2011 Travels travel blog

Carpe at Raccoon Valley SKP
As usual, the Escapees famous friendliness is present...

Welcome to Tennessee
After this we dipped into Georgia and then back to...

Another view of Carpe at Racoon Valley

Kris & Rick launch their boat on Lake Tellico

Dogwoods blooming on Lake Tellico

Bob & Kris on Lake Tellico

Thu, 14 Apr: We drove the 222 miles from Huntsville to Heiskell (north of Knoxville) in two easy legs with a lunch break at a closed truck scale just north of Chattanooga. The weather was as nice as one could ask with the dogwoods blossoming all along our route. Those trees not blossoming were either budding or displaying their proud new coat of spring-green leaves. Spring in the south is just lovely.

Our route took us down the mountain from Monte Sano State Park to AL 431 (we were just a few blocks from the Kirsch house) to US 72, then I-24, I-75, and finally TN 170. With the exception of some construction outside Chattanooga the traffic was fairly light and moved well.

We are currently ensconced at an Escapees park, Raccoon Valley, in the northern Knoxville suburb of Heiskell. This stop is mostly "R&R" and we have no sightseeing plans. If all goes well we'll meet up with dear old friends from our Santa Ana condo days, Rick & Kris VanAllen. We had lunch with Kris the last time we were in Knoxville two years ago, but haven't seen Rick for decades. We are very much looking forward to our get together.

We're "outtaheah" Sunday morning for Gaffney, SC. We'll be in Gaffney a few days while we attend "Camp Freightliner" at the Freightliner Custom Chassis Factory Service Center. Our coach chassis is a Freightliner and the two days of classes will teach us rudimentary care and maintenance tips and tricks. We've been wanting to attend this class for several years and now, finally...

We're experiencing problems with our Norcold refrigerator. It is not lighting reliably on LP, often requiring from four to six attempts before it lights. We had a repairman look at it when we were in Summerdale last week, but whatever he did didn't address the problem (but he was quite successful at lightening our wallets!) So, once we've left Gaffney we'll need to find a good and reliable Norcold repair facility. Wish us luck.

Sat, 16 Apr: Yesterday and overnite was "storm day". The big storm that wreaked such havoc in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and North Carolina passed through the Knoxville area. We were prepared and ensured that our awnings were all stowed as high winds were predicted along with rain and possible tornadoes. Fortunately, we were spared all except the rain, which we received in large quantities (some areas of Knoxville received up to four inches).

Saturday morning dawned cloudy and quite cool. About noon we drove to the west side of Knoxville where we met up with dear friends from our California days, Rick and Kris VanAllen. They've been in the Knoxville area for years and we finally got to visit their gorgeous home. Wow, what a lovely home so tastefully decorated and furnished as only Kris can do. They both look great!

A special treat, we went for a boating excursion on Lake Tellico, a TVA project reservoir. It was so good to be aboard a small boat again and made us realize how much we miss ours (no, we're NOT considering buying one...) Kris packed a picnic lunch which we enjoyed anchored in a quiet cove. The dogwoods were in bloom so it was a wonderful afternoon.

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