Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer Vacation: Tennessee again and into Illinois

Tennessee, a state so nice we visit it twice.  We left Dacia’s house on Saturday afternoon and headed straight up to the Great Smoky Mountains.  We wanted to get to the center, the North Carolina/Tennessee border by Sunset.  We just made it!  It was a beautiful drive that we thoroughly enjoyed.  Did you know that the Smoky Mountains are part of the Appalachian Range and they are called the Smokys because of all the steam in the air?  I guess the cool air of the mountains meeting the hot humid air coming up from South Carolina  and other parts south create clouds that look like smoke.  It is pretty cool looking and the area is so lush.

that's our RV parked there on the far right.

enjoying the view

Tennessee is sucking me in!!!!!

I hope heaven will look like Tennessee

We lost one of the hubcaps off the RV just as I was turned sideways looking at a little creek along the roadway so fortunately we had a general idea of where to look for it.  The boys went hunting and found the parts within about 15 minutes of search and rescue.

On the Tennessee side of the Smokys we drove through a cute town called Gatlinburg.  This is certainly a place I would come back and spend some time in.  Cute city but no time to stop.  We enjoyed the sites and continued our drive through Pigeon Forge and a scenic route into Knoxville, TN.  We stayed in a Walmart parking lot again.

Sunset at Pigeon Forge

Sunday we attended church in Knoxville and enjoyed visiting with a few people Dave had known on his mission and others who lived there now.  Everyone was very friendly and the kids had  a great time attending Primary and Young Men’s in a different place. We spent the rest of Sunday driving through Tennessee and Kentucky on our way up to Metropolis, Illinois.

I really, really like Tennessee. I am a sucker for rolling hills, pastoral settings with romantic old farmhouses and tree lined fields of crops and pastureland.  I never got bored in Tennessee and took lots and lots of pictures.  If I had to choose a place to live based on looks alone Tennessee would win hands down (Yes, I think it is more beautiful than Washington). I will miss Tennessee.

We arrived just before Sunset in Metropolis, Illinois.  We set up camp in the State park there, ate dinner and then headed out for an evening stroll through the streets of Metropolis.  This was another area Dave served in on his mission and he remembered tracting every street.  We got to see his old apartment and hear stories about some of the people and we looked at some of his favorite old homes there.  It was a nice walk of about 2-3 miles but we were exhausted when we got back to camp because of the heat and humidity there—even so late at night!

The south is covered in Kudzoo like the northwest is covered in Blackberries.  It is an ivy like vine that covers and takes over everything it can twist it's huge leaves around.

Lots and lots of cornfields everywhere we went

And lots of cool looking broken down farmhouses

Crossing a river in Kentucky.  I can't remember which one.

The bridge over the Ohio river means . . . .

We're in Illinois!

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