Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Smith Mountain Lake

During the Christmas Holiday of 2010 The Bryants, Holts, Fergusons and the Coburns headed east to Smith Mountain Lake State Park.  My mom and dad had rented a 3 bedroom cabin at the park so that we could have a "rustic" style Christmas.  It was a neat way to spend the holiday and I know it will not be soon forgotten. 

Tommy lifting a tree off the path (not really but it was a good picture)

Smith Mountain Lake is the largest lake in Virginia and actually located in three counties.  The State Park itself is located in Bedford County and is located on the northern shore.  Tent camping is seasonal but the cabins are available year round.  Hence us being there for the Holiday.  We actually stayed to celebrate New Years Eve as well. 

Playing cards

My parents and sister had gone a couple/few days before us so they had a jump start on some of the fun.  They visited Homestead Creamery and bought some of the most wonderful orange-cycle flavored cream ever.  I only know because they bought some and saved it for us :)  They started early too on the game playing and cards. 

Everyone getting in on the game action

The lake during the winter is peaceful and quiet.  You can hike along it, fish it and boat on it but don't expect to see a lot of other people.  I'm sure that the summer is a totally different story.  The park has a swimming area designated in a beachy area of the park with a big deck and snack bar.  The beach area was open for us to explore but the snack bar and deck were closed of course.  The park does have bike rentals and they were able to hook us up with some bikes for a day so that we could get out in the fresh mountain air.  

We also did our fair share of hiking.  We had just had a snow storm about a week before getting there but most of the snow had melted down by the time we got there.  There are some hills to climb but nothing so bad I couldn't carry Emma with me but it was a good thing she was small :)

Emma and mom both bundled up.

The cabin was three bedrooms with two bathrooms and plenty big enough for all of us.  It had a fold out couch and one of the bedrooms was big enough we could have put down a blow up mattress if needed.  It was heated with electric heat as well as having a wood stove to use.  For the summer it also had a/c.  There were no televisions, dvd players or phones.  But we managed to survive.    

That would be the wood stove behind these ladies.

The kitchen had a stove (with pots and pans) a refrigerator and a microwave.  All the comforts of home.  I can't remember if it had a coffee pot or not but mom brought her own so no shortage of coffee for the early morning hours.  There was also a big front porch on this cabin so we could sit outside and listen to the small animals as they scurried around in the woods.  When night came we stayed busy with more card playing, board games, telling family stories and eating! 

My rents and sis in the kitchen

The men in the living room area.  I just wonder what they are thinking...

The area has a couple wineries within a short distance but call ahead as some close for the holidays.  There is a grocery store close by as well so you don't have to worry about bringing everything with you.  One of the days we went to a mall in Lynchburg....that trip took about an hour (I think).  So there are other things to do around the area and park other than hiking/biking/swimming/boating. 

Now can you believe I went to the lake and didn't get the first picture of the lake?  Yep that's me.  Sorry folks.  I will do better with that.  I do promise that it was gorgeous and that a trip here is one you too won't soon forget. 

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