Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mid Atlantic Rally Day 3

Sevierville, Tennessee
River Plantation RV Resort
Back In #145

We really didn't get moving early this morning.  I was glad there weren't any planned activities except for the golf which started at 6:45. Did I mention that was 6:45 AM? It wouldn't be a fun activity for me to be up and about by then.  

Before we knew it, it was time to join up for the caravan to the Country Tonite.  The show started a 3 pm but we were asked to be there by 2.  We had excellent seats and the show was wonderful.  It had an excellent balance of dancing, singing and comedy.  
The girl in the center was 13 years old and she had a wonderful voice and also played the bango.  

This is Big Bubba, Elvis's cousin.  
Jim Fischer was picked out of the audience and he really hammed it up.  You would have thought he had rehearsed the part, it was that good.  
We were all laughing so hard.  
She is going to be a big star someday.  

We were told that they were trying something new for the show during the patriotic section.  A bald eagle was suppose to fly from the far end of the theater to the center stage.  The eagle flew from the corner of the theater right up on the stage.  It then flew back from the stage and then did a big detour and wouldn't fly back.  It was still spectacular!  

After the show was over, we all had reservations at a nearby restaurant.  

When we returned we took a walk trying to reduce the results of such a large meal.  It didn't work.  

There was a group forming at the campfire, but we don't usually do that due to Bill breathing all that smoke.  

Turtle Safely........

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mid Atlantic Montana Rally Day 2

Seviersville, Tennessee
River Plantation RV Resort
Back In Site #145

The Mid-Atlantic Montana Rally doesn't officially start until the meet 'n greet at 6 pm tonight.  Bill and I both wanted to tour the Bush's Bean Factory and Museum and figured by the looks of the rally schedule, we'd better go today.  

Bill turned 78 years old today and thought maybe he'd like to do something special for his birthday but like he says "everyday is special".  

I thought I remembered Polly saying it was in Pigeon Forge.  We are located on the Parkway (the main bumper to bumper traffic jam to Gatlinburg.) Bill took the turn out of the campground.  If anyone has ever gone to Myrtle Beach or a tourist area like it, it's just one car after the other creeping down the six lanes of traffic.  

Restaurants, go carts, water parks, zip lines, helicopter rides, hotels, dinner shows, souvenir shops, western stores, outlet malls, you name it, they sell it here.  

We drove through Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and entered the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  I checked the address and it said 3901 Hwy 441 unfortunately there is also the same address in Dandridge, TN.  No problem we only went out of our way by about 50 miles.  

The scenery was beautiful and the day was picture perfect.  I failed to mention that the last two mornings were record cold temperatures.  In the low 50's and we've used the fireplace the last two mornings.  

When we entered the Bush's museum we were immediately greeted by Robert who explained the history and story of Bush's beans.  

There was an interactive museum and then a video that explained the history and whole manufacturing process. 

You walked inside this big can of beans and videos played telling you different parts of the process. 

I guess we just take tin cans for granted.  Can you imagine a hole in a can in which you fill the can and then solder it shut?

Bill wanted to know what blind staggers remedy was used for.  

Bill was presented with a special gift since it was his birthday.  It was a tin can bank.  
Duke gave this bank his stamp of approval.  
Yes, we did see pigs fly.
Robert came by to say he was disappointed that he was tied up with a group and couldn't present the bank to Bill.  

Everyone got a souvenir photo and you got to choose what background you wanted.  Naturally, we wanted the one with Duke and the saguaro cactus.

Of course, we had to play tourist and do photos from these props.

Duke was so well behaved, he didn't droll on us at all.

This was the Bush family home.  
Our return trip back to the campground was very short in comparison to the trip to Bush's.  

By the time we returned we sat outside with other Montana Owners and watched people arrive.  

Traditionally, with the Montana group, their meet 'n greet is enough food for dinner.  This was no exception.  

Ted also had a birthday today and the whole group sang Happy Birthday to him and Bill.

I believe there are 30 rigs here.  One couple was involved in an accident, one had truck problems and one other couple had to cancel.  Not bad for a small local rally.  

Of course, there will be a lot more attending the National in Goshen in September.  

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day.  It starts for some at 6:45 am, but not for this girl! 

Turtle Safely........

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Our First Tornado Alert

River Plantation RV Resort
Sevierville, Tennessee
Back In #145

We love experiencing unique and different things but we could have done without Sunday's experience.  

Bill and I were relaxing from our day's adventure and noticed the sky turned black, not gray, but black.  Bill was watching TV but from the satellite and not on a local channel.  

My phone went crazy with an alarm going off.  I glanced at it and saw the word tornado and we both put on our shoes and headed to the clubhouse.  I saw people running to the bathhouse which was next to our rig.  We walked over to the clubhouse and there were already people in the laundry. 

At least in the clubhouse you had a TV to watch with the forecasting.  All channels were tracking the storm.  It went up to 100 % chance of hail and they were calling for golf ball size hail (almost 2 inch).  The wind blew but nothing too bad.  There was some rain and no hail at this point.  After awhile the storm passed so we went back home.  Around midnight we had a second round of weather and the lightning, thunder and rain were pretty bad.  

The next morning as we watched the news, we found out that an EF3 tornado touched down in Speedwell. Winds were clocked at 150 mph which was more severe than what hit Boston.   I looked on the map and Speedwell appeared to be less than 10 miles from us.  There were many homes and businesses destroyed but no fatalities.   

Thanks to all of you who called and wanted to know if we were OK.  

This morning we left Raccoon Valley RV Park and traveled a whole 43 miles.  We heard that I 40 was closed eastbound due to some tractor trailer accident.  No problem, we had already decided to take Highway 441 through Knoxville.  
Is it just me, or do you wonder how south and north can be in the same direction?  

This is a nice park, but they really need to trim the trees.    
It didn't take long for the dancing to start.  This was before lunch. 
Carole and Paul wanted to go to the Coleman outlet store and Pat and Larry needed some supplies for the rally so all six of us climbed into the truck.  

Pat has a birthday today and wanted to go out to eat.  Seven couples went to the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge.  It's a huge restaurant and we didn't have to wait long for a table.  
Nancy and Dale Calvert
Vickie and Jim Fischer
Rich and Helen La Scola
Larry and Pat Sessoms
The food was excellent, but way too much.  The dinners came with corn clam chowder, salad, corn fritters, rolls, green beans, mashed potatoes and an entree and dessert.  Bill and I both ordered Southern Fried Chicken.  It was excellent, but not as good as in Mount Airy. 

The Mid-Atlantic Montana Rally officially starts tomorrow but over half have already arrived.  

It looks like we will be very busy this next week.  

Turtle Safely....... 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Not One, Not Two, But Three of the World's Largest!

Heiskell, Tennessee
Raccoon Valley (Escapees) RV Park

Can you imagine finding not one, not two, but three of the world's largest in one day?

Number one on the list was the world's largest Rubik's Cube.

The 1982 World's Fair featured the Rubik's Cube designed by Hungarian Architecture Professor Erno Rubik which became the Fair's most well known icon.  

Number two on the world's largest list is the Sunsphere.

The Rubik's Cube and Sunsphere were located in the World's Fair Park.  The weather called for heat index numbers of 105 degrees, but it was really a nice sunny breezy day.
Matter of fact, it was such a beautiful sunny day that we parked the truck in the free parking lot with the windows down, but have no fear, we locked the doors.  

The Sunsphere was built for the 1982 World's Fair.  It is designed with hexagonal steel trusses.  The sphere is 75 feet with 24 karat gold dust colored glass spheres.  

It is 266 feet high  and weighs 600 tons with the stairs in the middle.  Bill and I kept saying we needed to exercise.   

In 1982 a shot was fired outside the fair site which shattered one of the sphere's windows.  No one was ever arrested.

On May 15, 2000 nuclear weapons protesters scaled the tower and hung a large banner that said "stop the bomb's". They remained there for 3 days before surrendering to the police.  It was opened to the public in 2007.

The views inside it were fantastic!

We really enjoyed the Sunsphere and the city had some interesting information about East Tennessee displayed.  

I guess I forgot to mention that in 1982 the World's Fair charged $2.00 to take the elevator to the observation floor.  There was no charge to take the elevator so we decided to save our exercise thoughts for our next stop and take the elevator to the observation floor.

 As we were walking back to our locked truck with the windows down, we walked past this Veteran's Memorial.  It was very well done, but nothing as impressive as Huntsville, Alabama.  
They had all the wars represented and the names of those from East Tennessee who lost their life for our country.  
Bill and I both agreed the East seems to have nicer and more memorials to veterans than our part of the country.  
As we left Knoxville, we realized what a landmark the Sunsphere is for this city.  

We drove out I 40 to the flea market in Kodak.
As we drove past it, we realized we'd been to it before when we owned the Cardinal.  At that time we parked the rig in the parking lot.  It was just a bunch of wanna be store owners.  

We continued down the road at a very slow pace.  

Bill drove past miles and miles of bumper to bumper traffic.  This is not the kind of place we enjoy visiting.  
Can you see what's hanging from this crane?  Is this a red necks version of an air boat. 

Number three on the world's largest tour for the day is the Smokey Mountain Knife Works.  
I have no way of knowing how many floors there are in this store.  There are ramps everywhere and you go half a floor and then on up again.  
There were all kinds of displays, this one moved and played music.
Of course Bill's favorite was the Relic Room.  These were historical original items for sale.  He didn't seem interested in the snow shoe on the left.
No, this wasn't one of Bill's parking jobs.
All of these water displays were covered with coins in the bottom, but I don't know if these coins were given to any charity or not. 
I saw this sign for turtle man, but not my kind of turtle.

There were all kinds of stuffed animals like Cabela's has. 
On the top floor they have a small museum.
Unfortunately, nothing was marked so it was just a bunch of old stuff behind glass.
I took this picture of this fish and wondered if Jim is catching them this size in Montana.  
We spent all that time, looking at all the things they offered and didn't buy a thing.

Bill took highway 441 back instead of going through all that traffic.  We did top off the diesel tanks at $3.54.  It was 4 pm when we returned to the park, just in time for the ice cream social.  

Yesterday Bill had to repair the brake light on the truck.  Yes, he did it! 

 Then he decided to wash and wax the truck.  
Do you know what that means?  Yep, the sky has turned black and there's thunder in the air.  Look's like it might rain tonight.

Turtle Safely........