Wednesday, October 21, 2009


It's hard to believe this is day 79 on the road! We remember day 4 as if it were yesterday...we were leaving Chattanooga, TN, going north on our way to Bardstown, KY, and saw the beautiful Tennessee River and agreed we'd like to return to this area again. Little did we know the opportunity would come on our way traveling east toward Tellico Plains, TN.

There aren't many advertised campgrounds near Chattanooga, TN, but one caught our attention located north of the city, near Lake Nickajack on the Tennessee River. Wouldn't you assume Hales Bar and Marina and RV Resort might be interesting? Well, it was, but not like you'd think. Hales Bar is a sand bar and is the site of a huge old TVA electric plant - deteriorating for years - there used to be a dam here as well. We utilized several sets of directions - maps, GPS and directions from the manager of the campground. Approaching the campground our road was overgrown, narrow, and almost eliminated our satellite dish! Trees and roads were in need of attention! We weren't told the office was located in a temporary building near the marina, or that entry to the campground was through an unmanned entry gate with security code. A good samaritan was kind enough to recognize our plight and opened the gate for us. The on-again, off-again rain wasn't so bad until we had to disconnect the car from the coach. We were assigned an unusually large and scenic site and then realized this was actually a secret fishing village and we were about twice the size of any rig in the area. It was obvious that many of our new neighbors had established a homestead quite a while ago. We were parked against the shores of the river, hoping the ground would support us for a few hours.

There are many floating cabins in the river that would be filled to capacity when the weekend and better fishing conditions improve. This is also the destination of many professional fishermen - some of the floating cabins are as large as 3 bedrooms and are quite comfortable. I'm sure when the weather permits there are lots of people who love the huge pool, putt-putt golf course, floating restaurant and marina activity. We were quite happy to spend an evening listening to rain on the roof. After all, we had driven 159 exhausting miles!

Next day we drove 164 miles from Chattanooga to Tellico Plains, TN. Leaves are changing and the drive isn't so bad after the sun comes out from the clouds. We will be in Tellico Plains for a Tiffin RV Network Rally which will not start until Tuesday. After staying overnight at the Tellico Plains KOA, we drove to Marietta, GA to meet both daughters and families who have invited us to take part in Life University Homecoming activities. Lauren will graduate in 2010, and Dr. Kristen will take advantage of some continuing education hours. RV and I will take advantage of time with our 4 grandchildren while they attend classes.

Everyone was going places...Uncle Chris arranged to take Kenneth, his dad, and RV, to the Atlanta Falcons Training Facility in Flowery Branch, GA. Kenneth met several players and received an autographed football. He had his photograph taken with Head Coach, Mike Smith. This was a day Kenneth will always remember thanks to the love and generosity of his uncle!

We took the children to the Atlanta Aquarium, the largest in the world, and seems like new exhibits everytime you visit. The Aquarium has a working relationship with the Falcons in some way - I heard it described as "Surf and Turf".

We drove our car to Georgia and returned to Tellico Plains on Sunday, and would you believe it - passed 3 more TVA dams along the way! It was a beautiful drive - I learned a new term - we were actually riding on the "tail of the dragon" along the way.
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