Great Smoky Mountains & Cherokee Rally



Arriving at Happy Holiday RV Park in Cherokee two days before the rally, we decided to drive north on 441 to see the leaf changes.  The national park had just opened that morning and visitors were flocking to the different attractions.

Our first stop is at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to tour the Mtn Farm Museum.   The old farm has many out buildings similar to the ones we remember from our grandparents’ homes.



Notice the old fencing around the garden plot!

The farmhouse was gated to prevent entry but pictures were made from the door.  Image living here back in to 1800’s! 




After admiring the Oconaluftee River,


we are heading for Mingus Mill, a 1886 water-powered turbine grist mill.






Love this old mill…it’s still grinding corn!  Fresh corn meal can still be purchased inside.

After a few more stops we are back on 441.  The trees are becoming more vibrant as we ascend the mountain.




The mountains are obscured by the thick haze that gives them the name of “Smoky”.



The winding road and parade of colors is hypnotizing as we cruise up to Newfound Gap.  Then our stomachs are protesting with hunger and keep us from exploring Clingman’s Dome, 7 miles farther up the road.

Forty-five minutes later we are arriving back at Happy Holiday RV park, our home for the week.

This is our 4th rally at Happy Holiday and it’s the mountains and the trout stream that keeps pulling us back.  And, of course, all the cute little white trailers!


Our home and the creek just behind us.


The RV park is huge with two creeks and a lake (pond) in the middle.  The eggs are mixed in with the larger trailers and motor homes but all appear to be happy.


The morning mist is lingering over the campground



A few late flowers are scattered at the more permanent sites.



The rally has the usual egg parade and potluck dinner…..those at the end of the pot luck line were ravished with hunger but said it was worth the wait!

No pictures from the pot luck…too busy eating!  And only one mod is captured.  Our shoes are always in the way….love this idea.  It is just in front of the bed.


A few unusual trailers… this is Troy’s silver painted Burro.


We camped next to him in 2011…nice to see old friends.  And others made new friends.



In honor of Halloween…..kept this non-tripod night shot of the lake and trailers.


Love this lantern!


This fur baby is 16 years old and has cataracts.  The sunglasses are not just for show!

The sunshine is abundant on Friday and we are heading east on 19 in search of fresh apples and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Beautiful day!



And suddenly it’s all over…but not before we make our reservations for next year!

PS    To my loyal readers:

Apologies for being so late with this post!  And the lack of comments on your blogs.  Trying to find the balance between living in the Casita world and living in our Chattanooga world. 


  1. Isn't this like the mist perfect time of year to be in the woods! I remember making those lights about 15 years ago...might be an upcoming site project!

    1. They did not look difficult to make if one knew where to find the materials....sure were pretty in the dark.

      It was a lovely time to be in the mountains.
      Stay safe in your travels!

  2. Looks like you had a wonderful time getting out for a few days!

    1. Yes, it was just what the doctor ordered! Now we can start thinking about the Southwest!

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  4. Nice pictures. Brought back many memories of years ago. We used to go to the Smokies twice a year. Haven't been since we got the Casita. That'll change next year...:-)

  5. I guess you have been going more west and north than east. I do love the mountains....believe the hills are in my DNA.

    Hope we see you and Wanda in a few months!

  6. It has been several years since we have been to the Smokey Mountains...sure do miss them!! We just weren't ready with our bed mod to make it to this rally. Hopefully we will make it in the future!!
    We so understand your living in two worlds! Been there, done that!! Getting the Casita sure is bringing that urge back to life!! It does get in your blood!!

    1. I often tell people if they buy a Casita, it will change their life. It changed ours! And most of the people that we know. Just puts a different and fun perspective on life. Glad that you understand what I meant!

      The Smokies are magnificent. We go so infrequently; always wonder why we aren't there every season.

  7. Oh, Lynne, what gorgeous photos. They almost give me sensory overload. As usual for your photos. Pictures of that area make me homesick... and it's not even my home. Mountain Momma. :)

    Loved the water. The flowers. The history. And the park and the eggs. And that adorable dog. And what a cool idea for shoe storage!

    1. Sensory overload....that's exactly how it felt to climb through all those colors. Great description!
      Good to hear from you and here's hoping that your heater is fixed by now. And I'm jealous since we are furnace-less.

  8. Terrific photography...what a great scenery...I need to make a trip to the Smokies next fall....looks like a very relaxing place to spend a week or so....Thanks for sharing...Horst sends

    1. They are a great place in the fall and the spring...before the hordes arrive. Think about Townsend rally next April...3rd weekend I think.

      Stay safe on the road!

  9. I used to live just outside of Maggie Valley NC and visited Cherokee often. The fall colors are beautiful! Can former Casita/Oliver owners rally with ya'll ???

  10. Sure! In the words of our dear friend, Ranger Duke, "once a Casita owner,always a Casita Owner!"

    This park is located on 19...on the way to Maggie Valley....you will be right at home!