Pictures From Jan-Feb 2020 - It's All About Having Fun!!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Thursday 4-26 Rainy Day

A rainy day

This morning Larry woke up to blue skies but by the time I rolled out of bed the clouds had rolled in. Larry checked the weather, it said that rain was coming in around 9:30 a.m. and was going to hang around all day. Since we would not be able to hike or do much else we decided to go to the casino where I could entertain myself with a bit gambling.

The rain came around 10:00, it didn't rain hard but It did rain on and off all day. When there was a break in the rain I went over and gambled. When I wasn't gambling I read. In the afternoon when it was almost time for me to head home Larry showed up with the umbrella to rescue me from the rain. It rained for a couple of hours and quit so I went back to gamble for a few more hours. When I got finished it was sprinkling. I gave the casino $10.00 but I had gambled about 6 hours. I'm still ahead of the game. I had a super day playing with the slots.

Reading is fun

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wednesday 4-25 Camping at Deep Creek Campground

Smile and have a great day

It rained during the night and into the early morning. We woke up and the rain was gone. We decided it was time to do a little grocery shopping. The first place we stopped at was Family Dollar to buy some root beer flavoring for our water and more cookies we like. Then we went next door to Food Lion and finished our grocery shopping. The next stop was to get propane. Now we're all set for a bit. 

Grocery shopping

It's not suppose to rain for the rest of the day so we decided we would go back to Deep Creek Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We had lunch and then walked down to pay for the night. Then we decided to go for a hike. We ended up hiking over 6 miles. We hiked part of the trail we didn't hike when we here a few days ago. The trail was very easy and Deep Creek ran along the edge of the trail. It was a beautiful hike. 

Deep Creek

Deep Creek Campground entrance
By the time we got home we were tired. We relaxed in the Minnie for a couple of hours before dinner. Larry barbecued Italian sausage patties. We spent the evening reading. We had a super day.   

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tuesday 4-24 Just Having Fun

Just having fun!!!!!

We had an awesome day! 

The rain is supposed to go away later today so we decided to move to the casino. 

We parked the Minnie in the casino's parking lot and then we had lunch. After lunch we walked across the street to the casino's multi entertainment building to bowl. We hadn't bowled in many years so it was a little bit of a challenge. We thought the cost to bowl was pretty cheap, $2.00 each piece per game and $2.00 each for shoes. We bowled two games and had a great time. 

Having fun bowling

After bowling Larry went back to the Minnie to read while I gambled. I ended up giving the casino $20 of the money I won the other day. 

After dinner I went back to the casino for another couple of hours and gave them another $20. I may go back to playing less money at a time, $40.00 is not a lot of money to lose but I would prefer to lose less. I had a great time at the casino.


4-22-18 and 4-23-18 Hiking and Camping at Happy Holiday

Having fun camping

Sunday April 22, 2018 Hiking Smokemont Trail

What a beautiful morning, woke up to a cool morning in the 40’s. We had breakfast and then we went for a hike. The trail we took was Smokemont, it started at the campground. We hiked for 1.4 miles to a sign that started Smokemont Loop Trail, which was 3.8 miles long. If you go to the right it puts you on the horse trail. We went to the left, where only hikers are allowed. As soon as we turned left there was a single log bridge that went over the river. Now we know why the horses couldn’t go that way. The trail took us gradually up a steep hill, we weaved around multiple hills and kept going up in elevation. It seemed like we were never going to get to the top. We finally got to the top after 2 miles. The rest of the hike was downhill, it was easier but you had to watch out for the tree roots, rocks in the trail and leaves. The trail was very challenging and got our heart pumping. We rested now and than to catch our breath. We didn’t see any wildlife but we did see hoof prints of deer and elk. We hiked about 6 miles, took around three hours.

Having fun crossing the creek via one log bridge

Larry hiking the trail through a canopy of trees

Wildflowers we saw during our hike

The end of the trail came out by the dump station. Our neighbor was filling up his RV with water and we stopped and visited with him. By the time we got back to the Minnie we were sweaty and tired. We didn’t have time to rest because it was time for us to get the Minnie ready to leave.

There is suppose to be a rain storm come through this afternoon and stay around for a couple of days. We wanted to go somewhere that had power so we can keep warm until the rain is gone. Yesterday we did laundry at Happy Holiday RV Village and decided we would stay there to sit out the rain. We didn’t have any internet in the park. Once we got checked in a gentleman directed us where to go. Larry thanked him and told him we were going to town. We went back to the casino so I could gamble. I came back $12.00 richer. I had a fun time at the casino.

When we got back to Happy Holiday we went over and took a shower. Then we spent the rest of the day relaxing in the Minnie. We had a great day. 

Monday April 23, 2018 Happy Holiday Village Campground 

It rained all day so we spent day inside reading. The internet in the park was down all day yesterday and today so when the rain stopped for a bit at 4:30 we walked down to the office. The office was closed and the ladies that work in the office were on their way home. Larry asked them if the internet was up and one of them said it was up in half the park and not in the part where we were. Larry only wanted to get to the internet to check on the weather. He got connected and found out that the rain was suppose to stay in through most of tomorrow.

Happy Holiday RV Village is a very nice RV park. It has a snack bar and laundromat. The campground has RV sites and tent sites. Some of the sites have full hook-ups and others have water and power. There is a beautiful pond with a lot of ducks on it. There are RV sites around the pond. The tent sites backup to a pretty creek. We had a RV site with water and power at the far end of the park. There are bath houses throughout the park. The park is well maintained.

The creek that ran through Happy Holiday Campground

Camping on the duck pond


Saturday 4-21 Visiting Cherokee South Carolina

Cherokee South Carolina
What a wonderful day we had. We woke up to another cool morning in the high 20’s. 

After breakfast we went to Cherokee. We have been without power for three days and the battery in the house part of the Minnie was getting low. Larry decided the Minnie needed to go for a ride to charge the battery. I hadn’t done any laundry in awhile and this was the perfect opportunity to do it. We have not had internet so we had to wait to get to Cherokee to find a laundromat. The first one we went to had gone under. We found another one called Happy Holiday. It was part of an RV Park so it was still in business. It was a very nice laundromat and well maintained. No one was there so I was able to do three loads of clothes without a problem. When the laundry was done it was lunchtime so we went out for lunch. 

Doing laundry
We drove a few miles down the rode and found a shopping center with RV parking. Once we parked the Minnie we walked over to the Taco Bell and had lunch. We then walked to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things. Afterwards we headed back to the campground.

Once we setup the Minnie in our campsite, we went for another motorcycle ride. We decided to go to see the Mingus Mill and walk around Cherokee. Mingus Mill was an 1886 Turbine Mill that ran for over fifty years. It used a small turbine instead of a wooden wheel to provide power to run the mill. The mill ground corn into meal and wheat into flour for the mountain community in the area. They still do demonstrations on how the mill works but for the last 10 days the mill has been broken. We had actually been to this same mill back in 2011 and it was broken then. We still walked around the facility and read about how the equipment worked.

Mingus Mill
How the water got to the mill
A piece of equipment that was used in the mill

On the way to Cherokee we made an unexpected stop. There was a herd of elk walking across the main road. Some of the elk were grazing, other were wading in the river and more were climbing up the bank of the river. This was very exciting.

Elk playing in the river

A herd of elk crossing the road in the Great Smoky Mountain Park

Cherokee is a small tourist town. It has shops to buy Native-American arts and crafts, ice cream parlors and other restaurants. Some of the local Native-Americans were dressed in the full Native-American Headdress and outfits. They danced and played their instruments. In front of the Cherokee Museum, there was a giant statue of Sequoyah. He invented the Cherokee alphabet. The statue was sculpted out of a giant Sequoia. After walking through one of the shops we drove to the Oconaluftee Island Park. It was a pretty park that ran along the river. While we were there we saw families enjoying the park and the kids were walking in the river, other people were fly fishing. Later we stopped at a little square where there were a few shops, a couple of ice cream parlors and fudge shop. We stopped in at one of the ice cream parlors and bought a couple of scoops of ice cream (pecan and moose tracks). Then we walked through a couple of leather shops.

Sequoyah statue

One of the bridges that crosses the river at Oconaluftee Island Park

When we got back to the Minnie we rested and then barbecued hamburgers for dinner. After dinner we walked to an old church, it was called Lufty Baptist Church. It was established in 1836 and rebuilt in 1912. It was a neat church. When we got back I continued walking around to get my steps and Larry read in his chair. We spent the rest of the night relaxing. We had an outstanding day. 

Lufty Baptist Church

Friday 4-20 Driving Around Great Smoky Mountains Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Last night it got down to 28 degrees but it was very comfortable sleeping. We didn’t have any power but we had our Wave 3 heater. When we woke up it was a little nippy so we turned on the furnace. 

We headed to Smokemont, another campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is only 10 miles from Cherokee so we took our time. When we got to the park we were going to go on a motorcycle ride. Before leaving Cherokee we stopped at a gas station and filled the motorcycle.

On the way to Smokemont we stopped by the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to pick up information about the park. It was a beautiful new building built with money donated by local organizations. It had a museum that included information about the CCC and how they built the park and it’s buildings. It showed exhibits on the equipment the CCC used and how they lived. It also had exhibits of the people who lived in the Smoky Mountains before it was a park. There is a trail that goes along the creek to an old homestead. As we walked around the homestead there are signs explaining the different buildings and what they were used for. It was a very nice walk and I learned a lot.

Oconaluftee Visitor Center

The homestead that was at the visitor center
Furniture in the homestead

After visiting the visitor center we went to Smokemont Campground. We found a site and paid for a couple of nights. After lunch we went on a 38 mile one way motorcycle ride through the park. Along the way we stopped and looked at the vistas. We stopped at a monument representing when Tennessee and North Carolina joined together and created the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At the monument you can hike part of the Appalachian Trail. We drove all the way to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. 

Tennessee and North Carolina State Line Monument

Gatlinburg is a tourist town with lots of shops and places to eat. It reminded me of Pigeon Forge. It had a lot of people walking around shopping and the traffic was bad.

We went to Gatlinburg to drive motor drive. It is a 5.5 mile one way curvy road through the mountain. RV's are not allowed but it is perfect for the motorcycle. Along the drive you can stop and hike. While driving you see gorgeous vistas, beautiful mountain creeks and waterfalls. It was a very pretty drive. Before leaving Gatlinburg we filled the motorcycle up considering it only has a gallon and a half tank. 

A creek along the motor scenic drive

On the way back we saw a black bear with her two cubs. We stopped and watched them for a long time until they wandered off. This was very exciting.

Mama black bear

Bear cub

We had a super drive through the park even though it was a bit cold. It was a curvy road that went through a couple of wonderful tunnels. 

When we got back to the Minnie we relaxed and warmed up. Then we walked around the campground for about a half hour. Larry barbecued hamburgers for dinner. After dinner I walked around to get my steps in. We spent the rest of the night relaxing. We had a great day.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thursday 4-19 Leaving Deep Creek Campground

Awesome Day!!!!!

We started the day out by going on a 4 mile hike. Yesterday when we went hiking we were going to look at three waterfalls but we only saw two considering we were too tired. Well, today we decided to hike to the other one which was Juney Whank Falls. There were a couple of different ways to get to the falls. We took the trail that stated at the parking lot. The trail was a .6 mile loop trail. At the beginning of the trail you have to go up hill and it was steep. We were out of breathe by the time we got up the hill. Juney Whank Falls had an observation bridge right up close to it so it was a little wet. It was cool to be up so close to the falls. After admiring the falls we continued our hike. We hiked the Deep Creek Horse Trail. Yesterday we hiked a lot of this trail so we decided to finish it up. We hiked it for over a mile. It was a little challenging because we had to go downhill. When we got to where a couple of trails join together to go back to the campground we decided to take a trail that went to a cemetery. We weren't sure what to expect. It was about a mile up the mountainside and very steep. We had to stop a few times to catch our breath. By the time we got to the cemetery we were exhausted. It was a three grave site that had the people's names on the headstone but no dates so we didn't know how long the graves were there. The headstones said Violet Wiggins, Theodore Wiggins and Guy Wiggins. On top of each headstone there were rocks and coin to show respect for the dead. After resting a little we headed down the mountainside and took the trail back to the campground. As we were walking back we saw people starting to hike the trail to the two waterfalls we saw yesterday and we saw a couple of fly fishermen in Deep Creek. We had a wonderful hike by Deep Creek and up the mountainside.

Larry hiking through the forest during our hike

The cemetery on top of the mountain

Juney Whank Falls

When we got back to our campsite we rested a bit and then we barbecued Italian sausage burgers for lunch. After lunch we got the Minnie ready to leave. We had two super days at Deep Creek. 

Our next destination was a Casino in Cherokee South Carolina. It was only 15 miles from the campground. 

The casino is called Harrah's Cherokee Hotel and Casino. The hotel has 1100 rooms and the casino is very nice. They have a big non-smoking area by the food court. There is a separate building for different activities. It has a bowling alley, video games and other games for kids. When they have concerts they are upstairs. There are shops upstairs also. 

They had a special going on, if you sign up for the players club they give you $50.00 to gamble, I signed up. I spent over five hours playing on the penny slots. I started out playing a penny at a time and then decided to play five pennies. Each time you changed machines you get two vouchers, one was what you won and the other one was what was left on the players card. You can cash in your winnings but the other one you couldn't. I ended up leaving the casino with $74.00 in my pocket. I had fun at the Harrah's Cherokee Casino. While I gambled Larry stayed in the Minnie and read. We had an awesome day.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wednesday 4-18 Hiking Deep Creek Trail

Let's go hiking!!!!!

We woke up to the temperature in the 40's. Larry had setup the heater before he went to bed. I didn't think we needed it on so I went to bed without turning it on. This morning it was a little nippy in the Minnie so I turned on the big heater to get the chill out of the air. It didn't take too long.

We had breakfast and then we went for a hike. We hiked for three and a half hours for 5.75 miles. The trail we took was called Deep Creek Trail. The trail was easy to moderate terrain. We hiked along Deep Creek and through the forest. We climbed up the mountainside and down the mountainside. We crossed Deep Creek a few times via a bridge and one time using rocks. We saw two of the three falls on the trail. The falls we saw were Tom Branch Falls and Indian Creek Falls. They were very nice falls. The hike started out cool but by the time we got back it was getting hot. But when you're in the trees it's cool. By the time we got back to the Minnie we were exhausted.

Indian Creek Falls

One of the bridges that went over Deep Creek

Deep Creek

Tom Branch Falls
We spent the rest of the day relaxing in our chairs and enjoying the campsite. After dinner we walked around the campground for a half hour. We had a super day at Deep Creek Campground.      

Tuesday 4-17 Moving On

Moving On

After spending four days at Parksville Lake Campground it was time to move on. We woke up to 28 degrees and blue skies.

We needed to restock but there were no Walmart's on our route  so we had to go a bit out of the way. After shopping at Walmart we had sandwiches for lunch. When we finished lunch we hit the road.

Our next destination was Great Smokey Mountain National Park, which was 120 miles away. While we were at Walmart Larry programmed the GPS. The route he programmed was a scenic route that took us through a couple of mountain passes. The roads were narrow and curvy so it took us a few hours. We went up to 5,000 feet and had magnificent views of the mountains. It's suppose to be spring but in the mountains there was snow. We stopped at an overlook and took pictures. The temperature wasn't that bad. The drive to Great Smokey Mountain National Park was gorgeous.

Snow in spring

The curvy road we drove on

A beautiful view of the mountains at the overlook

We have been to Great Smokey Mountain National Park before and camped at Elkmont and Smokemont. Today we decided to camp at Deep Creek, we arrived around 3:00. The entrance fee to Smokey Mountain National Park is free but the camping is $21.00. The campground is very nice with hiking trails right at the campground. There are two loops the lower loop is for tents only and the upper loop is for RVs. The tents sites backup to Deep Creek. The sites don't have power but the restrooms have running water, no showers. 

Once we set the Minnie up we went down to register. Then we walked around to find the hiking trails. When we got back I made dinner. 

After dinner I walked around to get my steps and Larry relaxed in his chair outside. When I finished my walk I joined him. We had a great day of sunshine.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

4-13 to 4-16 Parksville Lake Campground

Camping in Cherokee National Forest

We had no access to the internet for the past four days so I am a bit behind on my blog.

Friday April 13, 2018

After spending the night at Chester Frost Park we moved down the road 70 miles to Cherokee National Forest. It has a RV Campground with electric hookups and restrooms with running water and a shower. It’s suppose to be cold and rain all weekend. We travel on the off seasons and we never know exactly where we’re going to be or when so we don’t make reservations. This year we noticed that a lot of the parks require you to have a reservation this includes some of the National Forests and National Parks. The other day when Larry knew it was going to rain he made a reservation for Saturday and Sunday. We had planed to stay around Chattanooga today considering they were having a car show Saturday but the chance of rain was pretty high so we decided to move on. 

Camping at Parksville Lake Campground

After lunch we decided to go for a motorcycle ride. In 1996 when the Olympics were in Atlanta, they had the Canoe/Kayak Competition on the Ocoee River. The center is located 11 miles from the campground. The drive to the center was gorgeous, it was on a two lane highway with curves and went along the banks of the Ocoee River. A great motorcycle ride. We saw people whitewater kayaking down the river. There were a few launch areas along the highway. We stopped at one that had a huge parking lot. It had a ramp for handicap people to launch their kayaks. There was a cool wooden bridge that goes over a dam that is used by the TVA. We walked around a bit and watched a few people kayaking down the river. It looked like they were having fun.

Kayaking on the Ocoee River

Whitewater kayaking

Look at the rapids on Ocoee River

We drove another 2.5 miles to the Ocoee Whitewater Center, where the Olympics took place, now it’s a visitor center. It is also used for day use, you can swim, hike and picnic. While there we picked up reading material and maps of Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina. The gentleman that was working was very helpful. He explained how the water flow of the river worked. The TVA has a water release schedule that creates an Olympic whitewater venue. The local outfitters lead rafting trips in this area and five miles section of the Ocoee River. The local outfitters pay the TVA for the revenue they lose while the water is release to create the wastewater venue. It was a very pretty facility.

The bridge that went to hiking trails at the Ocoee  River Whitewater Center

Ocoee River at the center when the gates are closed

After dinner we walked around to locate the hiking trail by the campground. We found it and walked a half mile of it. We spent the evening relaxing.

Saturday April 14, 2018

Last night when we went to bed it was still warm so we left the fan run all night. By morning it finally cooled off. It was a little nippy but it was comfortable. I made biscuits for breakfast and then we went on a hike. The hike was for 4.5 miles. It was a beautiful hike along a mountain creek. The trail went up and down hills and through a forest. While hiking we met a hunter and Larry asked him what he was hunting. He said it was turkey season and he saw one but it went up the hill and disappeared. He said it was early in the season and they were still with the hens so he didn’t expect to see too many. It was a moderate trail and at times it was very challenging. While climbing up the hill you heart got pounding. We were glad we didn’t wear a jacket considering it was very humid. The wind came up a little so we were glad when we got a little breeze to cool us off. The hike was very peaceful and you had pretty views of the mountainside.

The creek we hiked along

The trail we hiked up

By the time we got home we were tired. We setup our chairs and relaxed. After relaxing for a few minutes we barbecued some pork chops for our lunch. When we finished our lunch we went back outside and read.

We spent the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying our campsite. 

Sunday April 15, 2018

The rain came in last night and stayed around all day. We ended up not doing too much. We did a couple of walks around the group and RV campgrounds. The rain completely stopped around 6:00 so I went outside and finished up my steps. Even though it rained all day we still had a wonderful day in Cherokee National Forest.

Rainy day of camping

Monday April 16, 2018

We woke up to the temperature in the 30’s and it wasn't suppose to get out of the 30's so we decided we would stay another night. The next place we are going won’t have power and we have power here. We spent the day keeping warm.

After breakfast we decided to take a walk. We were walking around the RV campground, it started to sprinkle. By the time we got back to the Minnie it was snowing. It didn’t last long. We spent the rest of the day inside keeping warm.

Cold Day