It hasn’t been any joy spending day after day in the car, but at least at the end of each day we’ve found a nice spot to spend the night. Last night’s stay in Forrest City TN was surprisingly quiet considering that the little Delta Ridge RV Park was close to I-40. It was the first non-state park night we’ve spent on this trip so far. Normally we are reluctant to stay in the type of RV park that caters to overnighters because they tend to be scuzzy, but this one was just fine.
I particularly liked the check-in process last night. Too many RV parks make you wait in line, then hand over a dozen pieces of identifying information, then hand you a long list of Rules and an insincere wish that you’ll enjoy your stay. After eight or nine hours in the car, I don’t have much patience for people asking me for the age of my child and explaining the bathroom lock code. Last night’s park was more like it: slap a $20 bill on the counter and write down your name, then “go ahead and take any space you like.”
Today’s stop is really wonderful, in a different way. We are in central Tennessee, at the Cumberland Mountains State Park, about six miles south of I-40. This is a large, landscaped, historic, and quiet place with lots of old school amenities, like a restaurant and shady campsites among the trees.
As usual, we didn’t book in advance. It’s Monday and not a holiday weekend, so we know our chances of getting in are excellent. We arrived after 6 PM and the office was closed, but the campground host was happy to direct us to a primo space just vacated by his cousin, level, long, and with full hookups. We don’t really need full hookups but it will be nice to wash the reluctant teenager and get everything else cleaned up too. Tomorrow we move to a campsite with no hookups at all.
That’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park I’m talking about. I did go to the effort of reserving our site there, because the campground seems popular. We’re getting a zero-hookup site because that’s all they offer. That’s OK for three nights with careful conservation of water and electricity. Normally electricity wouldn’t be a concern at all but all of the sites are shady so we may not generate much power from the solar panels.
I have no idea what to expect for cellular connectivity, so if the blog suddenly goes quiet you can assume it’s a lack of signal rather than a sign we’ve been eaten by bears. It should be a good test of the new cellular booster and antenna, at least.
One other thing makes this stop wonderful. We are going to have a short drive tomorrow (about 120 miles) and then spend three nights just relaxing. It’s about time. We’ve covered about 1,800 miles so far, in a short period of time. Starting Tuesday afternoon we get to slow down and reinvigorate before plunging into the craziness that is Alumapalooza.