My Summer Vacation

My Summer Vacation

Feeding Carp at Smith Mountain Lake Dock and LodgeLast week we vacationed at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia.  It was a new discovery for us.  This was the second consecutive summer we’ve traveled as a family…well, no dogs.

Smith Mountain Lake, or “SML,” has the best water for water sports.  It has some of the cleanest water I’ve ever experienced since my childhood summers in Mt. Storm, West Virginia where I learned how to water ski and tube.

Located in southwestern Virginia, the lake was created for hydro-electric power.  This man-made lake spans over 22,000 acres and has dozens of “fingers” creating over 500 miles of shoreline.  Strict regulations keep the water clean, and clean feeling!

SML is really just over 4 hours from our house and is close to several airports.  There are full time residents, vacation/second homes and rentals available.  Most are on the water.

A close friend of mine found the lake and spends most of his time at his lake house.  Howard and his family shared their home with us for the week.  The kids learned to wake board, knee board, and tube.

We basically spent the week pulling the kids behind the boat.  The wake board (kind of like a snow board for water) required the most skill, the knee board easiest to master and the tube the most fun.  We spent hours finding ways to “dump” the kids off the tube.

Earlier this year, I was challenged to zip-line.  I did water ski and was able to get “up” both times (thank goodness we had a strong boat!).  While I didn’t quite have the courage to “drop” one and slalom, nevertheless, I was pleased with my ability to still water ski at all.

Smith Mountain Dock and Lodge

I was most impressed with the sense of community.  There are several stores and restaurants scattered around the shores, but I really liked the story of Smith Mountain Dock and Lodge.

The marina/store/campground was just purchased at auction, thus preventing closure.  The new owner of Smith Mountain Dock and Lodge is Tom King.  He is committed to keeping this landmark, along with the original operators, part of the community.

As pictured, I even got my toes “sucked” by the residential carp at Smith Mountain Dock and Lodge!  It’s a cute marketing plan and tradition.

I think we’re going back!


  • Doon
    Posted at 14:56h, 24 September Reply

    Hey Randy, glad to hear you enjoyed Smith Mountain Lake! I think I told you my parents lived full time on the lake for over 10 years… many, many fond memories visiting them for vacations or just to get away– we visited may local attractions, listened to back-alley blue grass music, and other small town charms. The lake is huge, with so many inlets you can get lost very easily (and we did).

    BTW, you might enjoy the movie ‘Lawless’, based on a true story, still in theaters: it’s all about Franklin County, VA, where SML is located, including Rocky Mount and Moneta, VA- focused on the turbulent (and booming) moonshine business in the late 1920s during prohibition…all before SML was built. At night you could see all the fires burning in the “moonshine stills” up in the hillsides! I think I missed my calling 😉


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 21:53h, 25 September Reply


      Always great to hear from you!

      SML was a great find and it doesn’t surprise me that your parents loved it!

      To everyone….Doon and i are part of a group of young teenagers who have stuck together since junior high school!

      SML is really intriguing for Amy and me!


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