Week-end Update

I bet the winner at the Kentucky Derby across the board, but he wasn’t the horse I was rooting for.  I’ll take my winnings, however bittersweet.  Preakness next….

After the monsoons let up—I thought it would take forever—I scrambled outside to the garden (visit Growing Every Season–my gardening blog),  stopping only to celebrate my #2 grand-daughter’s #9 birthday.

Olivia Mayne Casey, birthday Queen

We’re packing up for a few days,  trailer trippin’ to Cades Cove campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I’ve got a hankerin’ to hike back to Laurel Falls.   We’re still learning about dry camping, and Wink will be coming along, so it’s kind of a science experiment, too.  We never tire of GSMNP and have been dozens of times, but have only seen a bear once.  We’re told that the bear population around Cades Cove has increased and that we will have no problems seeing lots of them!  I don’t know if that’s good or not, but Casey thinks it’s great.

Remember when we were there (at another campground) in late October?  Just before we went out of cellphone range, the news broke that Comey had re-opened the Hillary email investigation…when we came home 3 days later, she had for all intents and purposes lost the election.  Now as we go back into the wilderness, Comey has been fired and…you know…

 We will be gratefully off-grid, and on the lookout for Bears…



Please join me in welcoming the newest member of the Sonnystone Acres Conglomerate of Blogs!

Trailer Trippin’…A Travelogue went live just today.  This baby blog will concentrate on our travels, especially the campgrounds, and I hope to add more articles on subjects that are pertinent to part-time RVers and folks considering that lifestyle.

I’ll still share thoughts about our trips here on Sonnystone, but they will be a little more subjective.  It’s time to start gardening again, so there will be plenty to talk about over at Growing Every Season for my gardener friends.

With no further ado, I present to you Trailer Trippin’…A Travelogue!

Fake Weather News

We took advantage of our ability to spontaneously up-and-go last week-end.  Friday was a warm, sunny day and the weatherman predicted the same for Saturday and Sunday, only warmer! and 20% chance of rain.  I ditched my plans, packed some clothes, and fixed some foil dinners.  Casey uncovered the camper, hitched it up,  and off we went to nearby Harmonie State Park.  The trailer has been winterized since November, which means the water lines have anti-freeze in them, but there’s no water hook-ups at Harmonie (or damn few) anyway.

As we pulled into the campground, there was a new (seasonal) sign:  No restrooms available after this point.  That meant, in short, no using the bathhouses.   Hmmm….no water, no bathhouses…no toothbrushing or handwashing…roughing it…

We had a nice evening and woke up to thick clouds and drizzles that eventually turned into an all-day, steady rain.  The predicted highs in the sixties?  Ha!  It got up to about 54.

We salvaged the day on Sunday, though, and hiked, cooked bacon/eggs over the campfire and had those foil dinners.

This was Wink’s first outing in the camper.  In fact, I don’t think he has been in a car since he was neutered.  Casey’s been taking him outside for “walks” on a leash in preparation.  We got a nice-size cage, brought along treats, and loaded up the litter box.  He did great!  He mewed quite a bit, but let up after the first 15 miles.   Once in the camper, he found a hiding spot and was skittish at first.  He sniffed around and explored the camper (he’d never been in it) and decided it was okay by the second day.  When we drove home, he barely made a sound.


We came back Monday and brought Olivia and Samantha over to play.  It was a beautiful day, like the one they told me it would be on Saturday.   My birthday-week plans are skewered now, so I guess we’ll have to party into next week-end.


Camping Compendium Day 1

As we left for our mini-vacay last week, I was pretty tense, very distracted, awfully anxious. I knew we would be completely off-grid for a few days–no cell, no TV, not even radio–and frankly, that added to my stress, even though it was the whole point of going. We drove down through Bowling Green and over backroads in Tennessee, picking up I40 around Cookeville.  Our GPS advised us that the traffic down through Gatlinburg was stopped and pointed us toward our Cherokee, NC destination via Maggie Valley.  Maggie is lovely, but the road out has hairpin curves….it was a long last hour.  We got into Smokemont around 5 and had just enough time to set up camp before dark.  I had packed fried chicken, so after we filled our bellies we sat around the campfire and stared, listening to the quiet and not-thinking, beginning to unwind.

We were up early the next day for a hike.  A short walk from our campsite, the Smokemont Loop is only 3/4 mile, but it climbs, so it’s labeled moderate.  Hiking along, stopping to look and listen, the only wildlife we saw was a gray squirrel, but the birds were chirping over our heads, so I know they were there.  I Really am not into bears, but Casey was on the lookout the entire trip…

Smokemont Loop Trail

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The hike felt like a gentle massage…I could feel the tension leaving my shoulders and I hadn’t once thought about anything but the beauty of my surroundings.  We grabbed a sandwich back at camp, then set off to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway and take some Overlook pictures.  That’s for tomorrow.

See you real soon!

Perfect Weather for Camping


We went up to Harmonie State Park last Friday, staying until Monday.  The last time we were up there was our first outing with the Trailer back in April.  We were so excited to take to the road that we didn’t care that the weather was awful—high winds, rain, cold.  It was a pretty dull affair by most standards, but we tried the heater, the microwave, and the toilet, figured storage options, and started planning our Trips.   With four more trips under our belt, we felt like Seasoned Trippers as we set up camp.  This is a park that we are verrry familiar with.  We have camped there at least once a year since we bought our first camper back in 1989.  After we sold the Old Viking, we would tent-camp with the van and it became our go-to spot to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  We were up there just last year with the pop-up (and Olivia) and that’s where we decided to go whole whog and buy a travel trailer.

The weather (as you can see) was perfect.   Saturday morning we got up and went for a hike, starting with flannel shirts, but soon dropping off to tee shirts.  I didn’t take my camera, but we did have binoculars to spot birds.  Sunset found us on the banks of the Wabash River.


Olivia marched in the Fall Festival Parade with her dance school, so the Jrs. were busy on Saturday.  They came up for lunch on Sunday, and to play…

Michael, Jessica, and Samantha went on home after some hot dogs for supper (yes, I said supper) and left Olivia with us.  We rode bicycles and roasted some more dogs.  She always takes the bedroom, so she settled down early with her tablets and a movie.

On our last trip, the stormy weather had precluded any TV or cellphone reception (there is no internet connection there), so I had Thought that I would be getting off the grid, taking a nice break from Anxiety-producing News.  Alas!  We usually had 2 bars on the cell, and the TV reception was perfect for our local network outlets…  We kept the TV off, though, so I didn’t realize there was a shit-storm the size of Matthew roaring through until Saturday afternoon, when I got sucked back into the “what the hell” that is our current political clime.  I did my best to keep my eyes and mind averted, but by Sunday night there I was in my comfy chair, clutching the remote and watching the debate.  Damn.  I guess there’s no place to hide…

But I’ll keep trying.

The next morning, we tore down camp and went for a quick around-the-pond hike as we left…

Peace, dear Readers.