That sounds like an awesome gig! It was great seeing you guys. It was an awesome week!


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