Drove to Cades Cove ‘early’ this morning in an attempt to beat the traffic and to try and catch some wildlife. Succeeded in one of the two .. very few cars the Cades Loop .. but .. only wildlife we encountered was a turkey and a deer .. We see 10 deer and turkey everyday in our front yard .. so no wild animal photos today. Cades Cove was a very pleasant drive .. approx 11 miles of peaceful quiet driving through some nice meadows and forests. Can’t be in hurry while driving this one way loop .. reduced speed limits so everyone can enjoy the scenery .. but .. cars in front of you will stop often and you can’t go around them .. you can only hope they pull off the side of the road. Cades Cove must be a disaster on weekends and Holidays … ! After Cades Loop we hiked a few trails and saw several really nice waterfalls … trails were moderate to easy .. we didn’t too carried away .. trying to pace ourselves .. we’ve got a few more days in the Smokies ! One of the water falls ‘The Grotto’ was pretty unusual in that you can walk behind the waterfall without getting wet .. although .. the spray felt good !
Finished our last hike early afternoon .. then drove into Gatlinburg for lunch and a stroll through downtown area. Lunch didn’t pan out too well .. place advertised itself as ‘Best Italian Restaurant’ in area … they fell far short of that claim.. but .. we were hungry .. so we ate 1/2 our lunch then found a place selling Blue Bell ice cream .. a double scoop … and we were good to go ! Gatlinburg has to be one of the most tourist-y place around .. a few blocks of hotels, shops, restaurants, tee shirt shops, and many ‘Old Time Photo’ shops. Did make a stop at ‘Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler’ .. tried a few samples of ‘Moonshine’ … samples were ‘interesting’ .. but .. not enough for me to walk out with any bottles. Picked up a few tshirts .. and headed back to our campsite .. making our last stop at food store to pick up some fresh fruit and some ice tea.
A few photos from today … downtown Gatlinburg .. trails & waterfalls .. Cades Cove
Thought we spend most of today hiking and checking out waterfalls .. and just driving around to get our ‘bearings’ … Day started with a visit to Smoky National Park visitor center to pick up some maps. Took several easy/moderate hikes to some pretty nice waterfalls. Weather was nice all day … mid 80’s with some cloud cover. At one of our scenic stops .. we found a spot where you could stand and have one foot in Tenn and the other in NC .. weird .. Finished up our day with a visit to ‘Clingman’s Dome’. It’s the ‘Top of Old Smoky’ … altitude of 6,643 feet … 7 mile ride up to parking lot .. then a pretty strenuous walk to the top of the mountain .. but .. the scenery was well worth our efforts .. amazing views …. Pretty much more of the same tomorrow .. hiking and taking in the scenic views … We’ll probably save Sat for a visit to downtown Gatlinburg .. we drove through downtown today .. very .. very tourist-y … nothing but shops.. and restaurants for a few blocks … I’m sure we’ll be able to spend almost an entire day strolling around .. by Sat .. we should be ready to have a non hiking day !
Good night sleep last night .. nice and quiet .. just us and the rabbits! On the road this morning at 8am .. breakfast at Cracker Barrel (decent food and always parking available for trailers/RV’s). Another stop at Camping World in Roanoke VA to browse around .. picked up an outside carpet .. hopefully this will help us keep us from tracking in dirt etc … Continued on in to our current campsite in Gatlinburg/Cosby ‘Smokie Mtn Campground’. Small campground .. only 44 sites .. but .. very nicely maintained and it has gotten very high ratings in camper RV books. Very nice owners .. gave us alot of sightseeing tips … and a free bundle of firewood to welcome us.
On the not so good news … our Casita refrigerator has been dieing a slow death .. first we had problem running it on DC power (battery) .. then problems running it using propane .. and finally problems using AC power at campground .. But .. not to worry .. we have a plan B in place .. we’re using our stainless steel cooler .. loaded it with ice … so far … it’s doing the cooling job we need for our perishables.. a little inconvenient .. but .. we’re camping !
So .. after noodling around with Casita converter, battery, fuses and circuit breakers.. noticed that we had 2 30 amp fuses that were blown .. very strange.. but .. makes a little sense in that after we setup camp .. our fans were only running at half speed .. perhaps we were running on only 1 good 30 amp fuse ?? with entire power load running on the one remaining 30 amp fuse and Air conditioner blowing full blast .. .. it finally blew our 1 good fuse .. so we had no power for awhile … replaced 2 bad fuses with spares (need to get more spares tomorrow). Plugged everything in .. NO POWER !! 😦 Fuses replaced .. check .. battery cabled up .. check .. Casita plugged in to shore power .. check .. can’t find problem ! decided to have site host check power outlet that I’m plugged in to .. checks out OK .. Things don’t look good … until .. I noticed that when I replaced fuses .. I turned off circuit breakers .. but .. did NOT turn them back on !!! Everything working fine ! argh !!!! Anyway .. for now .. we have power restored .. refridg is working .. but .. still think we have a problem somewhere … why did we blow 2 30 amp fuses to begin with … mystery .. I know before this trip is over .. this will come back to bite me !
Anyway .. tomorrow morning we head out to Smokey Mountains National Park to do some hiking and exploring …
Oh .. did I mention I’ve ‘misplaced’ Casita trailer keys ….. (TG has spares) .. I think this 90 degree weather has melted my brain !
No pictures today .. just one of our campsite .. should have taken one with me pulling out my hair over this electrical issue 🙂
On the Road Again !
Day 1 … BBL to Verona Virginia .. 350 miles ..
Left house around 8:30 this morning .. intermittent rain all through PA .. No traffic and very little construction on 81 South ..able to maintain a steady 60 mph for almost all of the day. Stopped at rest stop in West Virginia for break .. then on to Stanton Virginia for lunch/din at a Cracker Barrel .. continued on for another 30 min .. then on to campsite .. No issues with truck or Casita .. Filled truck with gas before pulling into campsite .. $3.25 /gal .. that’s the cheapest we’ve seen in along time !
Nice campsite .. a ‘Good Sam’ … hardly any other trailers in campground … in fact .. there are more wild bunnies hopping around than there are trailers ! Numerous bunnies hopping around the grass … Place has a pretty nice river flowing through it .. with a nice waterfall .. can rent a tube and do some tubing down the river .. Plan is for an early get-away tomorrow morning .. heading to next campsite in Cosby Tenn .. near Smoky Mountains … setting up camp for a few nights …