Tag Archives: Tennessee Vacation

Day 2 – Restful

Day 2 of our vacation was much more restful and certainly less stressful than Day 1. I slept until 8 this morning and Carol slept until 10. I guess we both needed the extra sleep.

After a leisurely breakfast at home, we decided to take a driving tour of the area. Most of the attractions and events here cost between $30-$50 per person. In my book, that is just too expensive. Smokey Mountain National Park is much more enjoyable and is certainly less expensive.

Today we drove southwest from Pigeon Forge on Wears Valley Road (US-321, TN-73) for 16 miles to Townsend. We opted to head into the Smokey Mountains on Little River Road instead of continuing on to Cades Cove on Laurel Creek Road. We can make a day trip from Blue Ridge, GA to visit Cades Cove later.

For 18 miles we traveled along the Little River stopping in a few places to take photos of the Little River. The beauty of the park is difficult to explain in words. The 35mph speed limit through the park is at time too fast partly due to the scenery and partly due to congested areas where travelers can pull off the road to take in the view. As an example, here I am pulled over. I had to be careful stepping out of the truck. I was not planning on taking a dip today.
   TN SMNP Little Rive 2
This is one of many shots I got at this location. I shoot these photos in RAW format, then edit them as needed for color balance and crop to get the perfect photo. These images have not be edited but have been converted from RAW to JPG to make them manageable for web viewing.
   TN SMNP Little River 1
This is a photo of Meigs Falls. This is one of two water falls that are accessible by car. It is set back quiet a way and can be easily missed. There was a crowd there so as we drove past, Carol noticed the falls and suggested we pull over.
   TN SMNP Miegs Falls
We exited the park at the Sugarlands visitor center. We did not take the time to stop because we were working our way back to Pigeon Forge and still had a couple of stops to make. Later this week we will be parked at Yogi in The Smokeys RV Park in Cherokee, NC and will probably drive back to the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Gatlinburg is only 35 miles away (a 1 hour drive) on US 441. This twisty route is certainly not for RVs.

Gatlinburg is just as touristy as Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. The attractions in this area are geared to families. For us it is just too touristy. Would we come back here? Certainly to spend more time in the park and possibly for a workamp gig at Dolly Wood. Tomorrow we are supposed to have rain. We have prepped as much as we can so we can get going when we are ready. Our plan is to have breakfast at Mel’s Diner, then get hooked up and head north to Lakeview RV Park near Bluff City, TN. Hopefully it won’t rain during the entire 100 mile trip.

Thanks for stopping by.

Day 1 – Ouch!

Our target today was to land at Walden Creek Campground in Pigeon Forge. We got off around 10:30 and joined the crowd on the road to the Ocoee Whitewater Center. The TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) releases water from upstream lakes on the weekends so there will be whitewater on the Ocoee during the summer. As we drove past, we decided we will make another trip here in July to watch from the banks of the Ocoee River.

Our first stop was Cleveland, TN for a late breakfast. Cracker Barrel was the target. Other than a DQ Blizzard or two, this is the first national chain restaurant we visited since we left Texas in February. We knew they would have a place to park in the back parking lot. As it was, we stuck out about 4 feet on both ends of the slot.

After breakfast we headed north on I-75 to Knoxville, TN where I-40 merged with I-75. We continued on I-40 past Knoxville heading for Exit-407. Before we got there, we encountered a sea of red lights. UH-OH! This is not what I expected. The sea of red lights was caused by a rather large crowd getting off at Exit-407.
   IMG 0864
We got off the interstate then crawled the 12 miles to Wears Valley Rd in Pigeon Forge. The road construction just cannot keep up with the traffic demands.
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The closer we got to Pigeon Forge, the more we realized this is a larger tourist area than we imagined. We found the Welcome Center, The Smokey Mountain Opry House, Wonderworks, The Titanic, and The Wax Museum. Yep this place smells touristy.
   Tourist Stuff
We finally made our turn on Wears Valley Rd and then on Henderson Spring Rd. Our campground was just down the road a bit. We pulled in, drove to the back where the office was, got registered, then headed back to the front to our site. I made the left turn then heard a very long SCRUNCH. I look back and saw –

IMG 0877
My first thought was, “Where did that truck come from?” That is when I realized I did not make a wide turn. I started to back up but thought I better get out and take a closer look.
   IMG 0878
YIKES! This does not look good. I certainly hope we can find the truck driver. Fortunately she was near by and slowly pulled the truck away from the RV. Her truck had a broken taillight and some minor scratching around the light fixture. She acknowledged that tail gate did not latch properly before meeting our RV.
   IMG 0879
Our RV got the worse end of the deal. Initial contact with truck’s bumper was just below the bottom rear side of the basement cargo door, then a gouge below the utility access panel door, then a deeper gouge that just about took out the stinky slinky storage door, then finally the skin on the bottom front side of the driver’s side slide got mangled. Fortunately, the slide rail did not get damaged. I’ll get some better photos for tomorrow.
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We got parked and set up. Carol called our insurance folks and explained all the details. While she was doing that, I messed around with positioning the satellite dish. It just could not find satellite 129. I moved the dish around to several places and it just refused to make any contact with 129. I then decided it was time to stop for the day and chill a bit.

Carol found a local restaurant that had pretty good reviews. We enjoyed dinner at Bullfsh Grill. She ordered the Spicy Bullfish Shrimp while I ordered Shrimp and Scallop Pomodori. Carol’s shrimp was too spicy for her and mine was pretty bland so she got my shrimp and I got hers. The place was pretty full of families who appear to be tourist.

Here we are nested in Site #2. Tomorrow, I will need to see what I need to secure on the damaged body panels and then take a leisurely drive through the area. We may decide to take in a game of miniature golf. We just have to do something touristy.
   IMG 0302
Thanks for stooping by.