Around Middle Tennessee

From there we went to Edgar Evins State Park to go up the 60 foot observation tower for a view of Cedar Hill lake.  The entrance to the observation tower is inside the Visitor Center so we went in and took the circular staircase up to the deck where I froze and held onto the center beam.  I could see a little of the lake and and dam from that spot and that was all the lake view there was.  Scott walked around taking other photos from the observation deck.  When it was time to go he went down the stairs in front of me so I could get down without too much embarrassment.  There were some lovely flowers still in bloom in the butterfly garden around the visitor’s center.  This looks like a beautiful park and has a marina, cabins, and camping available.

Although we are out of the mainstream this has been another great week on the road!

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Campground review: Floating Mill Park, Silver Point, TN

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a nicer campground for tenting.  There are many tent pads on the sides of the hill overlooking the lake.  Most of them have steps with handrails leading up or down from the roads.  The pads are level and compact, really tenting platforms; most with gorgeous views of the lake.

As you can tell this is an interesting campground.  It’s a challenge to negotiate but depending on exactly which campsite one is in it can be one of the prettiest spots imaginable.  I guess it’s always true to some extent but here, more than most places, knowing the campground when making reservations makes a huge difference.  There are spots here that I doubt I could ever get into and if I did, I probably wouldn’t like them very much.  There are spots here that are absolutely wonderful and well worth the effort required to get into them.  I give this place two thumbs up — depending!

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2013 – Mountains of western North Carolina and vicinity

Leaving the National Park we took the Blue Ridge Parkway.  There were more stunning views and interesting tunnels to drive through.  At one point we turned off of the parkway a little too soon and almost immediately realized our mistake.  We turned around headed back to the Parkway and, to our delight, saw a male elk with a large rack right beside the road we had driven down just minutes earlier!

This is such a wonderful area and we are looking forward to future visits here.

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Campground Review: Pride RV Resort, Maggie Valley, NC

As you can tell this place is quite a mixture of very nice and rather frustrating.  I think I’d return here simply because I love the area so much and because I think it would be easier on the budget than paying the rack rate would be elsewhere.  At the same time I’d lobby big time for a site away from the highway.

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North Carolina Piedmont Region

The Candy Factory is just down the street a few blocks and can be recognized by its red and white striped awing.  There was also an Art Pig out front; a great place for a photo op. The store is full of seasonal candy and various candies from the 50’s and 60’s.  They make and sell their own fudge.  I bought the dark chocolate caramel with sea salt but was very tempted by the pumpkin fudge that tastes just like pumpkin pie.  There is a small room in the back with antiques and antique books for sale.  On the book shelf were early readers, Trixie Beldon and other books published in the fifties.  A fun place to look and shop.

Lexington bills itself as the “BBQ Capitol of North Carolina” so we went to one of the many BBQ restaurants in the city.  We enjoyed the meal.  The pork barbeque with the vinegar based “Lexington-style” sauce we had is very different than the beef barbeque with tomato based sauce that we usually enjoy in Texas.

It was rather warm through most of our stay in the Piedmont and that discouraged us from doing as much sightseeing as we might have.  Still, we found this to be an interesting area with a lot to offer.

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Campground Review: Forest Lake Thousand Trails, Advance, NC

We’ve done some sight seeing – Jackie will write about that shortly – but mostly we’ve tended to projects  “at home” and taken life easy.  Had we ended up in one of the more distant camp spots (several weren’t especially level or roomy) I think we would have been dissatisfied with our stay here. However, since we opted for the more expensive campsite right at the heart of the campground and with the 50 amp service, I give this place a thumbs up.

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Lynchburg, Appomattox, and area

I have heard so much about Liberty University I wanted to see it for myself and of course see its library and possibly do a blog entry about it in my Great Library Ideas blog.  The young man in the Visitors center was very friendly and helpful.  We walked to the DeMoss building that houses the current library in the bottom floor. The campus is beautiful and covers many acres. As we walked we noticed how clean cut the students were.  Several smiled and spoke as we passed.  The Lynchburg transit runs through campus and provides the students easy access to the various areas of the large campus.  The campus is about to get a beautiful new library so, while the old library continues to function I decided to pass on doing a blog about it. Two things that got our attention were the giant “LU” logo which takes up much of the side of the mountain above the campus and the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center next to it.  The Snowflex is a snowless ski slope where students can go for the view, to ski, snowboard, or tube year around.  I think Liberty University is worth a visit if you happen to be in the area.

On Friday we decided to go to Thomas Jefferson’s Popular Forest. He started building this place in 1806 as a retreat from his very pubic life.  It was privately owned by people outside the Jefferson family from early 1800s until it was acquired by a non-profit group in the early 1980s. The grounds are quiet and restful and tour was very informative.  We gained a different perspective on Thomas Jefferson and his life.

There’s a lot to see in this area that we hope to visit on a future trip to this area.

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Campground Review: Lynchburg Thousand Trails, Gladys, VA

We’ve enjoyed checking out the mini-golf course here, although the “fairways” are pretty littered from the trees.  The biggest feature for me has been the wonderful trail around the pretty lake.  I’ve walked it everyday and I think its the nicest feature of this campground.  The adult lodge has a deck overlooking the lake and Jackie and I have taken our coffee down to the deck a few times.  We’ve also sat out and enjoyed the sky at night.  The sparsely populated park, the distance from the lights of town, some clear skies, and some cool lights have made for terrific star gazing.  We’ve been able to see the Milky Way, lots of satellites, and even a few shooting stars.

There are several interesting places to visit in the area.  Jackie will do a post on Appomattox, Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, and the like.  These places are all within 45 minutes of the campground.

We’ve enjoyed the full hookup site (30 amp electric) and excellent 4G cell data.  We are on C-Loop, apparently preferred by the seasonal residents.  However, the other side of the park looks just as nice and is closer to the pool and main activity center.

I can’t tell you what this park is like during the summer.  My guess is that its busy with lots of stuff going on.  I can tell you that here in the first week of “off season” that it’s been quiet and beautiful — a good peaceful, relaxing week.

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