Food and Friends in the Mountains: The Cherokee Rally

It is raining hard with sheets of water pouring over us as we start our 150 mile journey to Cherokee, North Carolina.  This is our fifth trip to the rally at Happy Holiday RV Park.  And this time I am “in charge”!  (What was I thinking!!)
We had just spent the previous night waking to the weather radio sounding alarms.  Now we are driving back into the storm and more tornado watches.  Thought about stopping and trying to find a safe place to camp.  But didn’t…..just kept on plowing through the bad weather.
We set up in the pouring rain, a miserable experience!  But a warm meal, cable TV and the electric heater get us through the first night.
Wednesday and Thursday provide more rain….everyone is waiting patiently for the promised beautiful weekend weather.  And it finally arrives!
Thursday night we attend the Meet and Sweet.  Too busy to take any photos……hubby says he has never eaten so many deserts!
Friday we participate in the Dutch Oven demo….my new camera got a workout!  More on the camera later….

Donna outlines  Dutch oven basics.
Chocolate and cherries!
Samples going fast!
Saturday morning it is time to get out of the campground!  Socco Falls is on the way to the Parkway and the new camera needs some use!  (Last week after trying a Nikkor 18 to 200 lens, just could not handle spending that much money!  Decided to buy the Nikon 3200 two lens bundle.)
Now I have two cameras with two different lens….which presents a learning curve.
This is the same waterfall…..should have had the wide angle with me instead of the telephoto.  Oh well….guess that’s part of learning.
There is lots of color the first mile or so going up the Blue Ridge Parkway but soon all the trees are bare! 

My spirits restored by the solitude, it is time to rejoin the rally….egg parade in progress!
The maroon and white trailer repeats the color scheme inside.
The below trailer is a home built…this couple had brought their 16’ Casita all the previous years.
Inside shot of the home built!  Very creative couple!
Some of our buddies chose a quiet spot on the back creek.  And we got a primo site on the front creek…unfortunately our expensive neighborhood was full of mud!
Like all rallies, it is over way too soon.  We join our friends on Florida row to enjoy one last campfire.
Rallies are just a good time!  Lots of love, lots of laughter and after meeting the same people over and over…..a real feeling of family.  Love the diversity in the fiberglass community! 
My experience as a rally host is mostly positive….but turning it over to someone else next year.  Dates are set and reservations have been made…more good times in the future!
What now?  Planning on Arizona after Christmas and maybe a short trip to the Gulf next month….want to see Gulf Shores and eat seafood!


Land Between the Lakes Rally (TN)


Map picture

One week ago we are in the middle of the LBL rally.  We are first timers to this gathering but it does not feel new as many long time friends are already there.

The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area was created by the federal government in the 60’s.  It’s the area between the Tennessee  and Cumberland Rivers before the rivers flow into the Ohio.  There are 170,000 acres, 300 miles of shoreline and 500 miles of trails between the rivers.  This link gives a 15 minute video of the area.

Piney Campground, located near Dover, TN is a 5 plus hour drive for us, mostly on I-24 W.  Our only problem is Nashville traffic which is worse since our last trek through town. 

It’s a huge campground!  We back in and see no water hookup…after another tour of the loop, we settle in with a full tank.


Soon after arriving I discover my Nikon camera is not functioning!! The Sigma lens is not telescoping.  Resorting to the Canon point and shoot, I find it’s not cooperating… telling me to charge an already full battery.  Frustrated, I do the best I can with photos.


View from our friends’ campsite.

This rally has a variety of trailers attending…one even pulled by a model T!  The group has many activities to attend including a raffle and Dutch oven demonstration.










Notice the jackets!  We went from running the A/C to running the heater in just 24 hours!

Took a drive up the Trace to see the buffalo.  This herd is on the main road close to the Homeplace, a 1850’s farm.



It’s raining off and on during our visit to the old farm.  Enjoyed seeing the old buildings.






Loved seeing this old farm.  It’s the only attraction we managed to squeeze in….lots to do in the campground!

Next week we will be journeying to the Cherokee, NC rally.  This is our fifth year to attend and my first year as a rally host. 

Will see how it goes….this may be my first and last encounter with rally leadership!!!  Meanwhile I must go find a new camera lens!


Apologies and Summer Recap



Although shame would run through me when I realized how long it had been since I posted, the guilt was not great enough to get me to write.   At times I would think of my loyal readers and try to heap coals upon my head, but it did not work!

For my lack of discipline….I am sorry!  I am vowing to do better in the future.

My last post, the end of July, praised the campground at Mt Pisgah on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We returned home with good spirits ready to tackle more painting of the paneling.  (For those not following our adventure…..after touring Alaska and the West last summer, 2013, we decided to sell the house and move into something smaller.  This summer has been about downsizing and getting the house ready to sell.)

IMG_0475(Hubby working.)

IMG_0477(Done….photo makes it look more narrow than reality.)

After completing the painting, our house took on a new energy!  Our de-cluttering and lightening the dark walls made the space so much more enjoyable.  I could sit in the kitchen and watch the morning light move across the walls.

IMG_0476(Photo taken before clutter removed.)

David’s grandson arrived around this time with a U haul trailer, taking away many of the old family heirlooms and almost all of hubby’s woodshop!  Between the new energy of our home and absence of old family pieces, I began to feel happy!   Have not been very happy since we came off the road in March.

We managed to attend a brief fiberglass rally at Fall Creek Falls State Park.  It was great to see old friends but constant thunderstorms got in the way of photography.  We were there less than 48 hours!

About this time we started reevaluating our plans to sell.  It’s so important for us to spend the winter in the southwest…more a priority than selling the house!  It was decided to put our home on the market next spring after returning from the winter trip.  What a relief!!!

Since that decision was made, we have been enjoying ourselves!  The photo of the water and crepe myrtle is at Chester Frost Park where we spent several days last week.  Our kayaks have been neglected this summer….now we can justify keeping them!





IMG_0491This is Chickamauga Lake with Signal Mountain in the background.  We are in the middle of the Tennessee River during this photo.  (We are 12 miles from home!)


DSC_7269Neighboring site.

DSC_7282Setting sun.

DSC_7277My attempt of the super moon...

It has taken 6 months but we have learned (or relearned) how to enjoy life at home!  We are biking and hiking….not much, just  a little, spending time with friends, listening to bluegrass on Thursdays, going to movies and I have seen Seasons 2, 3, and 4 of Downton Abbey, DVD’s from our public library!

In two weeks we will be heading to another fiberglass rally at Land Between the Lakes….after that comes the Cherokee Rally, one of my favorite events!   And we may squeeze in a trip to the panhandle of Florida before Christmas!

And we are still downsizing……I have never been so sure of something.  For everything there is a season….and this is my season to let go of all things without purpose or beauty. 

One of my inspirations is a blog that was mentioned by my blogging friend, Kim.    I found the Be More With Less blog from her….thank you!

And thanks to you readers who have not abandoned me. Love!