Thursday, March 3, 2016

Gadsden and Raccoon Valley

It was Wednesday morning when we awoke at the Benchmark Coach and RV Park in Meridian, MS. It was march 19, 2006 and we were on a leisurely trip to the Freightliner in Knoxville, TN. We left Meridian about 11 am on the way to the Noccalula Falls Park and Campground in Gadsden, a for a one-night stay. The trip was about 200 miles and I estimated about four hours driving and hoped to get there a little before 4 pm. We drove on I-20 moving northeast for about half the trip then switched to I-59 in Birmingham.

We found a beautiful RV park, but they had so many trees, we could not get our computer or TV satellites to pick up a signal. We were glad we only signed up for one night. I understand the park has some beautiful waterfalls, but we did not take time to see them. Probably the frustration of not getting satellites to work dampened our moods. Not only that, there were tornado warning all around the area we were staying. Kathi was not happy to be there. She certainly did not seem to appreciate my jest about tornado chasing – absolutely no sense of humor some days.

Thursday we moved on to Heiskell, TN and the Raccoon Valley RV Park. We took I-59 northwest through Fort Payne and into Tennessee. Soon after Chattanooga we got on I-75 that took us almost to Knoxville and we moved onto local roads. We took TN-162 to TN-170. BOY! Did I ever make a major error? Yes, I did. We went a few miles on TN-170 and came upon a railroad underpass that appeared too low to get our motorhome through. My error was not listening to Kathi when she told me that there were some routes we could not take to get to Raccoon Valley. I thought I remembered the roads she told me not to take, but I must have misremembered.

Golden bush near Raccoon Valley

 We had to pull off the road and unhook our Cavalier from our motorhome. Then Kathi solicited some help and directed traffic while I turned our 40’ RV around in an 18’ wide country road. I am sure glad the dirt was hard on the shoulders. Kathi was good at directing traffic and only a little perturbed with me for not listening to her. I was embarrassed and thrilled to get turned around with minimal loss of anything except time and face. Anyway, we saw a lot of blooming lilacs so we knew spring was fixing to burst open with bright colors – maybe not as red as my face, but prettier. We still got set up in Raccoon Valley by mid-afternoon. 

Floral trees along Tennessee highway

 The next day was Friday and it rained most of the morning. It was overcast and cool in the afternoon and we went out to eat and found a Walmart to do a little grocery shopping. It rained all night, but the rain stopped early Saturday morning and the sun came out and it started getting warmer. We found a laundromat and got our laundry done, then went to eat at Red Lobster. It always amazes me to go around the country and wake up at home. I also enjoy going to an unfamiliar Red Lobster and look at the same menu we saw in Pasadena, TX. I enjoyed the different tastes of the Sailor’s Platter and Kathi had fish again.

Driving around the countryside we encountered a lot of traffic on these country roads, but the scenery was staggering. Beautiful trees and shrubbery everywhere we went. And of course Kathi and I were together and I was a happy man living the RV lifestyle.

The Cumberland Gap

Another blooming tree in front of toy store

Veteran's Overlook across the CumberlandGap

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