Daily Archives: June 17, 2014

Blue Ridge Mountains – Mount Pisgah (June 5 – 8)

Jon and I wanted to spend the last weekend at the National Park Service Mount Pisgah Campground off of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Mount PisgahCampground on the Blue Ridge Parkway

We had planned on taking I-40 all the way there.  Unfortunately, I-40 at the NC / TN border was closed for most of the day, so after looking over the map, we decided to go through the Smoky Mountain National Park via Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, TN.  It was amazingly tacky.  It had all grown up quite a lot since the last time I went by this area.  The traffic was pretty horrible and unpredictable.

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We drove through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It was really pretty and very full of traffic and cars.

It had been raining off and on today.

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We made it to the campground around 4 in the afternoon.  We drove around several times and found a nice campsite.

 

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We came out here in August for our first trip in the Mitsubishi Fuso.  We had a great time and wanted to spend a weekend here before heading home.  It was a great way to celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary. Once we settled in, we went out for a walk.  I fixed some wonderful smoked sausages for dinner.  We bought them when we were in Kansas.

Opa’s Smoked Sausages

The package only contained 4 of sausages, so cooked up all of them. They were so filling that Jon and I only finished off two of them.

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The next morning, we went out on the motorcycle and saw some pretty amazing views and several wild turkeys on the side of the road.  We visited the Folk Art Center and the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center.

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The Mountain Laurel, Rhododendron and Flame Azaleas were in bloom. They were just beautiful.

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We ate at the Pisgah Inn for dinner to celebrate our anniversary.  Jon and I both had the fresh mountain trout but prepared differently.  The food was fabulous as usual.

The next day, we went out for a vigorous hike.  We went down the Pilot Rock Trail.

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It was a very long climb down (1,800 ft) over a pretty short distance (3.6 mi).  We had been warned that the sign was incorrect.  We were passed by a couple of mountain bikers.  Once we reached the bottom, we ate a little lunch and then hiked back up.  We were passed by a lot of mountain bikers coming down the trail on our hike back up.  The climb up seemed a whole lot longer than I remembered going down.  We took a slight detour coming back for a little variety.  The views and flowers were really nice and it wasn’t too hot.

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It turned out to be a 9 plus mile hike with over 2000 ft elevation to climb.  I was pretty tired by the end.

We got cleaned up.  I fixed dinner and then we went to the Campfire Circle to attend the program about Bobcats.

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It was really well done and there was a good turn out (about 70 people).

Jon and I left the next morning after having breakfast at the Pisgah Inn.  Yes, I actually had oatmeal.  It was really fabulous.

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Unfortunately, the mountains were covered in clouds/fog and there wasn’t much of a view.

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We watched a poor cold chipmunk huttle for a while.

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Our drive home was uneventful thank goodness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Spring 2014 | Leave a comment

Heading Homeward – Southern Colorado to Tennessee

June 1 – 4

After our night at Picket Wire Canyonlands, we headed east.  With the temperatures and humidity levels rising, we decided to stay at campgrounds with electrical hookups so we could use the A/C to at least cool off the camper at night.

We stayed at a municipal lake campground at Lake Coldwater in Coldwater, Kansas on Sunday night.

Lake Coldwater in Coldwater, KS

The sites had electric and water hookups around the only lake in southwest Kansas that allowed water sports.  We reached our site for the night and found someone else in our spot.  Jon talked with the owner and it turned out that he had just parked in the wrong spot by accident.  Since we were only going to be there for the night, it didn’t really make any difference to us.  We just parked in his spot. You can see his camper in the background.

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We were set back from the lake by a row, but you can still see the lake.  We set out chairs to face the lake and just enjoyed the surroundings.

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It was amazingly quiet, especially since there were a lot of campers parked in the area.  There just weren’t any people in them.  We assumed that most people stayed parked here for the season; coming and going when they had time.  The campers that were occupied seemed to be of the type owned by transient workers.  There is a lot of petroleum work in the area.  They tended to come back to the trailers and disappeared inside.

After a rainy and windy night, we started off.  To save time, we decided to eat breakfast out.

During a brief time with an internet connection on our drive, I downloaded:

Kansas: An Explorer’s Guide

It recommended a couple of places in Coldwater for breakfast.  We headed to the Timber Wolf Inn.  Well, the restaurant was at the location, but it was now called the Blonde Grill.

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We were game.  The menu was very innovative and the food was great.

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Jon chose the Hot Pepper Bacon Waffle – One Crispy Corn Waffle with Bacon, Jalapenos & Cheddar Cheese.

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I chose the Huevos Divorcadas – Two crispy tortillas, meat, beans, 2 eggs, cheese, red sauce, green sauce & sour cream.

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They were both fabulous.  If you are ever in this part of Kansas, I would highly recommend stopping here.

The Blonde Grill

We stopped in the middle of nowhere KS for lunch.

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We made it to Joplin, Missouri on Monday.  We stayed at Zan’s Creekside RV Park which was right on Shoal Creek.  It was kind of a strange place.  To get to the campground required a number code to get through a gate behind a bar & grill.  But it was a nice spot. This was the view from our campsite.

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It was pretty close to a major road.  Fortunately, the noise quieted down after a short time.  On the other side of the creek was a public access area.  We walked down the creekside for a little way. We sat in our chairs and watched people drink, sunbathe and tube down the creek with small dogs in their own tube.  Here is a view of our campsite from the creek.

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You can kind of see our camper from here. There weren’t very many other people at the campground.  We had a quiet night.

We stopped at Bull Shoals Lake in Theodosia, MO for a brief lunch.  We’ve been eating cheese and sliced meats for lunch.

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We stayed at Lake Charles State Park near Pocahontas, Arkansas.

Lake Charles State Park

It was kind of a strange place.  We took a walk around the campground.  There was some kind of group camp for teenage girls.  I was glad that we weren’t sharing the bathrooms with them.  The park had a Yurt that you could rent in additional to two RVs. We had strange neighbors that came and went at all hours of the night.

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We drove into Tennessee the next day.  We saw someone doing tricks in a biplane during the drive.

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We stayed at Floating Mill Park on Center Hill Lake near Cookville, Tennessee.   It is part of an Army Corp of Engineer facility

Floating Mill Park Campgound

We needed a campground with a laundry this night. Plus, since we still weren’t used to the humidity yet, we also wanted one with electricity. This campground had both. We were able to get a spot with a great view of the lake.

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The camp had a washer & dryer at each bathroom facility. It meant that I had to hang out and wait for it to finish. I finished it off just in time to get back and enjoy the sunset.

 

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Off to NC tomorrow.

 

Categories: Spring 2014 | Leave a comment

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