After relaxing for a week with the Grands, it was time to head out for our annual “Fun Fest” camping trip to Buggs Island, aka John Kerr Lake Resevoir. Buggs Island is Virginia’s largest lake, with over 50,000 acres of fresh water and 800+ miles of shoreline. It’s owned and maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers and the majority of the shoreline is undeveloped. The dam was completed in the 1950s to provide flood control and hydropower generation. It is a popular boating and fishing destination, and takes approximately 4 hours to get there from the DC area.
We’ve been coming down here for years – there are several campgrounds around the lake, but we always stay at North Bend Park.
You can get campsites right on the water and while the facilities are somewhat primitive, it’s a pretty nice place. Some sites also have electric hook-ups, but since we are tent campers, we just get the regular ole sites which are super cheap at $15/night (electric is only $20/night).
So that’s the skinny on the area. But what about our weekend? Well, the forecast was calling for temps 100+° and frankly, I was dreading it.
Our group, which has been as many as 18 at times, had dwindled to mere 10 (half of which was our crew). The heat definitely played a role, as did our picking a July date instead of our usual August. We arrived Friday evening and tried to get settled in at the campsite.
I was pleased to see our site (C-162) was quite spacious and shady. It also got a good breeze from being close to the lakefront. The site next to us, 161, (also ours by reservation, but unused due to our depleted numbers) was right on the point and offered gorgeous views of the lake.
We got things set up as quickly as possible then got the boat in the water and got the kids in the water. Everyone was happier in the water. We took a break for dinner, then went back to play in the water til about 8:30pm.
Then it was time for bed. Mike and the big kids decided to sleep out under the stars, while Adam, the dog and I occupied the tent.
We were a little worried about how Adam would do, but apparently, if you wear a kid out enough, he’ll sleep anywhere, so long his beloved Lammie is nearby.
Saturday was hot as the dickens, but thankfully never too miserable. We spent as much time as possible either in the water on the boat, enjoying the breeze. Lots of swim breaks and sunscreen helped keep everyone happy.
We got some tubing and wakeboarding runs in, but no one was as gung-ho as we’ve been in years past. We mostly just enjoyed hanging out having fun together. So, for as miserable as weekend as it could have been, we survived and managed to have a great time as always.
Here’s the pics, click to see more detail:"Camping at Buggs Island, VA",