Thursday, April 02, 2015

Smoky Mountains meet Katy Trail

I finally felt we could relax from the freeze scare when all of a sudden Dan veered off a ramp on I40.  This happens about once a day for us as we roadtrip.  I have my photo opps and Dan has unidentified roadkill.  Thank goodness the PW turns easily. 

As for the quick exit, Dan had caught something I had not—this was an entrance to the final miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We could drive south through this “Foothills” portion of the parkway and then take a short scenic drive back to I40.  The early spring trees had not leafed out but it was still very beautiful. 

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It’s hard to tell by this picture, but most of the mountain tops had a light dusting of snow.  I am so glad Dan gave me this opportunity to stop and enjoy the mountains rather than just zoom through.

At the point of the end of the Parkway and the road back to the interstate, we saw what can happen when Kudzu is given free reign. 

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This Asian plant was introduced in the United States to help control erosion.  Trouble is, it likes the weather in the south too much and has become quite invasive.

We were curious, but thought probably what Buddy was serving would not go well in the morning.

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The weather warmed and the wind was at our back going north/northwest.  But, we did not have it in us to drive until 9:30 pm which is when our GPS said we would get home.

Besides, we wanted to ride another Rails to Trail—the Katy.

As most know who follow along with our travels, we often opt for free overnights when we are just stopping for a few hours sleep.  This…

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beautiful National Forest Service campsite is located only a few miles off I70 and is available for no cost.  We had a great night’s sleep, then spent a short time walking around the area picking up trash as a small token payment for having this available.  I don’t think hunters (probably the most likely users of this area) would throw their glass bottles out on the ground and their aluminum cans in the fire pits so it might be local partiers also know about this area.  We left it much better than we found it and we’ll be back.

Finally, one last stop to ride seven or so miles on the Katy Trail accessed at RocheportIMG_2276

Once again—great trip!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Wow! That was close

No, we didn’t almost have an accident on our way home.  As a matter of fact, the driving went well—even had a tail wind for a few hours.  We ate lunch with the family on Saturday, sadly said our goodbyes and were on the road around 2:00 pm.  We had an awesome ten days and enjoyed seeing everyone so much.  However, it was time to let them get back into their routine.

We knew the Cary forecast on Saturday night was lower thirties which is concerning for the part of the plumbing in the PW that is on the outside.  For some reason, we thought we would be better off driving for a few hours.  I don’t know what we were thinking because we were driving toward the Smoky Mountains.  When I checked low temperature for Ashville, it said 24 degrees!  We didn’t want to continue to drive even higher into the mountains so we decided to make the best of it where we were.

I am not sure I got more than an hour sleep at a time because I kept jumping up and running a little water.  Finally, around five o’clock Dan got up and we ran a hose from the inside hot water into the water holding tank.  This was after we turned on the water and nothing came out for a few scary seconds.  We did the hot water transfer a couple more times and then took off down the road.

Every fifteen minutes I jumped up and ran water.  Only once did we have a delay but again it broke free.  By 9:00 am, the weather warmed up and we decided to take a little detour off I40 on to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  More tomorrow.