A Spectacular Drive

 Posted by at 12:10 am  Nick's Blog
Oct 302011

We left Walnut Meadow campground in Berea, Kentucky a little after 9 yesterday morning, and enjoyed a spectacular 220 mile drive down Interstate 75 to Knoxville, Tennessee, where we picked up Interstate 40 and drove into the Smokey Mountains in North Carolina. Except for the brief time we were in the Knoxville metro area, I don’t think there was a mile of the trip that wasn’t breathtaking.

The hillsides were alive with color, and around every curve one or both of us was saying “Oh my!” or “Wow, look over here!”

I75 fall colors

I40 fall colors 4

We made this same trip last year, and were just as amazed at the beauty. If you haven’t seen the Smokey Mountains in the fall, when all of the trees are ablaze, you haven’t lived yet.

I40 fall colors

I40 fall colors 2

The only bad thing about the trip is being the driver, because the route through the mountains is very winding, and you have to pay attention or you can get into trouble in a hurry. But it’s hard with so many distractions.

Curve fall colors 

There were a couple of tunnels, some 45 mile per hour curves, and in a few places, rocks had fallen down onto the side of the road.

I40 tunnel 2

I40 fall colors 3

Eventually, we made our way to Pride RV Resort, which is only a mile or so from the interstate, near Maggie Valley. With 130 full hookup RV sites, this is a nice Resort Parks International (RPI) affiliate, and we got a pull through site facing a beautiful fast flowing river. Even though they had an inch of snow here the night before, and it got down to 24 degrees for us overnight, the park still has a lot of RVs here. We were pleased to find that we had a good shot toward the sky for our rooftop TV dish, and fast 3G signal on our Verizon air card. Because it was going to be so cold overnight, I just added some more fresh water to our tank, and plugged into the 50 amp power.   

Pride RV resort 3  

Once we were parked, we drove another few miles into Maggie Valley and toured the Wheels Through Time Museum, which has a huge collection of antique and vintage motorcycles, all American made, as well as several neat old cars, and all sorts of other memorabilia. And every car and motorcycle in the place runs!

1969 Chopper

Blue Harley

This is a gearhead’s nirvana, and whether you’re into hill climbing, dirt track racing, or street riding, they have some of the earliest motorcycles that helped create the sport.  

Racing display

At one time, there were more motorcycle manufacturing companies in America than there were automobile companies, and the museum has many examples of the early day bikes, such as this Apache from the early 1900s (top) or this old Indian (bottom). Did you notice that both motorcycle have pedals, just like  a bicycle? That’s how you started them, by getting on and pedaling!

Apache motorcycle

Antique Indian 2

They are raffling off this beautiful old 1936 Harley Davidson Knucklehead, and I told Miss Terry I should buy a ticket, because I’d look great on a classic bike like that.

Raffle Harley

She suggested that this ride might be more my style!

Kiddie motorcycle ride

There were several nice police and Army motorcycles, and a lot of other interesting things made by motorcycle companies; everything from garden tillers to outboard motors.

1938 Police bike

Police trike 

Army Harley display

Army Harley with trailer

Terry isn’t into motorcycles at all, but she found a lot of things to enjoy on our visit to the museum. Be sure to watch for a feature on the Wheels Through Time Museum in an upcoming issue of the Gypsy Journal.

Back at the campground, we stopped to visit with Lenny and Janis Thomas, who we first met years ago when we were teaching at Life on Wheels, and last saw at our Ohio rally a few weeks ago. They are hanging out here until they go back to New Jersey for Thanksgiving, and then they are headed for Florida.

We’ll beat them there, because today we’re headed down into South Carolina, and maybe into Georgia. I need to be someplace warm!

Thought For The Day – When creating wives, God promised man that good and obedient wives would be found in all corners of the world. Then He made the world round!

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Nick Russell

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  7 Responses to “A Spectacular Drive”

  1. You don’t need to go south to get warm. I’ve got some peppers that will warm you up real quick.

  2. It’s too bad you loathe Southern California. 80 degrees today, 80 tomorrow… 🙂 But no overwhelmingly beautiful fall color like you saw in the Smokies!

  3. Loved those fall colors! We’ve yet to see them that vibrant. Someday…

  4. I have to admit,being familiar with Mohawk Trail in North Adams Mass due to numerous visits in the fall and once in the winter that Terries pic’s on the Blog were a testiment to how beautiful this country of ours is.
    The folliage up there has wained,waiting for next years oppertunity to display their splendor.You have run into a beautiful area my friend.I enjoy your posts very much.Hope you find some warm temp’s in FL this winter

  5. Nick, just curious. I know your plans are usually carved in Jello, but for “important” places like Florida, how far ahead do you normally make your reservations?

  6. Rick,
    Because it’s a high use park, this year we made reservations for our three seperate two week stays at the Orlando Thousand Trails a couple of months ago. But we don’t have reservations for our time out between our stays. We have never had a problem finding a space somewhere. Our memberships in Thousand Trails, Passport America, and now RPI (which we just joined), as well as Elks, Moose and VFW, and the occassional free campround or fairgrounds or Corps of Engineers campgrounds give us lots of options.

  7. Just read your thought for the day to George! I love it! Everyone got a good laugh at how obedient I am.
    Kids are leaving today. They should be in Clermont by Tuesday. George and I are coming down the 15th through Thanksgiving. Hope to get together with you and the wonderful Miss Terry while we are there.

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