I don’t remember exactly when my coffee addiction began. It’s funny how our tastes change as we get older. In my twenties I thought coffee was disgusting, now I can’t begin my day without it. Ashley is the same way. Making coffee while camping was going to be difficult for us. The camp stove we have is basically a propane fueled skillet. Picture an electric skillet, but with propane. It works well for some things, but there’s no realistic way to make coffee with it. Knowing this, we made a couple of Mason jars full of cold brew coffee with our French Press ahead of time. Preparation is key. Our second morning began with delicious cold brew coffee.
After coffee, the next order of the day was to fix breakfast. I cooked up some sausage patties and scrambled eggs on our camp stove. Ashley and I enjoyed our food at the picnic table while taking in the sounds of songbirds surrounding the campground. We were constantly on the lookout for bears. The Ranger at the gate had told us to watch out for bears when we checked in. The cashier at the local store where we stopped for firewood also told us some stories of bold bears in the area. I couldn’t help but imagine that the smell of sausage and eggs might lure in a bear or two. No bears joined our table for breakfast that morning.
There are quite a few wineries in this part of Virginia. We planned on doing a wine tasting at one of these vineyards that shall remain nameless. Our drive to the winery took us down the Blue Ridge Parkway for a short distance. We have traveled this road extensively, having completed the entire distance a couple of years back. It never gets old though as the views are spectacular. Arriving at the winery shortly after it “opened” we found an empty parking lot. Ashley knocked on the door to no avail. Disappointed, we came up with a new plan.
Ashley loves Hard Cider and one of her favorites is made by Bold Rock. One of their cideries is in Nellysford, Virginia. A long elevated wooden ramp meanders through tall trees leading to the cidery. The outside of the building is large and inviting. Inside we found a nearly empty building which was to be expected as it was a weekday and they had just opened. Ashley ordered us a flight of ciders and a cheese plate. I found a table overlooking a beautiful green valley and a meandering stream. We tried all of the ciders which were all delicious and soon our cheese plate was ready. This was actually the first cheese plate that we’ve ever had. It featured two kinds of cheese, some olives, an assortment of bread, grain mustard and Quince paste. Everything was delicious! After eating we explored the outside area of the cidery finding plenty of outside seating, a fire pit, corn-hole boards and a large field that is used for concerts.
On our way to Bold Rock, I had noticed a brewery that looked interesting. Wild Wolf Brewing was already on our agenda for this trip. Being that it was lunch time we and it was close, we decided to check it out.
Since it was already past noon, and we had already drunk some cider, we deemed it perfectly acceptable to order a flight of beers.
I ordered pulled pork tacos while Ashley had the Korean BBQ tacos. We both found our tacos to be spicy, but very delicious! After eating, we walked around the outside of the brewery.
After lunch, we made our way to Silverback Distillery. We pulled into a virtually empty parking lot which wasn’t a surprise as it was a weekday. Inside, we found a bar and a bartender eager to give us samples of all of their products. Cocktails were made featuring their gin and grain spirits. Vodka and whiskey were served straight. Our favorite spirit was their vodka which we hope to find in North Carolina soon.
We’ve been vodka drinkers for years. Recently, we discovered bourbon. We found a liquor store not far from our campsite and purchased a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon.
At the campground, we decided to take a dip in the lake to cool off. Upper Sherando Lake is beautiful. There is a large sandy area dedicated to swimming. Our swim was very refreshing as the weather was very hot and humid.
We made some simple pizza quesadillas with pepperoni and fresh mozzarella, topping them with pizza sauce. With bellies full, a campfire was built and we enjoyed the rest of our evening.