November 2-4, 2010
Took our leave of the Johnsons and headed down the road apiece toward Pigeon Forge, home of Dolly Parton. Last time I was in Pigeon Forge was probably 25 years ago and boy, has it changed!!!! Twenty five years ago, the road was two lanes with strip malls lining the sides and only Dollywood as the main attraction. Now, it is a four to six lane highway with huge theatres offering all kinds of entertainment, shopping malls and every kind of schlock on the face of the earth; sort of the Branson of Tennessee. We pulled into Up the Creek RV Park to find a lovely spot along two creeks with a nice young couple as the owners. We were given a beautiful site facing the creek and had a nice fire while listening to the train whistles and the burbling of the stream. The owners, Tony and Allison, had worked at Lake Powell but came “home” to Tennessee to operate this park. Tony suggested we stay an extra day to kayak a fairly secluded lake; away from “tourists” and accessible to small boats, canoes and kayaks only. However, when we arose, the weather was cold and damp with rain predicted so we did not stay another day.
While preparing the coach for “lift-off”, Bob did as he usually does; put his smoked turkey and cheese sandwich on the table between the driver and passenger seats so that he could eat it going down the road. He took a bite out of one half and went outside to get some directions from Tony. I was also outside and when I came back inside, I noticed that the top piece of bread on the uneaten portion of the sandwich was missing. I simply thought Bob had taken it with him to munch on. However, after hooking up the truck, we got back into the coach to discover that the entire uneaten half sandwich had been eaten. Bob accused me until he made Dixie let him smell her breath and sure enough, the lingering scent to rye bread and turkey was on Dixie’s breath. She had the funniest guilty look on her face.
We decided to push to Gastonia, NC to visit Bob’s brother Ron and his wife Bea. Ron works as the sales manager at a Chrysler/Jeep dealer in Lincolnton, NC and the owner offered to let us stay in their parking lot for the night, so we did. We drove a few jeeps, went to dinner with Ron and Bea and bedded down in a car lot bright enough to see from space. Thank God for the blackout curtains I made for our Alaska trip!