Tuesday, Oct 1, 2002 (DeSoto State Park, Ft. Payne, AL):
We were on the road by 8AM, but stopped at the tire shop in town to get the M/H tires rotated and balanced. We were told our wear problem was caused by mis-alignment and the local shop couldn't do that. We'll try to get it done along the way. We got here about 4PM. We took full hookups ($14.16) to get a pull through spot so we don't have to unhook the car but only hooked up electricity. We'll go on to Smokey Mtn. NP tomorrow.
Wed, Oct 2, 2002 (Elkmont CG, Smokey Mtn. NP):
We had less than 200 miles to travel today. We got off at 9AM but 20 miles up the interstate lost an hour to Eastern time. We got here just after 2PM. It's cooler here (at 4000') than at home but still hit 80 in the afternoon. We got set up, then sat outside and read until dark.
Thur-Sat, Oct 3-5 (Elkmont CG):
We have just kicked back here, relaxed and read. Joe hooked up the satellite dish and the temp has been nice so we could sit outside. There's lots to see here at Smokey Mtn NP, but we've been here many times so we are just sitting in camp and resting until we leave Sunday. Friday night the weekenders started rolling in and about a dozen young people of different nationalities came in late and stayed up and partied ALL night. The rangers must retire to their quarters early. We finally decided they were college kids who were there for the weekend. There was a group who looked like they might be from India, another group of Asians (maybe Korean) and a white group. They were in three adjoining camp sites but all got together to party. There must have been a complaint because Saturday night they beat their drums, talked and laughed, until quiet time at 10PM, then seemed to settle down except for chopping some wood at 4AM. Since they never slept we decided they were college students and must do there sleeping in class. When we come back we'll stay at Smokemont CG on the NC side of the park. The last time we stayed over there it wasn't as crowded and was MUCH quieter. The crowding has gotten BAD on the East side of Smokey Mtn. NP and the Gatlinburg tourist trap extends for miles in all directions.
Sunday, Oct 6, 2002 (Travel to Shenandoah NP, VA):
We saw a black bear by the road on our way out of the park. We expected to make one stop on our way, but decided to just come all the way and traveled 394 miles to Loft Mtn. CG in Shenandoah NP. The trip was uneventful except for a truck wreck on I-81 which held us up for about 15 minutes. we saw over a dozen deer on our way into the park here in several different groups. They were all grazing contentedly by the roadside and ignoring the traffic. It was cool all the way here and we drove with the A/C off. We plan to stay here 2 weeks.
Joe & Nancy Sue, On the Road, Shenandoah National Park See Pictures