Scratchin' the Itch travel blog


We are now parked at the Newport KOA off of I-40 north of the Smoky Mountains. We had a beautiful, blue-sky day for our drive from Spartanburg. The rock slide which had I-40 closed at the North Carolina/Tennessee border is still blocking the interstate so we drove around via I-26 to I-81 then south to I-40 east. Many miles out of the way (over a 100), but the road was good and the view was beautiful.

We had originally planned to arrive here last Sunday and spend the week hiking. I am trying to hike all the trails in the Smokies and there are several on this side of the mountain which I don’t have colored on my map. I had picked out 3 hikes which would get me 4 more trails completed. With our trip to South Carolina, I will only be able to hike 2 days instead of 3 and I won’t have a rest day. That’s alright--that trail will still be there the next time we are in the area.

We do not normally stay at KOA Kampgrounds, however, this was very conveniently located for the trails we plan to hike this week. The KOAs we have visited have all been very nice, but we feel they are way overpriced. That is true of this KOA, however, we did learn that they have a monthly rate of $450/month and that includes electricity. That’s a great price and apparently there are no restrictions--that rate summer, winter, or even leaf season. What a deal. We may have to come back for a month some time.

Yesterday, we had a nice lunch and a wonderful visit with my cousin and his wife. Our campground in Spartanburg was only about 2 miles from their home. They came over, we did the quick tour of the Everest, then we were off to lunch at Bubba’s for some wonderful BBQ and fried okra. When our plates were empty and our stomachs about to pop, we came back to the campground for an afternoon of catching up.

That’s it for today. I need to get my pack ready for a very early start tomorrow morning.



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