We are now at Steve’s Rv park, which is actually our home base. We decided to drive straight through today and not stop over night. Drove eight hours today and a total of 377 miles, that is the most miles driven and time driving. I am tired. The roads had very little traffic, I guess because both Pa and NY are still pretty much locked down. I noticed two things once we got into New York, not many trees in bloom or green and we saw at least 10 state troopers, set up with radar, I guess they need to catch all the people staying home, Communist state. It is suppose to be in the low 70’s for the next week which is nice, we have a lot of work to do on the 5er. It took a pretty good beating, roads all over the place just suck. We have parked near to the big barn this time, so it will be easier to clean the Rv, then in a few weeks pull over to our spot by the shed in the woods. Kind of glad to be back, it has been 8 months of travel for us.


Our spot by the big barn.


I let Melissa make a few posts about our final days in the Smokies, (which were better than expected), before I made this post..

Saturday we left River Plantation in Servierville Tn and drove 312 miles to Staunton Virginia to stay one night at Walnut Hills Rv park. We have stayed there before and like it. Sunday we drove 188 miles to Gettysburg Pa, which is where we are now at the Drummer Boy RV Park. We have also been here before and like it. We leave here Wednesday and should arrive at our home base on Thursday. Wednesday night I think we will stay at a Wallmart halfway between. Other than that, I think we both are looking forward to getting back ,although we do not know exactly what to expect with the shut downs there.

Our Days in The Mountains

You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way. – Dr. Seuss


Today is Thursday the 14th and we’re on our way. Our 1st stop was at the “Bud Ogle Farm” located just outside of Gatlinburg.  When you start on the path it takes only a few minutes to get to the house.

The log home was built by Noah “Bud” Ogle, a descendant of the original Ogle family that settled in White Oak Flats, now known as Gatlinburg. Arriving in the very early 1800s, the Ogle’s became the first homesteaders to settle in the White Oak Flats area. Born in 1863, Noah established this 400-acre farm in 1879, and began building the house in the early 1880s. Architecturally, the cabin is known as a “saddle-bag” house, which means it consists of two houses joined by a common chimney. According to the National Register of Historic Places nomination form, this is one of the rarer floor plans used in the Smokies.




Noah,  his wife and their eight children lived in the house.


Smile for the camera 🙂

Just past the cabin the trail goes over two small brooks, and then passes through the former pastures and corn fields that were once maintained by the Ogle family.  And l always have to remind myself that there were hardly any trees on his property




This is the Ogle “tub” mill, which was used to grind corn into meal for the family and other settlers in the area. Built around 1885, the mill was powered by water from LeConte Creek, which was fed by an 80-foot log flume. This system which was used to generate power for the mill was fairly typical for homesteaders in the Southern Appalachians at that time.




After that comes the barn, which was known as a “drove-through” barn because you could drive or park your wagons in the covered middle section of the barn. The barn includes four log pens that were used for livestock, such as dairy cows and draft animals. Chickens and pigs were also raised on this farm.

The Ogle Family did everything. They raised the plants and animals they ate.  They grew fruit trees and had pens with hogs in them.  The thing that they really liked was the Chestnut trees cause everyone loved the nuts and even traded them for shoes and such. They didn’t have any need for an a thermometer they just looked at rhododendron leaves.  As the temperature drops to freezing the leaves begin to darken in color and droop.  Around 20 degrees they start to curl, and by 0 degrees they are rolled up tight and turn black.


The weather was perfect when we were there as you can tell by the leaves! They don’t lie.

Because Wednesday we walked a little over 5 miles we thought we would take it easy. So we did the Ogle Farm Trail and then we were going to just drive around the outer loop and stop at look out points. But due to the virus, that part of the park wasn’t open yet.   So we took The Rainbow Falls Trail.


The Rainbow Falls Trail is about 6 miles roundtrip and is considered moderate in difficulty. However due to the length, elevation gain, and rocky terrain in sections of the trail, some visitors may rate the hike as difficult. It takes about 3-5 hours to hike to the waterfall and back.  

We didn’t realize the difficulty at the time and even thought maybe it was 3 miles roundtrip.  And we weren’t wearing proper shoes and didn’t have any water with us.  But being both stubborn and not to smart we continued ……


We asked people coming down how far it was and they would say oh about 30-40 minutes when we thought we were almost there.  But we continued on.

Some smaller Falls we passed on the way up.


I think from this point someone told us it was about 15 minutes! yepeee!!








We made it! And we were so glad we did!



Taking the trail back we were excited when the trees were on ground level like us.



We finished the trail, I am proud of both of us!   Different parts of our bodies were sore, and some different parts hurt the next day. We hiked about 7.5 miles which isn’t a lot, but when half of it is up hill it gets harder when you get older like us, but it was worth the trip!

When everything feels like an uphill struggle, Just think of the view from the top.” – Anonymous Hiker




It’s Friday Morning in The Great Smoky Mountains!

Dave picked an easy trail for us today, nothing to strenuous.                                                “The Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail is definitely not a full-bore, knee-busting outdoor challenge. It is flat, paved and about a half-mile long. It is designed to be all access – the only trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to be so designated.”









The last trail we took was a Quiet Walkway trail


The Trail went through a section of the Sugar Branch Trail



Dave is thinking….I know she is taking another picture of my behind, She seems to do that a lot!






The Mill was built by Andrew Jefferson Ely in 1925. Ely’s Mill is one of the few remaining pieces of “Old Gatlinburg”. Privately owned, it is still run by the original family who live on site. They are in the works of getting the mill up and running again. At the time he hired craftsman to build the mill and a showroom to sell their wares. It had everything you can think of from furniture to weaving. The water wheel powered the machinery for the furniture shop. As the place grew more buildings were added, a blacksmith shop and they even had a bee keeper. In 1940 Ely’s Mill had grown to almost 20 buildings. Now the mill features local crafts, antiques, and honey, as well as two over-night rental cabins and weddings tale place here too.  A neat place tucked inside The Smokys.






I just love this fence. I think I’ll take a few of my belongings and stick it on a fence too!



Our last stop and one of the Best Stops, a look out view of The Smokys.



We were lucky, we had an amazing view.  Some people were saying it was because of covid-19, the park wasn’t open and so there was no pollution.  It just opened up the weekend before we got there.



To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live. – Hans Christian Andersen


Wednesday at the Smoky’s



First Trail we took was the :

1477 sign

The Fighting Creek Nature Trail is a trail that’s about 2.5 miles long that begins near the Sugarlands Visitor Center, and then from there you can venture off a number of trails like we did taking the Cataract Falls Trail. For much of the trail we followed The Fighting Creek, which was named that supposedly due to an concerning argument among mountain residents over where a schoolhouse should be situated.




Site of Noah McCarter’s former cabin.


Further down , the John Ownby Cabin that was restored by the National Park Service, his house dates to about 1860.  When you look inside and see the craftmanship and marvel at how humbly they lived late in the 19th and 20th centuries, long before Great Smoky Mountains National Park existed.

I always have to remind myself when I see old settlements like this, especially where there was farming, when they were operational there wasn’t any trees like there is now.



fall 1


We followed the trail and came to a great section to view The Great Smoky Mountains


Great Trails, Glad we took them!



Our next stop was a “Quiet Walkway” there are a few of these in the park. The name of this trail is Big White Oak Quiet Walkway.

It’s a not a long trail but at the top we were very surprised to find a cemetery! Especially in such an out of the way place. Obviously once upon a time there was an old community that had it’s own cemetery.



It’s been there for a very long time.  But we noticed that flowers were placed around and the grave marker above says he died in 2019.   We found out that the park calls it the Fighting Creek Cemetery, other sites claim it’s the William Stinnett Cemetery.


I really enjoyed being in the Smoky Mountains being away from the crowds and the tourist attractions, it was how I remembered it being years back being both serene and magnetic.



“Land of the Blue Smoke”


Today we ventured out and went to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. It has changed since we were here last.


We walked “The Great Smokey Mountains Gatlinburg trail” today, which was picturesque to say the least and continued to walk thru Gatlinburg.







When we were here years back things like: The Ripley’s group of attractions which includes Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, which has exhibits all over the place, covering things like the Titanic, pirates, and the planet Mars, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, Odditorium, Mirror Maze, 5D Moving Theater, Guinness World Records, Old MacDonald’s Farm Mini Golf, and Davy Crockett Mini Golf, etc. weren’t here.   We walked around town not a lot of people so we could keep our social distance.


Forest sure got around didn’t he!






Now I know why they are saying this about Gatlinburg “Bordering Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is an important tourist destination in Tennessee, with many man-made attractions.” I did enjoy my day in Gatlinburg was just surprised at all the new additions, I left Ripley’s out of my pics.  Times they are a changing. Tomorrow we will be going further into the Smokey’s.


WHERE???. Sevierville Tn, is in the eastern portion of Tn, close to the entrance to Smokey’s National Park. You pass through here, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg to get to the park entrance. These are very small cities and very commercialized, Dollywood is here too.

We drove 137 miles Monday to get here, (traffic on the interstate was very busy)and are staying at the River Plantation Rv resort, here in Sevierville till Saturday. We have a nice pull thru and the park seems very nice. The Little Pigeon River runs around the edge of the park. The river flooded six weeks ago and the spot we are in now had over a foot of water in it. You would never know it now.

Smokey Mountain National Park, is why we are here. Thank fully the park roads and most trails opened up last week end( visitor centers and all that still closed) so we will be going there the next several days, to hike and drive in the park. Below are pics of our spot here.




Little Pigeon river


Out our window of what was under water six weeks ago.

Our days at Georgia/Tennesse

When we arrived here we didn’t realize that we were on the border of a time zone change. Dave was in Central time and I was in Eastern time that’s what our phones we’re telling us, it was confusing.  If I lived here, I wouldn’t know if I was coming or going, sometimes I feel like that anyway. We decided to follow Eastern time because that’s what we’re used to.


It has been nice and also odd being in Rossville GA & Chattanooga Tennessee mainly because we weren’t originally supposed to be here. Like everyone else things had to change. I am glad Dave found The Holiday RV Park mostly because it has been warm here and back in NY, they have had snow not unusual for this time of year plus, it’s been a nice place to stay. One of the things we do daily is go to Camp Jordan Arena & Sports Complex. Outside the huge arena is soccer fields, baseball diamonds, amphitheater, a 2 acre pond for fishing, is a 19 hole disc-golf course, nature trails and the walking track. The huge arena, soccer fields, etc. haven’t been open due to the virus, but fortunately the walking track/path is, so we have definitely been using it.

sign park & arenaarena




We walked the nature trails and the paved walk.  The paved walk is 2 miles around.  Some days we only did the round once other days it was more rounds.  We saw the same ducks everyday, we named them Curly, Larry, Moe and Felix?  the weather was great and we got our exercise!

A walk in the park is a pleasure to do, When a visit to one is long overdue, To take the dogs too, is really great ,For the exercise is just first rate.

The peacefulness can be very strange, For quietness is such a change, From all the traffic rushing by, The decibels get really high.

We have to live with constant noise, That often takes away the joys and contentment, that a walk can give us. We’ve got to count is as a real plus. There’s a lake where fishing is a must.

At the end of the lake, the ducks you’ll meet, And geese and swans, with their webbed feet, All gather hoping to be fed, With slivers of cake and slices of bread.

There are soccer courts and baseball diamonds too, You can do most anything you want to do, For children, roundabouts and swings, Seesaws, slides, gosh, there’s lots of things.

The flowers are a joy to view, The colours bright with the morning dew, Red, yellow, purple, pink and peach, Lifting their heads the sun to reach. A walk in the park takes away the strain, Of working, which we have to go back to again, But as long as we take just a little time out To relax, that to me is what life’s all about.  

Ernestine Northover

We went to a BBQ place called Buddy’s for takeout



It was good, but not as good as our friend Abe’s way down yonder in The Miss!

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Dave & I were in this area about 14 years ago with some friends and got to see Look Out Mountain, Ruby Falls, The battlefields and Memphis were we saw the King.  Good thing because this time around they were closed.

We went to Racoon Mountain Raccoon Mountain which is made up of several trails that circle the TVA Raccoon Mountain pumped storage facility system.  We heard it was open but it was also closed.  It was a nice ride up to the facility and we stopped a few times up the mountain.




Stopped at this cemetery tucked way on the side of the mountain.  It has definitely been here awhile.

I was pleasantly surprised when we visited Chattanooga.  We parked and then spent the day walking along the art district and the many path ways they have along they way.

Located in a historic neighborhood in Chattanooga, TN, Bluff View Art District has visual, horticultural and culinary arts. Situated downtown, Bluff View Art District has restaurants, cafes, patios and paths all on different levels that view the Tennessee River. The switch back trail from the river up to the Hunter Museum has several sculptures that are unique and fun to see along the way. This is Chattanooga’s first art district which stretches over 1.5 city blocks, set high atop stone cliffs that plunge into the river below. From this bluff front location, you will see views of the Tennessee River, downtown Chattanooga, and the Walnut Street Bridge.

Here are some sights and sounds along the way ……



We had takeout at Rembrandt’s Bluff View Bakery.  They had an open area in the back so we ate it there.  I had a piece of chocolate cheese cake and Dave had a glazed cinnamon bun.  They were both really good!





Then we walked thru the sculpture garden to the river walk and over the bridge


Some of the sculptures I really liked, others I couldn’t tell what they were trying to show, say or whatever.

This one I think should be called “Bad Hair Day”


    1. Savoy is a variety of the common cabbage, having curled leaves,  So I guess you could say their dancing for cabbage?  Must be hungry.


Batter Up, Definitely one of my favorites !


The “Doohicky –  Whagamacallit”  Looks neat whatever they are


My Favorite it’s called “Free Money”  They look so cute!


Built in 1890, the 2,376 feet  Walnut Street Bridge was the first to connect Chattanooga, Tennessee’s downtown with North Chattanooga. “The bridge was apparently the first non-military highway bridge across the Tennessee River.” The “county bridge”, as the Walnut Street Bridge was once known, connected the predominantly white city on the south side of the Tennessee River with the large black work force on the north side (“North Shore”) in Hill City, a town that was occupied by Chattanooga in 1912.

The bridge was closed to motor vehicles and sat in disuse and disrepair for nearly a decade. Repairs and structural modifications have been made to turn the bridge into what it is now a pedestrian walkway. The Walnut Street Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1990. The 2,376 foot (720 m) pedestrian bridge sits near the heart of a massive and recently completed urban renewal project.

We had a great day in Chattanooga, which Dave tells me the word Chattanooga is from a Indian word meaning  “rock rising to a point.”


A fifth wheel we saw at the campground.  Dave could have built  this when he had all his tools, nuts, bolts and marbles. 




In late summer of 1863, the union army moved on the City of Chattanooga, from the north. They wanted to capture it for it’s rail line and the Tennessee river, to supply there army. As the union army started to surround the city, the confederates, retreated to the south, across the Tennessee river and into Georgia a few miles. There they set up strong defensive lines. The union in the mean time also bolstered it’s supply of men and arms. In early September 1863, the union army pushed across the Tennessee river, into Georgia. What the union did not know was that during the last few weeks, reinforcements were being brought in. Now each army had about 60,000 men each. On September 19 and 20 of 1863 the armies met at a little meandering creek, known as the Chickamauga, and Indian word, meaning “river of death”. For two days they went at each other back and forth, slugging it out. After two days of fighting the union for some reason decided to retreat back to Chattanooga. The Confederates in hot pursuit. The union crossed the Tennessee river, north back into Chattanooga, and confederates set up defensive positions on the south side near Lookout mountain. The battle was over, most say it was a draw, but the union did fall back.


After the battle of Chickamauga, the union was resupplied and fresh troops brought in. The confederates had to do with what they had, and bolstered up there lines hoping to put a siege on Chattanooga. After two months passed, the union was ready to attack, which they did on November 23, 1863. This became known as the battle of Chattanooga, or “Battle above the clouds”

The union attached right at the center of lookout mountain, which was defended by  Confederate artillery, but it was not very effective because of the terrain. In the photo and map below the union attached from right to left along the slopes of lookout mountain, then gained the high ground, placed cannon on top, and swept the confederates off the ridges into the low country ,where the union army was waiting and pushed ahead. This put the confederates in a head long retreat. The confederates retreated past the Chickamauga creek and kept going, falling back over the next few weeks into the deep south. The union did not follow.





Cannon on Lookout mountain, overlooking Chattanooga


We have now, been here a week in Chattanooga Tn. . Our plans were to leave here Monday the 4th, but we have decided to stay another week and leave for the Smokies on the 11th of May. There are a couple of reasons for this, which I will explain below.

Chattanooga Tn, is right at the bottom of the state very near Georgia. It sits right along a bend in the Tennessee river. The native Americans were the first here and named it Chattanooga, meaning “rock rising to a point”, which refers to the view they had of what is now called lookout mountain. Views of Lookout mountain from Chattanooga are below. Being along the river Chattanooga grew a lot during the 1800’s. Industry came in the early 1900’s, which brought jobs and all that but also pollution. Not until the late 1990’s did the city have a sort of revitalization. Now it has many nice tourist spots and walkways around the river. Lookout mountain right on the other side of the river also has many tourists spots to visit.



View below is from a top of Lookout Mountain, looking down on Chattanooga



As I mentioned before, the park we are at is in Georgia, very close to Tennessee. Sometimes driving around this week, I had no idea what state we were in. So why are we staying longer, well, the weather for one will be nicer here than in the Smokies, and we have also found a few very nice places to walk everyday here. The most important reason though is that the Floodgates have kind of opened up. Georgia last week opened up almost everything that has been shut down. Tennessee this week is opening a lot of things that have been shut down. So, maybe if we have any luck, places like Ruby Falls, Incline railroad, Lookout mountain garden park, Lookout mountain point park, Chickamauga battlefield park, Dalton Tunnel hill and museums in Chattanooga will open up. Maybe we will see, but we decided to stay and find out. Otherwise we have been doing some thing here like hiking, walking and driving around Lookout mountain. We have even been to two different Bar B Q places. Plus I have now seen that the Waffle House near us is reopened, Ya Hooey.

Of course Chattanooga has civil war history which I will post on later this coming week.