Flo's September 2011 Travels

September Boating Adventures 2011

click here for the Second Half of September Adventures (September 15 to September 30)

   

         Mom and her two ducklings saying hi                        Dad coming to the dock for the last this season

LOCATION:  Austin,Texas     SITE:  Mansfield Dam     DATE:  September 1, 2011    DISTANCE: 5 miles

Thursday September 1, 2011

Mom and dad had one day of boating in September. This year mom and dad had a total of 46 days of boating. That's incredible!!!!! Everytime they went to the lake they had a great time. They did a lot more water skiing this year than they had in previous years because the water had been very nice and flat. The lake wasn't as busy this year because the weather has been hotter then normal. We've had record highs, more days over 100 degrees and it has been the hottest summer ever. In both July and August we had only two days each month below 100. We have had a lot of sun this year and I took advantage of it by sunning as much as I could. Mom worry about me being in the sun when it's over 100 degrees but I can't help it I like the sun. I will be glad to see the temperature go down a few degrees just to keep mom happy and maybe she will stop worrying about me but I doubt if she will ever stop worrying about me.

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September Camping Adventures 2011

FALL TRIP IN 2011

click here for the Second Half of September Adventures (September 15 to September 30)


FIRST WEEK OF FALL TRIP 2011 ADVENTURE: SEPTEMBER 3 TO SEPTEMBER 9




click on photo for more pictures of Texarkana

LOCATION:  Texarkana, Arkansas    SITE:  Four State Fairgrounds
DATE:  9/03/2011   SPACE:  12    TRIP:  78    DISTANCE:  396 miles

Saturday September 3, 2011

I'm very excited we're going on our two month fall trip. This year we're go to the New England States. Mom and dad have been working hard for the last week to get the Minnie ready for the trip. We've never been all the way to Maine so it makes the trip very exciting. We started from the house about 7:00 am, our first stop is at Four States Fairgrounds in Texarkana. We're going to stay there for the night. The fairground is located between Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Our drive was all interstate so there wasn't to see. We stopped at a rest area right before we got to Dallas. While we were there I met a rat terrier named PeeWee. We became friends real fast because he was raised with a lab but they had to put the lab down and he missed his buddy. PeeWee wanted to play with me but his parents were ready to leave so we just hi and mom talked with his parents a little while. When we were driving through Dallas area we saw a beautiful lake called Ray Hubbard. While we were driving on the bridge that went across the lake we saw people boating and enjoying the lake. The lake was big and didn't have any protection like coves so it was too rough for mom and dad. When we got to Caddo Texas we stopped for lunch and got gas. As we continued our adventure to Four State Fairgrounds we saw a very nice ski lake with a ski course in it. We arrived at Four States Fairground about 3:30 and dad asked a man where to check in and he told dad he would meet him at the office. While dad was checking in mom and I saw a couple of horses tied up to a trailer and two girls were goofing off with each other. The girls were splashing each other with water and wrestling with a broom. After dad checked in we found a spot and parked the Minnie for the night. When we finished setting up for the night we went for a walk around the fairground. As we were walking around we stopped at a building, where people were practicing roping calves. This was fun because I saw a lot of horses, calves and people. During our walk there was a nice breeze so it wasn't too hot but by the time we got back I was a little tired. At dinnertime mom cooked up hot dogs and chili in the microwave for dad and her. Afterwards she fed me my food. After dinner we went for a walk around the 245 loop park. The park was very nice it had a gazebo, a hiking trail that went around the park, a pond and playscape. As we walked the trail we saw a King Charles spaniel, people fishing, ducks, geese, 15 ducklings, kids playing on the playscape, people picnicking and kids feeding the ducks. Along the trail there are benches made by a local elementary school for you to sit on and relax. The trail was blacktopped and very easy to walk. As we walked the trail it took us over bridges and along a lake. The lake was a small fishing lake for people to enjoy. The walk was very enjoyable. When we got back we called it a night.




The bridge we took over the Mississippi River

LOCATION:  Memphis, Tennessee    SITE:  Wal-Mart Parking Lot
DATE:  9/04/2010    SPACE:  0    TRIP:  78    DISTANCE:  299 miles

Sunday September 4, 2011

Today we drove another day of Interstate but the scenery was a lot prettier. As we drove through Arkansas we saw a lot tall pines, oaks and other types of trees along the side of the road. It rained most of the drive so mom didn't take any pictures. When we were leaving Arkansas to get to Tennessee we had to cross the Mississippi River. We drove on a cool old bridge. While crossing over the Mississippi River we saw a big barge going down the river. We stopped in Memphis for the night because it was raining and dad didn't want to drive in the rain any longer. Mom and dad thought about taking a tour of Elvis Presley's Mansion so the stopped by the visitor center to get some information about Memphis. While they were at the center they asked about how much it would cost to do one of the tours at Graceland. The tour of the mansion was $31 and  they thought that was pretty high so instead we decided to drive by Graceland to see if we could see the mansion from the road to take a picture but you couldn't. As we were driving by Graceland we saw a lot of people standing in line to tour Elvis's planes and waiting for the tour buses to take them to the mansion. The cost wasn't the only reason they decided against the tour. Another reason was they didn't want to stand in the rain to do a tour. While we were at the visitor center we found out that the state fair was in town and it was at the fairgrounds, where we were going to stay for the night but instead we stayed at a Wal-Mart because we thought we most likely could get a site at the fairgrounds. We were glad that this front came through because it cooled off very nicely and we didn't need any electricity. While we were at Wal-Mart mom and dad bought a chicken for dinner.

        
   

click on each photo for more pictures of the National Corvette Museum and Mammoth Cave National Park

   
     
1967 Corvette                                                               1953 Corvette

   

1968 Astro-Vette                                                      50 years Anniversary Corvette


LOCATION:  Mammoth Cave, Kentucky    SITE:  Mammoth Cave National Park
DATE:  9/05/2011 to 9/07/2011    SPACE:  C55    TRIP:  78    DISTANCE:  295

Monday September 5, 2011

It cooled off very nicely last night and everyone slept very well. We woke up a couple times during the night. Once we woke up because the sprinklers went on and one was hitting the back of the Minnie and it was loud so everyone woke up to see what the noise was. The sprinklers weren't on long so everyone could go back to sleep. The second time was at 5:40 am when two cats got in a fight right under the Minnie but it didn't last long because they hit the step on the Minnie and one got hurt. They both left shortly after their fight. We couldn't get back to sleep so we decided to get ready to go. Mom fed me my breakfast and then sat down with dad and ate breakfast. After breakfast mom and dad took me for a walk around the parking lot. When we finished our walk we left Wal-Mart and headed towards Mammoth Cave National Park. It was lunchtime when we arrived in Bowling Green, which was about 30 miles from Mammoth Cave so we stopped for lunch. The National Corvette Museum was right off the interstate so dad parked the Minnie in the parking lot of the museum. Afterwards mom and dad walked to the museum to find out how much it would cost to tour of the museum. It was $10 for adult and $8 for seniors (55 years and older) and mom is 55 so they got in for $8. They bought the tickets and then came back to the Minnie for lunch. Mom made ham sandwiches for dad and her. She gave me a milk bone for a snack. After lunch they walked through the museum. They had a great time touring the museum but before the tour they watched a little movie about the museum. During the tour they learned of the history of the Corvette and how they were designed. After the tour of the museum mom took me for walk around the parking lot so I could stretch my legs. After my walk we continued our adventure to Mammoth Cave.

When we got to Mammoth Cave it was about 3:00 and we weren't sure if we could get a site or not. Dad asked the ranger at the booth if there were any sites and she said they had a lot of opening. We drove around and found a site and then we parked the Minnie. Afterwards we went to the booth and paid for three nights. After we paid we walked around the park. We walked to the visitor center to find out where to go for the cave tours and how much they cost. As we were walking to the visitor center we stopped at where the showers and grocery store was to get tokens for the showers. While dad was getting the tokens mom and I waited. There were a lot of people there so mom kept me by her that way I wouldn't bother them. When dad came back to us we continued going to the visitor center. Mom and I stayed outside while dad went inside. As we were waiting for dad a lot of people came by and said hi to me and a few of them even pet me. On the way back to the campground we walked a short trail. Mammoth Cave is a gorgeous park with a lot of tall pines. When we got back to the Minnie we relaxed a little while because we were tired. Mom and I stayed outside while dad laid down inside. About an hour later dad came out to get the grill ready for dinner. Dad barbecued hot dogs for mom and him. Mom fed me my food. After dinner mom and dad went over to take a shower and when they returned they took me for a walk around the park. As we were walking we saw a few deer, turkeys and squirrels. It was a very peaceful walk. When we got back we called it a night.


     

Our Tour Guide Kevin                                                 Visiting Mammoth Cave in 1836

     

           Mom walking Fat Man's Misery section                A waterfall at the entrance and exit of Mammoth Cave


Tuesday September 6, 2011

It rained all night and it was still sprinkling when we woke up. Mom and dad got dressed and then we all sat down and had breakfast. Mom and dad are going to take a tour of Mammoth Cave but before they did their tour they took me for a walk around the campground. After our little walk mom and dad about an hour before the tour started so we relaxed a little. When it was time for mom and dad to leave me gave me a milk bone and then said good-bye because I had to stay at the Minnie. They walked over to the visitor center to buy their tickets. They decided to go on the Historic Tour, which talks about the history of Mammoth Cave and is the oldest tour. The tour was 2 hours long and only had 17 people so during the tour they could stop at more places and see more. The tour guides were Kevin, he has been with the National Parks for 42 years and the other one was Joe, he has been with the National Parks for 3 months. Mom and dad had a great time walking through the cave. Mammoth Cave is the biggest cave in the world and has a lot of history. Mammoth Cave became a National Park in 1926 but before that Stephen Bishop guided tours in 1838. He was a self-educated enslaved person. He was the first person to explore many miles of the vast cave. In the 1790's the cave served as a mine for saltpeter, key to manufacture of gunpowder. Mammoth Cave survived two wars and still going strong. The tour was very nice you climbed over 440 steps, the elevation change was 300' and the passageway was challenging at places. One place was called Fat Man's Misery, it was called that because it was very tight to walk through. Another place you had to duck or you would bang your head. Years ago you use to have to get on you belly and crawl through this section. You can still see how they use to do it. At the every end of the tour you had climb up a 155 stair staircase, which was called Mammoth Dome and it was very steep. During the tour you had to be careful because you never know when the trail well narrow. Mom and dad had a great tour and Kevin was very good. By the time mom and dad got back they were tired so they had to relax for a little while before they took me for a walk. It was still drizzling so we didn't go too far. When we got back mom made lunch. She heated up soup and made a sandwich for dad and her and she gave me a little snack.

In the afternoon we stayed inside, mom took a nap while dad read and I slept. While mom was napping dad and I watched a few deer grazing at the campsite right next to ours. When mom woke up dad told her she missed the deer. Before dinner mom and dad took me for another walk around the campground. When we got back mom heated up some chili for dad and her and she fed me my food for dinner. After dinner we went for another walk around the campground and met a couple from Cleveland Ohio. It was a very nice walk but now I'm tired so I'm going to call it a night.


     

Dad reading a sign about Echo River Spring                                  Going across the river by ferry

     

                      Mammoth Cave Railroad                             Getting ready to do the Lantern Tour of Mammoth Cave


Wednesday September 7, 2011

We woke up about 7 and had breakfast. The rain had stopped so after breakfast we decided to go on a hike. We hiked to the Green River Ferry, which is 1.1 mile trail. The trail was gorgeous we hiked through a beautiful forest. The ground was nice and soft because of the rain. We saw deer during the hike mom took a few pictures of them but they didn't come out. On the way to the ferry we stopped and look at Echo River Spring. After looking at the spring we went to the ferry, the ferry takes you across Green River to get you to the other side of park. We watched to ferry for a little while. The ferry runs on propane, it has one paddle and is guided with cables. It was very neat to watch. Dad wanted to see the ferry before we bought the Minnie down here later. After watching the ferry we headed back. We had to take the same trail that we took on the way here. On the way to the ferry we climbed down a hill now we had to climb back up it. It was a little tough climbing the hill because we were tired but once up the hill we decided to rest. I was glad because I was ready to lay down. After our rest we went back to the Minnie I was glad to be back because I was tired this was my first hike in along time so it wore me out. We got back at 9:30 so mom worked on her Sudoku book, dad read and I slept. When lunchtime came around mom heated up soup and made a sandwich for dad and her and she gave me a snack.

After lunch we decided to drive around the park. When we got to the ferry we were told that we couldn't go on the ferry because we had a RV. We were disappointed but we decided to drive around part of the park. We drove to Houchins Ferry. Dad already knew we couldn't take the ferry but he wanted to check out the campground and to see the ferry. Mom and dad walked around the campground but they weren't gone too long because it was small. When they got back to the Minnie we decided to go back to the campground because it was too far to drive to look at the rest of the park. It was a very nice drive. When we got back we went for a walk around the campground. After our walk mom and dad put me in the Minnie because I was too tired to walk with them to the visitor center. On the way to the visitor center they stopped and took a few pictures of the Mammoth train, which use to be use to take people on the tours of the cave. When they got to the visitor center they saw a tour guide getting ready for the lantern tour so mom took a few pictures of the lanterns they were going to use while dad visit with the tour guide. After they walked around the visitor center they came back. I was excited to see them. After we said our hellos mom and dad rested awhile.

After their rest it was time for dinner. Dad barbecued bacon and cooked tortillas on the grill for wraps for mom and him. Mom gave me my food for dinner. After dinner we went for a walk around the campground. As we were walking I met a dog and his master. When got to their Lazy Daze RV mom and dad stopped and visit with the master for a little while. While they were visiting his wife came out with their other dog. This one was scared of me so he hid under the RV. When the lady got him out she let me sniff him but he still wasn't sure about me so mom and dad said their good-bye and we finished our walk. When we got back to the Minnie mom and dad dropped me off because I was real tired. Afterwards they walked a little longer and then stopped to visit with the couple from Cleveland. Once again when they returned I was very excited to see them. Once we said our hellos I went back to sleep and they stayed inside for the rest of the night.


     

click on each photo for more pictures of leaving Mammoth Cave and Daniel Boone Visitor Center

     

  Cumberland Gap Tunnel                                            Entrance sign to Cumberland Gap



LOCATION:  Cumberland Gap, Virginia      SITE: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
DATE:  9/08/2011 to 9/10/2011    SPACE:  C7    TRIP:  78    DISTANCE:  199 miles

Thursday September 8, 2011

We woke up about 7:00 and we ate breakfast. After breakfast mom and straightened up the Minnie because we're leaving Mammoth Cave National Park and go to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. After the Minnie was ready to move on we went for a walk around the campground. As we were walking mom tried to take more pictures of the deer but for some reason they didn't come out either. I guess maybe mom should give up on taking pictures of the deer and let dad do it for her. When we got back we started up the Minnie and left. While we were driving out of the park we saw some deer and turkeys along side of the road so dad took pictures of them. These pictures came out very nicely. After taking pictures we continued our adventure. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is about 199 miles from Mammoth Cave National Park so it gave mom and me time to sleep. Occasionally mom would wake up and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The hills went on forever and there were a lot of forest. We drove over rivers and creeks. The hills had deep ravines full of trees and at some places the trees were starting to turn the fall colors. We stopped in Corbin Kentucky to do a little shopping and to have lunch. After lunch we continued our adventure. What is so cool about Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is that it is in three states (Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee). Dad wasn't sure where were going sleep tonight. He wasn't sure if we were going to sleep in Tennessee or Virginia but once we got to the campground we found out it was Virginia. But before we got to the campground we had to drive through a big tunnel it was called Cumberland Gap Tunnel. This tunnel took you from Tennessee to Virginia and it was a long tunnel and very well lit so you didn't have to turn on your lights. Once we were through the tunnel we went to the park to check in but before checking in we decided to go to the visitor center. When we got to the visitor center it was close but dad told mom she should get her camera and see the exhibit. It was a cool exhibit about the history of Cumberland Gap and mom took pictures of it. Part of the exhibit was about Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail. After mom finished taking pictures we went down the interstate to another visitor center so dad could get some information about Cumberland Gap. In order to get to this visitor center you had to go through the tunnel. So today we went through the tunnel three times but that was ok because it was fun. Once back at the campground we found a site and set up camp for three nights.

Afterwards we walked to the office to pay for the nights and walked around the campground. It was a slow walk because I was still tired from yesterday's hike. When we got back to our site we setup our chairs and relaxed until it was dinnertime. While we were resting the park hosts came by to say hi and to introduce themselves. After they left mom heated up some chicken and tortillas for dad and her dinner and she feed my my food but while she was cutting up the chicken she did give me a piece of it. After dinner we walked around the campground again. When we got back we sat in our chairs again and one of the host came by again to say hi. After he left a little later his wife came by with their dog so he could meet me. We checked each other out and said our hellos and than they continued their walk. Mom and dad put me in the Minnie so they could go take a shower. When they came back I was very excited to see them. After saying our hellos we stayed in for the rest of the night.




click on photo for pictures of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

     

Flo at Skylight Cave stairs                                                         Dad resting


Friday September 9, 2011

We woke up at 7:00 and ate a little breakfast. It's was a little hard getting up because we're now in Eastern time and not Central time. So if we were at home it would be 6:00. I don't care because I always wake up before mom and dad so I can get my grooming out of the way. After breakfast we went on a 4 mile hike. The trail goes up to Skylight Cave, which is about 2 miles but you have to turn around and come back. The trail is a beautiful trail that runs through a forest of gorgeous trees up a hill. The trail was very nice to walk because it was soft. The trail was a moderate trail, I was glad fro that because it was very humid and we had to climb a hill to get to Skylight Cave. We had to stop a couple of times before we got to the cave to catch our breathe because mom and I were huffing and puffing. While hiking the trail we had to climb some steps up the hill. When we got to the cave it was barricade off because it temporarily close. The reason you can't go in the cave was because they didn't want to minimize the spread of White-Nose Syndrome. White-Nose Syndrome is a fungus that has resulted in the death of more than one million bats in the eastern United States. Mom climbed over the barricade to take a couple of pictures of the cave but she didn't go in the cave. While we were resting at the cave we heard water but we didn't see it so after we rested we decided to do a little investigation to find the water. The trail we were hiking went farther up the hill from the cave so we hiked a little ways up the hill. The trail was muddy and slippery so we didn't go all the way up the hill but we did find the water. It was a small creek coming down the hill towards the cave. After watching the creek and taking pictures we turned around and headed back to the campground. When we got back to our campsite mom and dad set up our chairs. As soon as my chair was up I went straight to it so I could rest. We sat in our chairs for a couple of hours and dad made a fire so he could cook some Italian sausages for mom and his lunch. Mom gave me a milk bone for a snack. Mom and dad went inside to eat and I was so tired I just stayed in my chair. After mom and dad finished lunch they came back outside and we sat around the fire for awhile.

After relaxing a little while mom and dad took me for a little walk and then they put me in the Minnie so they could go for a walk. They knew I was tired I would be able to keep up and they knew I would be happier sleeping in mom's chair in the Minnie. They were gone for about an hour. They walked to the hiking trailhead to look for some trails that we're going to hike tomorrow morning. They walked part of the Green Leaf Trail and found the other hiking trails. As they were walking the walked up a hill and down the hill, cross over a bridge, walked along a creek and walked on rocks to get across the creek because the other trails were on the other side of the creek. They had a great walk now in the morning they will know where to go. When they got back I was very excited to see them. After we said our hellos mom and dad sat down to rest. A little while later mom took me for a walk around the campground dad stayed home to rest a little longer. When we got back it was dinnertime and mom heated up the rest of the sausages from lunch so dad and she could have wraps. While the sausages and tortillas were warming up in the microwave mom fed me my dinner. After we ate dinner mom and dad took me for my final walk of the day around the campground. When we got back to our campsite we sat in our chairs and relaxed. As we were relaxing we saw more people show up and we watched them set up camp for the weekend. We also met our new neighbors across the street. The man and one of his girls came over to say hi to me. Mom and dad visit with him for a little while. After our neighbors left we went inside for the night. Dad read a little while and mom update my Website and worked on her Sudoku book and I slept.


SECOND WEEK OF FALL TRIP 2011 ADVENTURE: SEPTEMBER 10 TO SEPTEMBER 16


     

          What is dad holding?                                        Mom climbing over a tree during a hike

     

Flo resting on top of a hill                                                       Dad sitting on a rock

Saturday September 10, 2011

We woke up at 7:00 and I was ready to go on a hike I slept very well last night. Mom and dad got out of bed and got dressed. Afterwards mom fed me my food and then sat down with dad to have breakfast with him. When everyone was fed we went on a hike today our hike isn't going to be as long as yesterdays hike to the Skylight Cave. Our hike was only about 2 miles. We picked up Green Leaf Trail by the amphitheater and hiked this trail to a creek and then we crossed the creek. Mom and dad had to walk on rocks to get to the other side but I walked right through the creek. As I was crossing the creek I drank some water. The creek was cool and felt good on my feet. After crossing the creek we took the Honey Tree Spur Loop. The Honey Tree Spur Loop was .77 mile. At the beginning of the loop we had to climb up a hill. This got our hearts pumping by the time we got to where it switched back we were tired so we rested. We weren't at the top of the hill at the switched back but the switched back made it easier to get to the top. Once we were at the top we rested and mom took pictures. After we rested we headed back to the campground. The trail back was a lot easier because it was down hill. When we got back to the creek I was ready to have another drink. We didn't cross the creek right away we walked down another trail so we could see a little waterfall. We didn't go too far down the trail and we turned around and crossed the creek. Once on the other side we picked up Green Leaf Trail and took it back to the amphitheater, where we sat down and rested. While we were resting dad took pictures. The hike was a gorgeous hike through trees. We didn't see anyone or any wild life but it was a great hike. It gave us a workout. When we got back to the Minnie we sat in our chairs I was really ready for my chair. Mom got some snacks for dad and her. Mom gave me part of a milk bone.

When it was time for lunch dad barbecued hamburgers and mom gave me another piece of my milk bone. After lunch we just stayed around the campground because I was too tired to go anywhere. Mom and dad did take me for a couple of walks but we couldn't go too far because I was walking too slow. Mom worked on her Sudoku while dad read and I slept in my chair. It was a great afternoon because the sun came out so mom put our chairs in the sun until it got too hot then we went back in the shade. I was glad that the sun came out because this is the first day we have seen sun in days. I spent the whole afternoon sunning and sleeping. When dinnertime came around mom heated up some bacon and chicken for wraps and then she fed me my food. After dinner mom and dad went to the restrooms to take a shower. When they came back they took me for a little walk and then we put up our chairs because tomorrow we leaving Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and move on to our next adventure. After we put the chairs up we went inside for the night.




click on photo for more pictures of the Trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

     

                       Little River                                                  Kids getting ready to tube down the Little River
 
LOCATION:  Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee      SITE: Smoky Mountains Park Elkmont Campground
DATE:  9/11/2011 to 9/12/2011    SPACE:  B14    TRIP:  78    DISTANCE:  110 miles

Sunday September 11, 2011

We woke up at 7 and we had breakfast. After breakfast mom straightened up the Minnie and then we all went for a short walk around the campground. When we returned to the Minnie we disconnected from the power and headed towards the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The drive was gorgeous with all the beautiful rolling hills and trees. As we drove down the highway we saw a sign for an overview so we stopped to took pictures. The overview was called Veterans Overview, which overlooked beautiful rolling hills and a big lake. The lake went as far as you could see and there was a very nice memorial dedicated to the Veterans. After mom and dad took pictures of the overview we continued on down the highway. Dad spotted a McDonald's in Seviervi, Tennessee and decided to stop. Mom and dad went inside the McDonald's to update my website and to check their e-mails. This was the first chance we had to catch up with the world since we've been on the road. This was ok with me because it gave me time to sleep. Mom and dad returned to me after an hour and half. I was really happy to see them I jumped out of mom's chair and ran back to the back to greet them. Afterwards mom and dad took me for a walk and then we continued our adventure. As we were driving down the highway we saw a lot of street rods going down the highway. We were trying to figure out where they were all coming from. When we got to Pigeon Forge we saw some more street rods and figured that's where the other street rods were coming from. It took us forever to get through Pigeon Forge because the traffic was horrible. When we finally got out of Pigeon Forge the traffic lighten up and the rest of the way to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was very pleasant. We stopped at Gatlinburg Visitor Center to get information about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After getting some information we drove to the park. We arrived at the park about 1:00. We had to wait a little while to check in because there were a couple RVs in front of us. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a big park so we had no problem getting in. We drove around and found a site and then we went back and check in. Afterwards dad parked the Minnie for a couple of nights. It didn't take us long to set up because there is no power in this National Park. Dad set up our chair and we sat in them for a little while and then mom made some ham sandwiches for dad and her lunch and she gave me a half a milk bone. After we ate mom and dad took me for a walk around the campground so we could get familiar with it. As we were walking around we saw a few kids getting ready to go tubing down the river. They were going in the same direction as we were going, which down to the road where there is bridge. They put their tubes in the river right by the bridge and mom took pictures of them going down the river. While we were walking I met a couple of dogs and a few people walking around. During our walk we walked down to the river and dad let me put my feet in the river and get a drink. While I was soaking my feet we saw a man fly fishing and of course mom took his picture. We walked around for about a half hour and then went back to the Minnie. When we got back we met our neighbor he was from Livingston Texas. Mom and dad visit with him and his brother for a little while. Afterwards we sat in our chairs and enjoyed the park until it was time for dinner. Dad barbecued some pork for mom and him. Mom fed me my food. After dinner we went for another walk this time we walked the other part of the campground. It was just as beautiful as our side except it was farther away from the hiking trails. We met a couple more people as we walked. We walked for about an hour. Mom and dad took me for a long walk because when they go hiking in the morning they can't take me with them. I will have to stay in the Minnie because I'm not allowed on the trails. When we got back we sat in our chairs until dark and then we went inside.




click on photo for more pictures of Elkmont Campground

     

Camping at Elkmont Campground                                      The Little River Trail waterfall

     

Mama bear we saw during our hike                                     The Appalachian Club                  
 
Monday September 12, 2011

We woke up at 7:00 and ate breakfast. After breakfast mom and dad took me for a walk around the campground. While walking I met some people and dogs. When we returned to our site mom and dad put me inside and got ready to go on a hike. I had to stay in the Minnie because I wasn't allowed to hike the trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The reason is because of the black bears and other wildlife. I was perfectly find with this because it gave me time to sleep. Mom and dad hiked the Little River Trail, which was 2.4 miles and the Cucumber Gap Trail, which was another 2.4 miles. The trailhead for the Little River Trail started at the campground. The Little River Trail was very nice and beautiful. It ran along the Little River and had benchs for you to sit on. The trail gradually went up hill and a long the hike mom and dad took pictures of the river. The trail was an old road that was used by Elkmont Appalachian Club. As they hiked the trail they saw a little waterfall and a lot of beautiful trees. The trailhead for the Cucumber Gap Trail was right after the waterfall. The Cucumber Gap Trail was more difficult to do because it went farther up hill but not as gradual as Little River. The trail was a narrow dirt trail at places and went through trees. While hiking this trail mom and dad had to do a little switch back to get them to the top of hill but once on top of the hill they started to go down hill very gradually. At the bottom of the hill they saw another trailhead, which was for Jake Creek Trail but they were tired so they took an old road towards the campground. As they were walking down the road they saw a few people just starting their hike. They all said hi and continued their hikes. A little farther down the road mom and dad were talking and look at some old homes when mom saw a mama bear at the side of the road eating. They stopped and walked backwards a little bit and waited because she wasn't alone she had two cubs. Mom and dad were within 15 feet of them and they wanted to make sure that mama bear didn't feel her babies were threatened. They watched the bears for awhile and they were amazed at how small mama was and the cubs were real tiny. After the bears started to move down the hill a little mom and dad decided to move on down the road. Mama bear saw them and just kept watching them to make sure her babies were ok. The cubs saw mom and dad and one of them climbed up the tree a little bit and watched them. The other cub was right under the tree getting ready to climb the tree if it had to. The cub that was on the tree decided that it wasn't in trouble so he backed down the tree. Mom and dad continued their hike and the bears continued eating. After seeing the bears mom and dad walked through the old town of Elkmont. It was a cool town and had some buildings that were being restored. They saw a beautiful log house and the actual Appalachian Clubhouse was one of the buildings that was already resorted. They did a fantastic job. Mom and dad walked on the poach of the clubhouse and took pictures of it and looked in the windows to see the beautiful wood floor it had. They also read the history of the Appalachian Club. Afterwards they came home to me. By the time they got back they had walked over 6 miles and they were tired. They still took time to give me some attention. After we said our hellos we sat in our chairs and relaxed. When lunchtime came along dad cooked up baked beans and hot dogs on the grill. Mom gave me a milk bone.

After lunch mom and dad walked me around the campground. As we were walking we met more people and we walked by the Little River. When we got to the river dad let me put my feet in it. While we were at the river we met more people and we saw a man fly fishing. We walked on the bridge and looked in the river to see what type of fish people were fishing for but we only saw some small fish. We thought the fish we saw we way too small to catch. After looking at the fish we went back to our site. On the way back we saw more people and some of them said hi to me. When we got back we sat in our chairs for the rest of the day. As we were sitting in our chairs we were amazed at how many people we coming when it was Monday. When it was time of dinner dad barbecued some more pork and mom fed me my food. After dinner mom and dad went for a walk they left me at home because I get too tired and because I'm on leash I walk real slow. As they were walking they met a couple and they visit with them for awhile and then they came back to me. When they returned to me they took me for a walk and then we called it a night.




click on photo for more pictures of our adventure to Smokemont Campground


     

                          Chimney Tops View                                         Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial

     

                              Clingmans Dome                                        The Rockies on the way up to the dome         


LOCATION:  Cherokee, North Carolina     SITE: Smoky Mountains Park Smokemont Campground
DATE:  9/13/2011 to 9/14/2011    SPACE:  F4    TRIP:  78    DISTANCE:  48 miles

Tuesday September 13, 2011

Today we woke up at 7:00 and we ate breakfast. After breakfast mom straighten up the Minnie because we going to go to North Carolina to Smokemont Campground. I'm very excited we going to another place. After mom finished straightening up mom and dad took me for a walk around the campground. We didn't go too far but I still had fun. As we were walking by a campsite there were four ladies and they saw me yesterday and wanted to say hi to me so they walked up to us and started visiting with mom and dad as they were petting me. After the visit we went back to our site and started the Minnie. As soon as the Minnie was warmed up we started down the road to Smokemont Campground. Smokemont is part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park but it's in the North Carolina part instead of Tennessee part. We drove a gorgeous scenic routine to Smokemont and on the way we stopped. The first stop was at the visitor center so mom and dad could buy post cards and while they were there they bought an auto tour guide called Newfound Gap Road. The book was a guide about different places to stop on the Newfound Gap Road. It was a great book. As we were driving we stopped at an overlook called Chimney Tops and looked at the gorgeous scenery. We drove through two tunnels that were built by the CCC and when the tunnels needed to be enlarged for tour buses and larger vehicles, the work crew lowered the road to preserved the CCC stonework. The next stop was Newfound Gap, which lies on the Tennessee/North Carolina state line. There is a gorgeous memorial, Rockefeller Memorial, where President Franklin D. Roosevelt stood in 1940 to dedicate the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There is a gorgeous view of the Oconaluftee Valley. The Appalachian Trail runs by the memorial, the Appalachian Trail is more than 2,100 miles. It runs from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin, Maine and 72 miles of it goes through the Smokies. After leaving Newfound Gap we took a curving road to the Clingmans Dome. The Clingmans Dome is the highest point (6,643') in the Smokies. The road to the parking lot was very nice and the scenery was beautiful. In the parking lot you can see a lot of gorgeous scenery. The actually dome is .5 mile from the parking lot. The pathway is blacktop and climbs 360'. The views on the way up to the dome are gorgeous but it is very steep. A long the path there are benches, which makes it great to rest on. Mom and dad took advantage for as many benches as possible. Once at the Clingmans Dome you walk a concrete pathway to the top of the dome and the views are beautiful of the Smokies. The hike down was a lot easier because it was downhill. When mom and dad got back mom took me for a walk so I could stretch my legs. After we came back we took the 7 mile road back to Newfound Road. We continued our adventure down Newfound Road for another 12.4 miles to Smokemont Campground.

When we got to Smokemont we checked in. We were assigned a beautiful campsite right by a creek. Once we were setup for a couple of nights mom and dad took me down to the creek so I could get my feet wet and a drink. After I did that we went back to the site and mom fixed some ham sandwiches for lunch and gave me a pork bone as a snack. After lunch mom and dad took me for a walk around the campground. We're staying in a loop just for RVs so we walked to another loop, where anyone can camp. As we were walking that loop a little girl want to say hi to me so we stopped and visit with her and her great granddad. After our little visit we continued our walk. When we finished this loop we walked down to the office to see what the forecast was for next couple of days. As we walked through another loop we saw wild turkeys and mom took pictures of them. The temperatures were going to be in the 80's, which is a little warmer then what we have been having. When we got back to the Minnie mom worked on her Sudoku book and dad and I just relaxed in our chair. Dad got bored so he decided to explore the creek. Mom stopped working on her Sudoku and asked if I wanted to go swimming. Of course I did. So mom took me to the creek, where we saw dad and we decided to explore the creek with dad. Dad was walking in the creek against the current and was enjoying himself so mom and I decided to join him. Mom just got her feet wet but the creek was a little deeper where I was so I was swimming at some parts. As we were walking to dad I kept slipping on the rocks so dad decided to walk to us and help me out. When her got to us we turned around and went with the current. Dad was walking on the other side of the creek and I wanted to be with dad so I started to swim to him and he told mom to call me back because the current was a little too strong so I went back to mom and dad joined us. When we got back to the site we sat in our chairs until dinnertime.        

Mom cooked up some bowties noodles and chili for dad and her. She fed me my food. After dinner mom and dad walked around the campground and left me in the Minnie. When they got back they took me for a walk. After our walk we called it a night.    




click on photo for more pictures of Smokemont Campground

     

Wild turkeys in Smokemont Campground                                        Smokemont Creek

     

              Help control Hemlock Woolly Adelgid                              Mom crossing a bridge during a hike                
 
Wednesday September 14, 2011

Today we woke up at our normal time and we ate breakfast. After breakfast mom and dad took me for a walk around the campground to wake me up. When we got back mom and dad went on a hike. Once again I had to stay in the Minnie because of being in bear country. Mom and dad were gone for 4.5 hours. They hiked the Smokemont Loop Trail, which was 6 miles. They had to walk to the other side of the campground to start their hike. The first 2 or 3 miles of the hike was up hill and they had to stop occasionally to rest. They didn't take any pictures because there was so much growth the pictures wouldn't come out. When started their hike they saw a tree covered with a cloth so they stopped to see why and found out that the cloth was trying to help stop spreading Hemlock Woolly Adelgid to the other trees. Afterwards they continued their hike up the hill. The trail was very nice and went through the trees up and around a hill. While they were climbing the hill they rested on some down trees because there were no benches. They thought they would never get to the top of hill because everytime they thought they were there the trail kept going up. Once at the top the trail started down hill. The down hill was very gradual and very pretty. As they were going down hill they met a couple of people just starting their hike and they told mom and dad that they had finished the hardest part of the trail and that they had little more to down hill and then it flattens out. Mom and dad thanked them and continued their hike. The trail did flatten out when it got to the creek. The trail followed the creek to another trailhead. As they were walking along the creek they had cross a couple of cool log bridges. The first bridge had a wooden railing to hold on to as you walked over it. You had to be very careful because the bridge wasn't too wide but it was cool walking above the creek. The second bridge was right before the trailhead but it was longer and had a cable you had to hold on to as you cross over the creek. Mom and dad were glad that the cable was there because they held on to it as they crossed over the creek. Dad took pictures of mom when she was walking on the bridges. Mom and dad had to walk up a few stairs after they crossed the second bridge and dad wanted to take a picture of mom on the stairs but she saw a bench and ran right to it. The bench was at the trailhead that told them they had another 1.7 miles to get back to the campground. The trail that went back to the campground was an old logging road. After they rested a little they continued their adventure back to me. As they were walking the road they had to be careful because horses were allowed on this trail. The creek runs along side of the road, which made the hike very peaceful. They saw a man fishing in the creek and when they got back to the campground they saw a lady sitting in her chair right next to the creek. While walking through the campground they saw a group of adult setting up tents in the the group area. When they finally got back to me they were exhausted so they said hi to me and rested in their chairs for a little while. After they rest they chanced into shorts and chanced their shoes so they could go to the creek and soak their feet. They took me along with them because they know how much I like the water. The temperature of the creek is only 52 degrees but it feels great on your feet. After we soaked our feet we went back to the Minnie and mom made ham sandwiches for lunch and gave me a milk bone.

After lunch we hung around the campsite because mom and dad were too tired to do anything. I liked this idea because I could sun and enjoy mom's and dad's company. Mom and dad would occasionally take me for a walk. As we sitting in our chairs relaxing people would come by and talk to mom and dad because they thought it was cute that I have my own chair. I like it because that way mom and dad doesn't have to get me out of their chairs. When dinnertime came around dad setup the grill so mom and dad could have pancakes for dinner. When their pancakes were ready mom fed me my food. After dinner we went for a walk around the campground to the office so dad could check the forecast. On the way there I met a girl, who paid attention to me and we saw the wild turkeys. The forecast was 40 percent chance of rain. After check the forecast we walked around the other section of  the campground, which has the group camping. I liked this because I saw a lot of kids playing, they didn't come over and say hi to me but that was ok I still enjoyed seeing them. When we got back we sat in our chairs until 7:30 and then mom and dad took me for another walk. As we were walking we met a couple they said they needed a dog fix because they were between dogs and of course it didn't bother me. Mom and dad visit with them for awhile then we continued our walk. When we got back to the Minnie we folded up our chair because we're leaving in the morning to go to our next stop. Our stay at Smokemont Campground was fantastic.
  

click here for the Second Half of September Adventures (September 15 to September 30)