Our Chalet Truck Camper

Our Chalet Truck Camper

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

June 25 Nashville through Knoxville and the Great Smoky National Forest

June 25 - Nashville through Knoxville and the Great Smoky National Forest

Today turned into part fun and part travel. Left Nashville at rush hour and got hung up in a traffic jam where a tractor trailer cargo burned. Cab looked okay so somehow the driver must have been able to disconnect. Long, slow inch by inch traveling.

Decided not to stop in Knoxville though it looked like it had a lot to offer. Took I-40 to I-140 to 129 at Alcoa, TN, then 35 at Maryville to 321 to 73 at Townsend to a good Smokey Mountain Travel Center for maps, etc. and into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

The road we were on was called the Little River Road and snakes up through the
forest following a stream up and down, rounded gentle lush green mountains of very small size compared to the west. I can see where so many of you TCers like this park as we spotted a lot of side roads that looked jeep friendly.

Then you come to the scene below within 100 feet of the scene above

Shock of coming out of the forest and BAM - right into the middle of true honkey tonk in Gatlinburg was awful. We could not find a native artisan for pottery, all reproduction junk. Very disappointed and spent a minimal amount of time in this tourist trap. I'm sure the good local artists are there but just not easily found quickly.

Back to I-40, through Asheville and further on some of the worse concrete roads we've ever driven. Bone jarring to say the least. We had planned on going up 173 through Boone, NC and then onto the Blue Ridge Parkway through Fancy Gap, Meadows of Dan, VA and then over through Danville and from there to near Richmond. However, these older bones just aren't going to take more sightseeing right now. We stayed on I-40 which got even worse for concrete joints and bouncing and are tonight in a campground near Statesville, NC. It was 95F late afternoon, is 91F now and 82F inside with AC. Our fifth week on the road and we have fallen prey to the siren song of air conditioning!! Sorry folks, sitting in a Wal-mart or by the road tonight with generator just wasn't going to cut it. Tomorrow we'll be at my family in VA and will spend 4-5 days visiting and resting up from the road. This trip is pretty well over as we'll head straight back to Maine, ready to plan the next one and getting all our thoughts, notes and photos in order.

Can't say enough on how well the Host Rainier has performed. One broken drawer latch and a screen door slightly out of alignment (don't ask) and that is it for over 7,500 miles. The Ford F-350 has handled all we've thrown at it. The engine/fan noise has not re-occur ed now that we are down out of 8-10,000 feet at high temps and long, slow pulls with a load. We look forward to many more trips but will be rethinking what we were carrying for gear, clothes, food, etc. Rally trips and long travel trips are two different animals!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have surely enjoyed your posting of this trip.

You can take I40 to Greensboro, 29N to Danville, 58E to South Boston then 360 to Richmond...good roads all the way. I live near South Boston and would love to meet you both but unfortunately I will be on jury duty tomorrow.

Enjoy the rest of your trip!