Thursday, August 23, 2012

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

Aug 8-12, 2012
(I wanted to do just one post for our stay here but the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail was so nice that it deserves it’s own post.)

Sevierville, TN
River Plantation RV Park site 165

We thumbed through the cg brochure that was given to us at check-in and decided to take this nice ride in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg.  It was wonderful!  It’s a five mile long narrow winding road with mountain streams, cascades, moss covered boulders, and green forests by the roadside.  It’s like taking a hike without any of the effort!
Roaring Fork 

We lowered the windows on Suki and opened the sunroof to let our ears and noses enjoy the ride too.
Sunroof View-Roaring Fork
Roaring Fork Motor Tour  Roaring Fork Motor Tour

There were several places to park and take real hikes but we enjoyed the few stops at the overlooks.
Roaoring Fork Auto Tour
Roaring Fork Overlook  Roaring Fork Overlook

I have always loved the lush green foliage that is found in the Great Smokies.  There was green everywhere!
Forest engulfs you  Moss everywhere

There was moss growing on everything that didn’t move.  Tree trunks were covered even before they fell to the ground and the boulders were green with moss!
Mossy Rocks-Roaring Forks
Mossy Trunk-Roaring Fork  Mossy Log-Roaring Fork

We could see and hear the mountain stream that flowed along beside the road much of the time.  So refreshing and cooler in the higher altitude.  I just had to sit on a rock and enjoy it for a while.
Mountain Stream  Mountain Stream
Enjoying Nature  Roaring Fork

The tour took us by a few buildings that were left by the families that lived here before the National Park was created.  We were just more engrossed with nature.
Road over the Stream  Road over the Stream

I have always enjoyed rock outcroppings too.  There were several boulders along the roadside with trees and bushes growing right out of them.
Roadside Boulders  Roadside Boulders
Mossy Boulders  Roadside Boulders

But the most exciting thing that happened to us to make this day so very special was our own personal bear sighting.  I drove very slowly on this auto tour and any time a car rolled up behind us, I would pull over and let them go by.  There was no one else around when this juvenile black bear sauntered across the road only 20 feet in front of us.  The pics are a little fuzzy because Gin was so excited she couldn’t hold the camera steady.
Roaring Fork Bear  Bear in the Woods
Fuzzy Bear  Bear Butt

The bear took it’s time wandering across the road a couple of times while foraging for food.  She never paid any attention to us in the car.  It was very magical for us.  Gin took a brief video of the bear as it left the road to return to the woods one last time.  This is dedicated to Tricia who would have thoroughly enjoyed this too.

This Bear’s for you Tricia

Thanks for dropping by and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

River Plantation RV Park (TN)

Aug 8-12, 2012
(Catching up in the Great Smoky Mountains.)

Sevierville, TN
River Plantation RV Park site 165

We stopped by here for a few days to enjoy full hook up on our way to visit family back in NC.  We really wanted to go to the Cable Mill Visitor’s Center of Cades Cove and get some Caribbean pancakes at Flapjacks Pancakes which is right next to this RV Park.  Many of you are familiar with this place because we were at the RV Dreams Rally in April of 2011.  There is a new office to check-in at in the park and it is still a well maintained park.
Entry at River Plantation
New Office at River Plantation RV Park  River Plantation RV Park-Sevierville TN

The first order of business for the day was the Caribbean pancakes.  We had enjoyed some when we were here a year and a half ago and our taste buds were ready for some more.  We sat down in a booth and saw that it was no longer on the menu!  I asked our waitress about it and she said that it would be no trouble for the cook who could whip up some just special for us.  They were good with coconut, banana, pineapple and nuts on them.  Yum!

Next, we decided to take a ride on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.  It was so nice there that I’ve decided to do a separate post on that soon.  It started raining as we finished up with that but we still drove over to Cades Cove.
Rain moving in
Rain moving in at Cades Cove  Disappearing Mountain

In our previous visit here we had stopped at most of the restored pioneer buildings and I did a post about them that day.  We just enjoyed our ride today by finding some wildlife in the meadows.
Deer at Cades Cove  Deer at Cades Cove
Wild Turkey at Cades Cove  Wild Turkey at Cades Cove

Much of the attraction of driving to Cades Cove is the drive itself.  There is a stream that runs along beside the road most of the way there and there are lots of squiggles (curves).
P1000473  Cut through the rock

We could tell that a strong storm had hit the mountain not too long ago.  There were several places along the road that had many trees down.  I think that some of them had been cleared away but most of them were still laying there.
Tree down  Trees down

I guess it’s nature’s way to open up the canopy to let new growth sprout forth.  This rainy day also helps with the new growth and keeps everything a very lush green.

Thanks for dropping by and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fort Boonesborough State Park (KY)

Aug 6-8, 2012
(Playing catch up but still having way too much fun.)

Richmond, KY
Fort Boonesborough State Park (KY) site 135

This state park isn’t far from I64 or I75 so it was a convenient stopover for a couple of nights.  We had no trouble getting adjoining sites during the middle of the week.  It was nice to have 50 amp again and water at the site, even if we did have to share a pedestal and use extra water hose.
Fort Boonesborough State Park (KY) site 135

One of the nice features of this park is the working Fort Boonesborough.  It is a reconstruction of the 1775 fort established by Daniel Boone as the second settlement in pioneer Kentucky.  It was nice to have air conditioning in the cabins.  We are spoiled.  There were several artisans showing us how things were done in pioneer days.  It was a hard life but the people had to work from sunup to sundown.  One of the bigger blockhouses was a representation of a Tavern or Mercantile.
Kentucky Tavern of 1780's
Kentucky Tavern of 1780's  Kentucky Tavern of 1780's

There was a cabin with looms to make cloth and a woodworking cabin.
Loom at Fort Boonesborough  Woodworking Shop at Fort

There was a cabin for the whitesmith or metal working shop and another for making candles.
White Smith or Metalworking Shop  Candle Making

In the courtyard was the blacksmith and a community garden.  We also saw a very heavy canoe that was made from a huge tree trunk log.
Heavy Canoe

Some of the artisans were at their stations and gave nice presentations of their crafts.  A woman was busy spinning yarn and another one was making lye soap.  She said that the pioneers only bathed about once a months. 
Spinning Yarns  Making Soap

The last artisan that we spoke with was the cobbler.  He said that the leather soled shoes back then only lasted about 6 months so most people went barefoot during the summer.
It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours on a hot summer afternoon.  Back at camp, we all decided to go for a ride in the Suki after supper to see some of the beautiful rolling hills and rock walls in the Kentucky countryside.  It was a great way to wrap up our travels with Dan and Tricia.  They planned to go a little further west the next day while we were headed southeast.  We’ve enjoyed tagging along with them.  It has made me more comfortable with route planning, driving and picking a good campsite.  It’s kinda like they were our training wheels.  We will miss our fellow Pelicans but know that we will get back together before you know it.

Thanks for dropping by and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.