"We called on a whim to see if they had any space over this weekend. The did have overflow availab..."
"Talked to Reservations today (5-17-13). She said gate 2 on Missile Drive is now closed and need t..."
May 23 - 25, 2009
We arrived on Friday afternoon of the Memorial Day weekend. All three of the W/E hookup sites were open, but one of the electric boxes was out of service. If you're here, it's because you specifically wanted to be here. It's pretty far from anything but the beautiful backwoods country of West Virginia. This base supports radio telescopes and other radio listening sites in a 35,000 square mile "radio quiet zone" of WVA. The CG is small and rustic. The concrete pads for the w/e sites are only large enough for the wheelbase of a large van, and larger rigs wouldn't do well here. Since we have a GTRV pop-top van, we were a perfect fit. The electric connection for each site is a single 30 amp type plug--no 20 amp "appliance-type" plugs--so I had to get out my adapter for the electric hookup. Good voltage reading of 129 volts ac at the power post. However, checking the water we found that none of the water hookups in the CG was functioning. I went to the MWR office at the auto hobby shop and found an outstanding customer service guy in the person of Ralph Parker. He called the public works folks and got the water turned on in short order...it seems we were the first RVers to come since the water had been shut off for winter, and they just hadn't turned it back on again for the spring and summer. A little while later, he came by just to make sure we were all set and that the water had been turned on. Great service, and a friendly, helpful guy. There is no bath house in the CG, but we were advised that the base gym serves the CG. It's about a 100 yard walk from the CG, and it's open 24 hours a day, every day. The gym is a very nice facility, and includes all manner of exercise equipment, weights, a bowling alley, and a full-sized hardwood basketball court. The shower and toilet facilities were clean and well maintained. The NX/commissary is a short walk away and is small but well-stocked and very well organized. It's open every day. There's a single, unleaded regular gas pump next to the gym, which will take a credit card. However, the price, by law, must match the local prices which, in the backwoods areas are relatively high. If you even think you'll need gas while here, stop in one of the larger towns like Harrisonburg or Franklin to fill up. But it's nice to know it's available in a pinch. There is a dining hall on base and, happily, retirees are welcome to eat there. They serve only breakfast and lunch, every day, and the cooks & cashiers are friendly and welcoming. It's such a small and isolated base that they know the individual troops that eat there by name, and make strangers like us feel completely welcome. There is also a community center/all-ranks club that has a good variety of dinner dishes and sandwiches on its menu. It also has a nice bar. This facility opens at 4pm each day. The bar stays open later than the restaurant side. The community center has a wi-fi hot spot if you want to use your own laptop for internet access. Cellular service here only functions if you are an AT&T customer. We found this out from the folks stationed here. Sprint (our service) has no signal here. There is a pretty creek running alongside the CG, but it's on the other side of a chainlink/barbed wire fence. I was longing to find a way to get to it and do a little fishing when, lo and behold, a security policeman escorted a family down to a gate in the fence, unlocked it, and let them have access. I spoke to the SP, and he told me I can do the same if I go to the SP desk, fill out an access form, and give them my driver's license. When I'm done fishing, I return to the SP desk, get my license back and they come down and lock the gate. The stream is lively and I had a couple of good fishing days, including a two pound largemouth bass. Good deal all around. Speaking of the Security Police, they were very helpful, pleasant folks, led by the daytime watch commander Lt. Lawrence. They're good to get to know, and they're a great source of info on the base facilities and the surrounding environs.