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 > GA, NC, TN tour

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kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 10/16/09 08:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm no poet and live in the east where most scenery is nice, so I'll keep this simple and let the story tellers of the west with their grand views and humor keep you entertained.

I was suppose to spend Columbus Day weekend with the family, hauling horses to a horse show and bumming out with my wife on Sunday. Then, one of the horses came up lame and my in-laws decided to come into town for a visit, so my wife suggested I go anyhow. The weather wasn't great, but camping is great regardless of the weather, so I loaded the camper up and headed out Friday around lunch. All I knew for sure was my first stop was going to be in western NC and there was a chance of meeting up with my sister from near Nashville.

First stop was a short walking tour in Clarksville, GA where I saw a few neat buildings.

Mauldin House, Circa 1880, now used as the Visitor Center
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6th Episcopal Church of GA, Circa 1849
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Then it was on up the road to Hayesville, NC where I stopped at the town square. Here is the Courthouse, used from 1888 to 1972.
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The guy stands guard over the small memorial on the corner of the square.
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I almost just spent the night parked along the square, but you could here the local high school game going on a few blocks away and figured I was asking for some harassment when the game ended. So I moved over to the Walmart in Murphy. After parking in the lot, I had just enough time to run into the store something before I was hit by the thunderstorm I had been watching for the last hour. (15 sec video of storm).

I had kind of planned on heading over towards TN, but since my sister decided she didn't want to take the camper out by herself since hubby was going to a Titan game, I decided to head up towards Great Smokey Mtn NP. This meant traveling up Hwy 74 through the Nantahala Gorge.
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I had been told by some locals, there was a neat place to go. All I had to do was park at the concrete bridge, walk across, then down stream along the tracks to some small caves on the left. The tracks are used by the slow moving Scenic Railroad so it was safe.
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After leaving the gorge, I was suppose to go through Cherokee then catch 441. Well, I missed the turn continueing on Hwy 19 and didn't realize it til I passed the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped to check the map. Just as I stopped, this TC passed me heading east. The driver gave me a strange look as if he knew me.
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The parkway was fogged in pretty bad and I was wondering if I had made a wise choice. Here I'm at Waterrock Knob Overlook, Elev 5280 with a visibility of about 500'.
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As it turned out, only parts were fogged in. So I did manage to get a few nice photos on the way to the campground.
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I had to make the side road into the Cold Mountain Wilderness area since this is where I grew up camping in an 11' Franklin TC.
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Back in the 70s, you could just pull off the road and stradle the ditch which we did often. But our favorite spot was at the parking lot at the end of the road. We use to back up behind where the jeep is parked then build our fire just in the tree line near the gap of trees.
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While the road is marked with a sign saying you can camp in designated spots, I never saw any designated spots. So, I headed up to Pisgah Campground. I was told to secure my food as they did have a bear hanging out around the campground. I never saw the bear, but did have a couple drive up and tell me they had seen one, just where I had walked through.
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In the morning, I continued north on the parkway but got tired of the fog so dropped of at Hwy 74 and headed east on I40. Best move I made since 5 miles down the road, the truck hickup twice and died. The weak link in the 04 Dodge Cummins is the lift pump. I already knew this and had the spare pump under the back seat, so no worries, I had everything I needed to make a quick repair. Well, all but that 5mm allen wrench. I lucked up there too as all I had to do was walk down the exit ramp, be lucky enough to catch a ride the 2 miles to/from the parts store with an elderly couple before being able to finish the repair in about 90 minutes.

Worked out well to, since while I was doing the repair, Phyllis called me saying she was headed east with the camper. Seems she decided to go camping anyhow. After getting the truck running, I turned around and started heading wesst to meet here. This meant I got to drive through the I40 gorge, something I always enjoy.
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We agreed to meet up west of Knoxville at Hwy 321 and I40, arriving at about the same time.
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As my original place to camp near here turned out not to have camping, we had to pick an alternative plan. During our discussion, we did mention that Sleepy was near by, but we then remembered he only had room for one - oh well. After a phone call, we decided to try Frozen Head State Park.
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After setting up camp, we headed up the near by Jeep Road trail for a short evening stroll.
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In the morning, Phyllis just had to stop and get some pictures of the campers on the narrow bridge.
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Despite the rain, we decide to hike up to Deborn Falls and beyond til I got tired. Being the loving sister, Phyllis teased me about being a flatlander.
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video of the falls: Click Here.
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After the hike, we parted our ways, but not before agreeing on camping together soon as we both enjoyed seeing each other.
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After traveling backroads across the eastern portion of TN, I finally got back on the interstate near the I81 and I40 junction. I ended up stopping at the I26 NC Welcome Center in the mountains. It is a large rest area with minimal traffic so plenty of space. Plus, it's layout helps keep the little intestate noise at bay so it's quiet to boot. After a good nights sleep, I headed on home after four nights on the road.

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Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 10/16/09 09:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That was a nice trip report. No need for poetry or humor there. Nice fall colors and liked the little trailor camper tent thing. Stupid fuel pump, good thing you had the parts and almost all the tools. I like your just get out of town begining.
Thanks for the post.
Jeff


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whazoo

Idahome

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Posted: 10/16/09 10:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ditto Camper Jeff, I love it. It's official, I like forest pictures with tc's. And you have the gorgeous fall colors we went looking for. Really nice to see something from your neck of the woods. I don't know about the name Frozen Head though. Kind of gives me the chills. By the way, you sure have a great sister, to meet up with you and all in her camper alone. Thanks for the trip report and pictures!

sleepy

Oak Ridge,Tennessee

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Posted: 10/17/09 04:00am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Frozen Head State Park is one of our favorite local parks. we have more than a dozen places like that within 1 hour of the house. We take about everyone that comes for a visit there.

What did you think about driving through Brushy Mounton Correctional Center (Prison) to get in there.

In May there is an abundance of wild flowers, good hiking, and

Each year in late March or early April trail runners from all over the world come to Frozen Head State Park and Natural Area to test themselves against the Barkley Marathon, a 100-mile race with no aid stations, save for water at two points. Considered by some to be more a survival exercise than an actual race, the Barkley - nicknamed "The Race That Eats Its Young" - includes 52,000 feet of climbing on old trails often blocked by fallen trees and saw briers.

The race covers five 20-mile loops, with the first mile leading straight up Bird Mountain. Since the race's inception in 1986, only six runners have run the full 100 miles within the 60-hour cutoff. Still, the Barkley usually fills its 35-person entry limit in a day.


We enjoyed your pictures... good memories... we've been staying in the west too much.

Next time you come to our area we'd be glad to take you to some of the lesser known places like Lilly Bridge about 25 minutes from Frozen Head. Those are kayakers in the water... there are rock climbers and rappelers on the cliffs just under where we took the pictures from.

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weymard

NORMANDY

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Posted: 10/17/09 04:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice report, Thanks.


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computerbug

Sarasota

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Posted: 10/17/09 05:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the post and pics. What a great way to start the day

luv2skyski

Stockbridge, Georgia

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Posted: 10/17/09 05:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Excellent report. Finally another report from my neck of the woods. Keep em coming! Happy camping, Dave.


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nycsteve

NY

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Posted: 10/17/09 05:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice pics, thankyou. Makes a rainy Saturday morning a little brighter.





turtletalk

NC

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Posted: 10/17/09 07:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Couldn't make a trip to western NC this morning but your pics of familiar views were a nice substitute . Always enjoy your narratives. Thanks

cewillis

Tucson, az, usa

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Posted: 10/17/09 08:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That is really pretty country. Thanks.


Cal


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