Sixth Annual Eggscursion!



This is our fourth year to attend this egg rally held in Townsend,TN, on the sleepy side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and compared to Gatlinburg, it is a laid back, sleepy place.  The picture above does not do justice to the 60 to 70 trailers present. This is a part of Loop A…there’s also a B, C, D and E? loop.  Most of us old timers make our reservations one year in advance so we can book a coveted riverside campsite.


We were fortunate to get a site at the back end of the campground with a deck overlooking the river.  It’s very private and I need the downtime to recover from all the socializing.  This rally normally has two pot lucks, music every night and an egg parade (open house showing trailer).


Due to heavy rain on Friday morning, the potluck breakfast is moved to 5 PM and it’s eggs and bacon for our evening meal.  I thought it sounded unappetizing, but the breakfast dinner is a hit….maybe we’ll do it again!



The temperatures plummet after the rain ends, going from highs in the 80’s to lows in the 30’s.  I am layering clothes to stay warm….again!


The entertainment does not disappoint…..clogging, ole timey fiddle music and 60’s, John Prine and Bob Dylan.  Tears flow down my face….it always happens when I hear the old stuff….. many memories!

The egg parade is Saturday morning and I am in a tizzy trying to cook a meatloaf in my yard sale crockpot and get the trailer ready to show.  I find a recipe, go to the store at 8 AM, mix it up outside in the cold…with my fingers freezing and turn the slow cooker on by 11 AM.  At noon I discover the crock pot still cold! Fooling with the outside electric breaker, I try again!  Still cold! Deciding that the pot luck will go just fine without my meatloaf, we take off to tour the trailers.



This is a brand new 19’ Escape….the only one in Missouri (at this posting).   The owners are also talented dutch oven cookers…..this is a pineapple upside down cake!  And it gives me an idea!



So many different sizes and shapes!


The owner describes this as “poor man’s central air conditioning”.



These are Olivers, made in Hohenwald, TN, and they are back into production!  We had seen one last fall at the Kansas rally, http://peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com/, but they were not in production at that time.  Some of the Oliver family are present to explain features.


So many different trailers from many different places…..did not get a picture of the 5th wheel Escape from Canada!



And my hubby’s dutch oven rescues the meatloaf…..slightly overcooked….but I was proud of it!

(Forgot to get a picture.)


And then it’s Sunday morning, time for goodbyes…..see you down the road!


FYI: The 2014 rally will be at the Townsend KOA on the last weekend of April.  The Tremont campground has been an excellent host; the physical separation of the loops prompted the change of campgrounds. Y’all come!


Sylvester Goes Camping & Abrams Falls



His name is Sylvester and he is changing my mind about camping with cats.  This is the stray from my last post who finally got a name.  Although table sitting is not allowed, an exception was made for this picture. 

My camping experience with our two older female cats was miserable, putting it mildly.  They were afraid, wailed constantly in the car and cowered under the Casita bed.  Their litter box was huge and I feel into it more than once!

Sylvester has been a perfect gentleman, so far!  Sweet, affectionate and complained only mildly about being crated for the trip….oh, we are at the Tremont Campground, only a few feet from the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located in Townsend, TN.

This is the 6th annual Eggscursion….a fiberglass egg rally hosted by the Egg Camping Club of TN, GA and AL.


Thursday is the perfect day to go hiking….and our only chance since abundant rain is in the forecast.  Cades Cove is a short trip away and halfway around the 11 mile Cove loop is the Abrams Falls trailhead.

Since the goal is exercise, not photography, most of the  loop pictures are taken on the move.  This loop is one of the most heavily traveled routes in all of the Park and a good reason to only go off season.




Traffic is not too bad…we are hiking by 11:30.  The hike’s rated as moderate, 5 miles with 3 climbs, and we’re unsure of our fitness…..hope we can do at least 5 miles!



This is the peak of the spring wildflowers and I am wondering if we will see anything.  We are not disappointed!


Star Chickweed


Crested Dwarf Iris


Trillium, unidentified type


Bleeding heart


These rare bleeding hearts are all around the waterfall cliffs.

After one hour and forty five minutes (due to the picture taking) we arrive at Abrams Falls.


Looking for a bit of shade, we find the perfect place for lunch.



Playing with the shutter speed…..which do you like better?

The sun gets hotter as we trudge back to the car.  There’s few leaves to offer any shade.  We are counting the hills; one, two, and then, almost to the top of the third hill…. a blow out occurs!



The sole of hubby’s hiking boot comes loose! 

There’s no duct tape but a plastic grocery sack helps.  I’m concerned that his gait will be altered, placing stress on the hip replacement so we slow way down….and due to the turtle-like pace, we see a black racer heading through the brush.

Two tired hikers are happy to see the parking lot!

Coming attractions……more on the Eggscursion….and pictures if it ever stops raining!


Cat-flicted! & happy birthday to me.



“Go away!  This is my house!”

My heart got lost a couple of days ago after discovering this critter in the back yard.  After two nights of intermittent sleep and two trips to the vet, it looks like I have a new baby!

Although my heart is in a good place, my head is reeling!  What have I done?  We have worked so hard to eliminate the obstacles to traveling….. quit the part time job, turned the rental property over to a management company and found a part-time home for the two cats we already own.  Why can’t I just be logical, pull up a cold heart and continue simplifying our lives?  I did try….closed the door on him at least twice!

Been so distracted….could not even remember if I put on the rinse while shampooing my hair, missing my turns while driving.   Completely lost my piece of mind, going crazy, letting the little cat’s presence disrupt my flow.

Now, four days into this process, I’m slowly feeling sane again.  It will all work out somehow as the compulsion to rescue him was just too  strong. 


Princess, our 9 year old rescue


New cat…still unnamed…9 months to a year old

I’ve had a birthday during these upsetting few days….now 64 years old!  Can’t help but think….if the new cat lives 20 years, I’ll be 83!  Hope I don’t turn into one of those COCL…(crazy old cat ladies!)…….who am I kidding, I’m already there!


Proud to report that the reflectix project is completed and hope to have a dark trailer while sleeping in Alaska.  I cut out the material larger than the windows and bound it with metal tape.…hope to hold it in place with curtain pins and cubicle clips.




The long one will go above the side dinette tucked behind the overhead lights. (That’s Sheba, the Siamese, caught in the picture.)  The reflectix has great insulating properties but hope we won’t ever need it to protect us from cold.

Besides working on the windows, we have been enjoying the spring weather and playing in the yard.


New bird feeder!


New figs and leaves forming on the fig tree.


Thrift on the driveway wall….


Lots of our flowers came from the former owners.  This looks like a ruffled jonquil…name unknown.

It’s been a week full of birthdays.  Ice cream and cake this afternoon at my mom’s  celebrating 3 generations of birthdays: stepfather, age 87, niece, age 5 and yours truly. 

We should be on the road by the middle of next week heading to the Townsend rally.  The weather forecast looks troublesome but it could always change.  Looking forward to catching up with everyone and seeing the spring wildflowers.




Maybe I’ll call him Sir William.  He needs to be of royalty to co-exist with a Princess and a Queen Sheba.



I’m not the only one smitten.


Spring Thoughts


Four years ago this month, after turning 60, I left my full time job.  It was a decision easily made as the husband was retired when we married 13 years ago and he had been patiently waiting for me to be free of the work commitments.

It was easy to leave the job that I disliked....but, hard, due to the fear factor.  The fear of not having enough money,  irrational fears of being homeless and hungry!

Now, approaching my 64th birthday, I’m looking back on a wonderful 4 years, loving the freedom that this life gives me and hoping to be blessed with many more years of happy living!

And the money thing?  There is none to throw around but there’s always enough to do what needs to be done.  Years ago, when gainfully employed, I would not thought of enjoying NOT spending money!

Contemplating life is one of the great things I get to do with my freedom.  Getting up early, making the coffee and watching the sun peep over the ridge from the warmth of my kitchen. Feeling grateful for life.


No, this is not through the kitchen window but dawn at Chester Frost park just north of Chattanooga.  Contemplating, again, how grateful we are to be able to travel and come home to a beautiful area.

Speaking of travel…..

No progress to report on the reflectix window project.  I did go back and get the longer length, hoping to be able to secure the coverings without velcro.

Also no progress on the solar panel redo.  While looking at the forums, found someone was using piano hinges to secure individual panels.  Guess we will try that.

Evenings have been spent perusing The Milepost, an Alaskan travel planner and reading blogs of others who have made the trip.  It feels overwhelming when imagining the distance, so I’m just going to ignore it.

During the daylight hours we have been getting exercise by working in the yard and walking.  Inspired by reading too many cooking blogs, I made a place under the steps to use the dutch oven.  Hubby has always been in charge of the outdoor cooking so it was a first for me when I made City Chicken…….


Other than wasting lots of charcoal briquettes (none were needed for the lid), it turned out great!  Wish I had a photo!

In a few weeks we will be heading to the Smoky Mountains and the spring rally in Townsend.  There were over 80 trailers last year… and more expected this year.


2011 Eggscursion

The spring wildflowers are always peaking during the rally.


Maidenhair Fern



Dogwood at Cades Cove campground….Smoky Mountains National Park

Glad it’s finally spring…thought it was never going to show.

Good times are happening now, good times coming in the future.  Who could want more?