Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Y'all come

The commercials on TV said "Y'all Come" see the Winterfest lights, see the Christmas shows at Dollywood. Apparently they ran that commercial in the entire eastern half of the country, as that is about how many folks were there this weekend! We camped in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Did some 'city camping' in a commercial campground, we had our little spot of gravel in between a big rig bus on one side and a motorhome on the other. Had all the amenities (cable TV, heated bathrooms with music, wireless internet). We had to check it all out. The internet actually worked! Sitting there in our little home away from home, with Buddy's laptop from work, hooked up to - air - and checking e-mail. Pretty cool. Walked to the Log Cabin Pancake House next door two mornings in a row. Did some geocaching. Saw some Christmas shows at Dollywood. Not our usual woods camping, but a good initiation for the new-to-us travel trailer. We did a little side trip to Townsend, Tennessee. A beautiful drive over to the small town, self-proclaimed as the 'peaceful side of the Smokies' - the home of the barn in the picture above.

When we go to the Smokies we usually camp at Elkmont, in the national park. At Elkmont, there are no 'city' amenities. No hookups, no electricity, no cable TV, no internet [real camping]. They do have bathrooms with flush toilets and cold running water in the sinks, no showers. But the natural amenities more than make up for it. The campsites are huge, with trees between. You can build a huge campfire without worrying about melting the paint off the bus next door. There is a rushing river going through the campground with the cleanest, coldest water you can imagine, with huge rocks to climb on. You can ride your bike around the campground and have to stop for the deer crossing in front of you. You can hike for miles on the trails nearby.

Earlier this year, we camped at Crazy Horse Campground near the Smokies, we chose that because all 10 of us went, and they had a combination of scenic plus comforts (hot showers, bathrooms). This campground also advertised 'internet connection at the gameroom.' We went to check out the games with the grandkids and wondered about the internet connection, until we spotted a phone jack on the wall out on the porch. Just bring your phone cord and plug it into your laptop while sitting in the rocking chair, country WIFI!

After a weekend of bumper-to-bumper tourists, I wonder if we need to pick a new favorite place to get away to, as we know this is the most visited national park in the nation. But we will keep going back, just make a note not to go the the first part of November!

1 comment:

doubleknot said...

re: 'city camping'
Seems that is what a lot of people call camping nowadays. We have several county parks in our area that offer somewhat inbetween city and roughing it camping.
You sound like you enjoyed your trip. Isn't that neat to be on the internet with no wires.
Thanks for sharing.