So, the journeying begins.
Wait, is journeying even a word? Probably not.
Regardless, it was the beginning of five straight weeks of nothing but family time. Five weeks of building our relationships together, learning to live in a small space while traveling, and discovering along the way.
Tennessee – The Beginning
I’m not sure if we just got unlucky with our timing, or if Tennessee drivers are really that bad, but driving thru Tennessee was a nightmare. It seemed as if Google would say “There is a crash ahead that is causing an X minute delay. Would you like me to re-route you?” every few minutes from different crashes. In general it seemed that drivers obeyed the speed limit, and most of the time went slightly below it, but somehow crash after crash was happening on the highways in front of us.
If you are ever traveling to Nashville, where we stayed our first night is the place for you. Set in the closest thing you can find to a forest oasis, Poole Knobs campground on J. Percy Priest Lake is only 20-25 minutes from Nashville. However, if you have a solar setup, be aware ahead of time that it will not help you here. If you need electricity, you will have to get an electric site. Regardless, it is still a really reasonable night’s stay at $20-$26 a night. You can book it up to a year ahead of time at Poole Knobs, Recreation.gov.
Our second night’s stay was not nearly as enjoyable for us. Granted, there are many people that really want to camp just for the amenities. If that’s your thing, Racoon Valley RV Park in Heiskell, TN would be for you. They had a beautiful little hike up the side of the mountain, plus many other amenities. However, we as a family aren’t particularly fond of places where you can’t figure out which picnic table is actually yours because the spots are so close together. It was well maintained and had a nice showerhouse, but wasn’t for us.
Into North Carolina
There was a period of time while exiting Tennessee and entering North Carolina that the mountains were so beautiful that we forgot to watch for the state line. I suppose that is a good thing, and speaks of the majesty that is still able to be found toward the east coast. However, it meant that the mental line between states is quite blurred. Somewhere in the mountains, we realized that people were now driving like maniacs and were usually somewhere around ten above the speed limit. Going the speed limit, we were getting passed like crazy. I kept waiting for Google to say “There is a crash ahead.”, but it never did. People were speeding like crazy and not crashing….such a change from Tennessee. Go figure.
Blake had been begging forever to go and visit some friends that he acquired while in the Navy. Heather and Dwight were kind enough to host us for four long days, and even convinced us to watch her brother’s short track racing. Tyler Matthews Racing put on a good show with two different races, and it was an iconic part of our North Carolina trip. After all, it is North Carolina. At one point, every team in NASCAR was based here.
Although sad to see new friends go, it was then time to move on. We had a ferry to catch.