the camping trip

hello from big meadow family campground

it’s great to be camping again.  our camper is much smaller than our old one, so we’ve come up with several ways to improve storage and organization.  the campground where we stayed had very small sites and we hope to have more room around us on subsequent visits, but it was a nice place full of friendly, dog-loving people.

our first day in townsend we were up way early and headed over to Cades Cove and discovered/remembered that the loop is closed off every saturday morning until 10am for bicycle riders.  hmmph.  so we drove on over to gatlinburg to the winery;  we still had to kill an hour or so before they opened, so we drove an arts and crafts trail and arrived at the smokey mountain winery about 10:15, bought 3 bottles of wine (mountain red, blackberry, and may),and a souvenir wine glass. 

the wine taster

Back at the campground afterward, we walked next door to a tubing place that put in the Little River right across the street.  the water is very low and seems like we scooted a lot, but we really enjoyed it.   

that evening we drove back into the park to a Quiet Walk that i like.  we feasted on a hobo meal and went to bed early so we could wake up early and really go to Cades Cove, which we did:

cades cove

cades cove

i took tons of pictures, as you would guess, but i won’t make you look at all of them.  besides,  i know you’re just dying for me to get to the part where i get  thrown off of the tube and bruised and cut and…well.. 

 after we got back from cades cove, we discussed going over to cherokee as we’d planned and it just didn’t sound like too much fun.  we had really liked tubing, so we decided to go to another place who would drop us off farther upriver where there’s more water.  we went to cowboy tubin’ and they shuttled us up the Little River to the entrance of the park where we’d seen plenty of tubers, so we were quiet excited to go.  not very far into the trek, we headed into a current that was like the River Rampage at disney, only…well, this was really not disney.   we both hit the current in a spin and got thrown from our tubes, casey first, so he had stopped on a big rock island and saw me shoot out (bathing suit went down to my waist, so the kids who helped us up and fetched my tube got a real show).  that part was just funny, though.  we were right in the middle of the “rampage” you might say and i was now afraid/unable to get on the tube feet-first, (which the shuttle-driver- lady told me to do) so i did the WRONG thing and jumped on the tube on my belly and went down the rest of the way.  while i did manage to stay on my tube, the rocks were very sharp and i felt like i was a pinball going back and forth between them.  my knees, legs, and elbows were beat up, bruised, and bloody by the time we got to a calm pool.  it seemed to take forever to get to a spot where i could climb out and assess the damage, though i kept telling casey:  i think i’m bleeding.  (he  just laughed, which is not the proper response)

left knee injury

if you know me very well, you know that i don’t usually take any risks of hurting myself, so i’m amazed that i can honestly say this was a lot of fun and i would do it again—only feet first….it was another hour after the injury before we made it back to our take-out spot, but i cleaned it all out with old crow when we got back to the truck.  i’d planned to cook another meal that evening, but instead we went over to the old smokey joe’s bbq (now called little river bbq) and let them serve us. 

i’m lovin’ my new camper.  already planning the next trip.  till then…….

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