Walk Along Big Creek

We puttered around the motorhome in the morning, getting some chores done. After lunch, we drove up to Big Creek to return a notebook of Big Creek history to Bob Taylor, the current campground host.  He has done a bit of research and has old photographs of the town and logging mill. There were many more houses there than I had thought.

We chatted briefly with Bob and Shirley before taking an overdue walk along Big Creek. We stopped on the bridge to look at the creek.  The water level is low.

Big Creek Downstream

Then we headed down the path.


This is the “secret” swimming hole that is not really a secret but is seldom visited. Today, the water level was so low there was a bit of  a shoreline below the steep bank.


A fisherman was in the creek when I went down to take some pictures.

Fishing in Big Creek

I walked upstream to take a picture as the fisherman walked upstream to catch a fish.


Our RV campsite is not level so the bottom step to get in the motorhome is high off the ground.  Andy found two pieces of wood on our site and laid a board across them to make a step. Then, for several days in a row, he would add another board or two.  I told him he had made me consider spending the big bucks for one of those steps made for that purpose in the camping store. I had to admit that it is functional.

We stopped by the Walmart on our way back from Big Creek and found a cheap plastic step. Andy set it in front of his work of art and tried it. He decided the plastic step so much better than his that he dismantled his wooden one.  I took a picture first.



Good Dam Day

We made an outing in the afternoon to Douglas Dam. I suppose most school children learn about the Tennessee Valley Authority and all the dams they created in the 1930s and 40s. In case you didn’t or don’t remember, check that link to Wikipedia. Andy and I both learned about it and both acknowledge that we remember only a little of  it.

We took back roads through the countryside and crossed the French Broad River to Dandridge, the second-oldest town in Tennessee. Then we more-or-less followed the shore to the dam.  The park-like land around the dam is enormous.

We drove to the upper overlook as the lower one was closed.  It appeared that they were resurfacing the pavement.  The view was beautiful.

View from Upper Observation Deck

I zoomed in a bit on the dam.


I like this picture of Andy looking over at the overlook.


Then we drove down to the river to see the dam up close.

Douglas Dam

This old turbine was near the dam.

Andy (my scale model) standing next to old turbine

This large billboard warns boaters not to get too close to the dam. That small boat had two fishermen in it.  They did not get any closer than that.  They would motor up to that point and then drift back downstream – quickly.


There were a few men fishing from shore.  The man in the foreground was standing on the rocks, not on the sidewalk at the very edge of the water.

Fishing Below Douglas Dam

Here is a closer look at the water flowing through the railings and over the sidewalk.


We drove through a beautiful campground with large RV sites right at the water’s edge.  I was driving and didn’t take any pictures. We crossed the river again and explored the TVA property on the other side.  There is another beautiful campground and a large boat ramp over there.

This point of land is normally under water.  The poles have water depth markings on them but, they are all high and dry.

Dry Water Gauges on Douglas Lake

Most of the buoys marking the shoal are also dry.


Farther around the point, we came to a beautiful terraced picnic area in a grove of trees. There were five or ten picnic tables, each with its own little plaza surrounded by a stone wall.  The landscaping was beautiful. We found a bench facing the lake and sat to admire the view for a while.


I was washing my hands in the ladies room when I noticed my halo in the dirty mirror.


And, this, ladies and gentlemen, is why one should never wear a live camera around the neck while going to the toilet!


Cosby Campground, Hungry Bear BBQ, and Greenbrier

It feels odd being here near the park and not actually living in the park and volunteering. We feel just a little out of place but are also enjoying the free time. Today we just had to go visit our park friends. Boss Larry told us he would be at the Cosby campground all day today. We drove to the entrance kiosk and met the campground hosts there. Larry was at the ranger station doing paperwork. Here is a shot of the Cosby ranger station as we were walking up to the door.

b01 Cosby Ranger Station
Cosby Ranger Station

Larry was busy entering campground host hours into the computer. For those who have recently started following my blog, Larry is a park ranger and specifically a Visitor Use Assistant. He is our point of contact when we volunteer and I call him Boss Larry.

b02 Larry Ball
Larry Ball

I was getting hungry and Andy suggested trying The Giggling Pig in Cosby for some barbecue. Larry said, even though he does not eat meat, it smelled really good when he drove by Hungry Bear BBQ this morning.  With a barbecue recommendation from a vegetarian, we headed on over.  There were a lot of cars in the parking lot, and the inside was packed with a line of people waiting to place an order and others waiting for their orders to be ready.

b03 Hungry Bear BBQ
Hungry Bear BBQ

I love the way the smoker is right next to the highway attracting hunger passersby.

b04 Hungry Bear BBQ Sign
Hungry Bear BBQ Sign and Smoker

We sat out back at a picnic table near a nice pond.  Actually, I did not take this photo from our table.  We were a bit farther back.

b05 Pond Behind Hungry Bear BBQ
Pond Behind Hungry Bear BBQ

When we walked back around front, I walked over to the “real” barbecue cooker to document where they smoke meat in large quantities. The whole red structure is the smoker.  The man was not handling meat but was pulling large sheets of aluminum foil off a roll and laying them on the table.

b06 Smoking Meat at Hungry Bear BBQ
Smoking Meat at Hungry Bear BBQ

Since the entrance to the Greenbrier area of the Smoky Mountains National Park was right across the highway and we have never been there, we took a little exploration drive. It is a narrow paved road near the entrance but turned to gravel farther on.  Then the road became very narrow, too narrow to pass oncoming cars in some places.  It is about five miles in to the Ramsey Cascade trailhead but, we also followed a side road of undetermined length.  It was a longer side trip than anticipated. We crossed several one-lane bridges and stopped at one so I could take a picture of the Little Pigeon River.

b07 Bridge in Greenbrier
Bridge in Greenbrier, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
b08 Little Pigeon River
Little Pigeon River

We met up with maintenance-man-extraordinaire Spence back at the Cosby campground.  It was his quitting time but he stayed around to visit with us.  Maintenance-Lady-Linda also joined us.

b09 Andy and Robert Spence in Cosby Campground
Andy and Robert Spence in Cosby Campground
b10 Linda Gray
Linda Gray

Linda told us that her daughter-in-law had cancer last May.  Sadly, she died this past week, leaving Linda’s son and ten-year-old granddaughter.  Today was Linda’s first day back at work and she is still in mourning. It is so hard to lose a family member.

Internet duality

So true and well-said.


The greatest research tool we’ve ever had

That we know as the Internet

Corrupted and used for things like porn

By paedophiles, terrorists and more.

Used by criminals to hack and steal from you

People trying to fool you

False profiles and false names

On the Web no one knows no shame.

Sad to think that what could have been the greatest of inventions would submit

To becoming just a place for people to play games like candy crush

Hunting Pokemons all day.

As a social coming together it worked

But is populated by many jerks

Who want to troll and bully folk

Hiding behind their keyboards they evoke

Misery on their prey.

In their anonymity the play these games

Negative use of a wonderful thing

The Internet allows this in.

But it also helps those who want to makes changes

To this world through petition exchanges

Helps to garner…

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Tow Dolly Tie Down Straps and Mellow Mushroom

I forgot to take pictures of our new surrounding yesterday. I was focused on getting some laundry done.  So, here is our motorhome Sao in our campsite at Tana-See RV park in Newport, Tennessee. We are very close to Interstate 40 but, already, I don’t notice the sound of traffic any longer.

b Sao in Newport TN
Sao in Newport, Tennessee

This is our view forward.

b View Forward

Our view starboard.

b View Starboard

And this is our view to port.

b View to Port

Our neighbor, Lee, in that bus to port told Andy we should take the tie-down straps off the dolly because they might get stolen.  Then Andy decided to go to the RV store to get a spare set. We needed to leave as soon as possible.  I should have known that he also had other plans.

We drove west on the interstate about 30 miles to Tennessee RV. While there, we also picked up a new water filter and a thing to hold the cell phone while we are on the road. It always gets lost. As soon as we got out of the car, Andy asked, “What are we going to do about lunch?”  I assumed he had spotted the Outback restaurant across the way and wanted to go there. Oh no, he meant he wanted to go to the Mellow Mushroom in Pigeon Forge. How could I have not picked up on that?

We ate our yummy pizza and then bought two Mellow Mushroom drink cups.  With them, we will get 99-cent refills until the end of the year. We’ll make out on that deal, for sure.

b Mellow Mushroom Mugs
Mellow Mushroom Drink Cups – Hippy Dippy

When we got back home, Lee suggested that the pin holding the dolly down flat, i.e., the ramps up off the ground, is another item likely to be stolen.  So Andy sat on the dolly and pulled the pin out for safe storage. The tow dolly is sitting behind the motorhome.

b Andy Sitting on his Dolly
Andy Sitting on his Dolly