Friday, August 30, 2013

Hungry Mother State Park, Marion, Virginia

Stop #27 on our 2013 Summer Tour was at our very, most favorite campground in the whole world: in the meadow above our son Joel's house near Athens, Ohio.

What fun to sit around in the evening visiting with him and his faithful canine companion Clyde.  It was almost a gift that we got to stay an extra week while our truck got fixed.  But, by the last week of August we were headed southeast.

Near Marion, Virginia, we stopped for a few days at Hungry Mother State Park in the Camp Burson campground, Stop #28.

What a lovely park!  Our site was level, tree-shaded and very comfortable. But we wondered about the unusual name of the park.  Perhaps you, too, find it a bit strange.
The legend of the name, as printed in the park brochure, is this: 
 "Legend has it that when Indians destroyed several settlements on the New River south of the park, Molly Marley and her small child were among the survivors taken to the raiders' base north of the park.  Molly and her child eventually escaped, wandering through the wilderness eating berries.  Molly finally collapsed and her child wandered down a creek until she found help.  The only words the child could utter were 'Hungry Mother.'  When the search party arrived at the foot of the mountain where she had collapsed, they found Molly dead.  Today, the mountain is Molly's Knob and the stream Hungry Mother Creek.  When the park was developed in the 1930s the creek was dammed to form Hungry Mother Lake."
We enjoyed visiting the Information Center and its museum.
The meals at the restaurant were delicious.
And the live week-end music at the gazebo on the lake shore
was a taste of mountain culture.
The wildlife was entertaining.
But the walking trail around the lake was our favorite part of our stay. The trail head was just across the campground road from our site.

Up the hill, past the spillway of the lake we hiked (and puffed!)
then the lake spread out before us!
An easy  two and a half miles later
the swimming beach, the boat rental, and the bridge to the amphitheater came into view.
One evening after supper, Bruce decided to walk all the way around the lake.
He discovered, as the evening shadows were lengthening, that the trail was 7.5 miles instead of the 5.7 miles indicated in the informational brochure!
Hungry Mother State Park in Virginia is another place we are adding to our "Come Again" list!