Thursday, November 2 – Day 65
After a week of R&R, the group was itching to continue our fantastic journey of North America. Our next destination is the center of the country music world, Nashville, Tennessee.
Avoid restricted and unpassable roads in your RV. Check out this Amazon bestseller.
From our campground on the shores of Neuse River and the Atlantic Ocean, our route takes us across the entire state of North Carolina and halfway through Tennessee to Watertown an hour east of Nashville.
Henry decided to replace the tires on the front axle of his 5th wheel, they were showing more wear than the rear ones. With all the issues I’ve had with tires, I wasn’t about to be contrary, probably a wise move.
Henry’s 8 am appointment should work perfectly and bring them back to camp in time for our departure time. They arrived back at camp as we pulled out.
It was nice to be back on the road again a perfect morning with bright sunshine. We drove through rolling hills of cotton, and green fields of low growing plants I didn’t recognize, but my guess was peanuts after we saw several Planters Peanut billboard advertisements.
I googled ‘how do peanuts grow’, peanuts grow underground like potatoes. The cotton fields were easy to spot, dead looking brown plants with white gobs hanging from them.
Our first night’s destination on the way to Tennessee was a county park in Pleasant Garden, North Carolina, south of Greensboro.
As we drove west through North Carolina Henry asked an interesting question. “Why do most of the town names in North Carolina end in ‘boro’”? I got my navigator on it forthwith, or more correctly when she finished her quilting video.
Soon Lynda had the answer, ‘boro’ means ‘town’. Boro is a British term given to a village after it attains self-governing. Seemed interesting while driving, not so much now.
We arrived at Pleasant Garden county park early in the afternoon under sunny skies and mid 70’s (25 Celsius) temperatures.
A bit of a kafuffle greeted us, a crew repainting the road lines blocked the entrance to the campground.
An uppity bossy guy said we may not enter the campground, instead, he instructed us to follow a guy on an ATV to the town Aquatic Center where we were instructed to wait 20 minutes for the newly painted lines to dry.
A quick lunch as we waited for our escort to return and take us to the campground. Soon after arriving at the campground we realized the person who made our reservations double booked the campsites, all the spots in the area were reserved.
We flagged down a park employee and explained the problem. He left us momentarily returning with good news, he found campsites in a different area.
The new sites were designed for smaller rigs, but if we unhooked we could fit, at least we had a place to camp for the night.
Once set up was completed there was time for a glass of wine and relaxing before dinner and bedtime. Ralph brought out the propane campfire.
A campfire, even propane creates a relaxing atmosphere. We enjoyed winding down after a long drive.
Tomorrow is another traveling day.
Friday, November 3 – Day 66
Another sunny day as we rolled out of bed, a cool morning with temperatures in the low 60’s.
We left Pleasant Garden around 9:30. First, on the morning’s agenda a stop for fuel before we hit interstate 40 west.
On the way to the interstate, Henry spotted a gas station and pulled in. I entered behind him there was enough room for me to get off the road. Ralph was not so lucky and had to wait on the side of the road.
Getting out of the station was a bit tricky we needed to be careful not to hit the pumps. After several thousand miles behind us the three of us are getting good at maneuvering in tight spaces with our 50-foot plus rigs.
We determined early in our trip the best place to fuel up is a truck stop or a gas station along a freeway or interstate. They usually charge a few cents a gallon more, the last truck stop price was 8 cents a gallon higher, a 25-gallon fill amounts to $2, worth it for the extra room to maneuver.
Highway I-40 takes us through the Great Smoky Mountains and the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. The smoky mountains got the name from a smoky haze that hangs over them. The haze is created by humidity from moisture evaporating from the forest floor.
Our destination today to Firefox Campground on the eastern side of the smoky mountains.
The drive through the almost mountains, more like high hills, was spectacular, fall colors in full bloom. This is the longest fall season of my life amazing colors and great weather has blessed us for the last two months.
The busy highway narrowed as we wound through the mountains making driving tense, fortunately, the semis were restricted to the left lane.
We arrived at Firefox Campground on the Pigeon River early afternoon. A pretty spot in the Smoky Mountains but a bit pricey at $40 a night. The girls headed out for their daily walk to explore the area while Ralph, Henry and I set up camp.
Our campsites are pull-through, we didn’t need to disconnect like the previous night. Setting up was easy, level the rigs, drop the stabilizers, hook up the electric, power out the slides and pull out the camp chairs. Time for a refreshment after the strenuous work.
Clouds gathered during dinner heavy rain began and lasted most of the night. As we sat under the awning sheltered from the rain a car pulled up, a young woman of Asian persuasion stepped out and asked if she could borrow our stove to make dumplings for her kids.
A strange request we all thought, indicated by the quizzical glances passed around. The slightly built mother explained in broken English her stove would not light and she needed to feed her children.
Lynda took her into our trailer placed her pot on the stove while waiting for her Vietnamese dumplings she chatted about her life.
She and the children had been in the US for a year while she finished her master’s degree in teaching. Vietnam is not tolerant of single mothers, she endured much discrimination, so she took a chance and traveled to the US. She is hoping to get a job teaching English to foreign students.
After a few minutes, the dumplings were ready, she loaded the pot in the trunk of her car and headed back to her campsite near the river. Before leaving she offered a taste of the dumplings, we declined.
The group was worried about her situation and what kind of shelter her and her children had to protect them from the rain. As it happened she forgot her cooler at our camp. A walk to the river to deliver the cooler was a perfect excuse to check out their digs.
Her campsite had two cars, a tent, and a makeshift canvas shelter. There was also a Caucasian man along with her pre-teen children. Seeing the man at her camp easied my concern, at least she was not alone with her children on this dark rainy night.
The cool damp night chased us inside earlier than usual. Nights like this are great for indoor games, although Lynda would sooner read. I’m not much for reading so if the game is canceled or postponed I try to find something on the TV.
Most modern RV’s have power antennas and TVs equipped with channel scanners. If there are any TV stations in the vicinity the scanner will pick them up. I didn’t think a campground in the mountains miles from a town would have TV reception………..wrong, the scan revealed several channels.
Of course, free TV is not the best quality, most channels are shopping channels or a foreign language. In the southern US Spanish or Mexican is the foreign language, ………….hmm maybe foreign language is the wrong term?
With not much to watch on TV and another driving day tomorrow early to bed for me. Our destination tomorrow is Watertown Tennesee and another ‘Boondocker Welcome’ host. Our base camp as we visit Nashville.
free overnight RV parking
To receive automatic updates on “Our Great North American RV Tour” subscribe to my website on the left of the page. It’s easy and I do not share your email address.
Check out my RV e-books on the right of this page. Whether you’re looking to buy an RV, want to try a Snowbird adventure, want to try boondocking or just like to read there is a book for you.
The e-books are less than the cost of a fancy coffee and a purchase helps sustain my website.
Thanks for visiting.