The tent campground cleared out this morning. Only the couple in Site 4 stayed and moved to the prime campsite, Site 11. The people in the group site packed up fairly early and they all went to the Cracker Barrel for breakfast. They have been camping here twice a year, as a group, for14 years, and Cracker Barrel on the last day is a tradition.
Andy and I sang Smoky Mountain Maintenance Man to Spence and he loved it.
I don’t know how much wood the group brought. They had a fire going the whole time they were here, except at bedtime, and still had a huge pile left. Two of the young men brought it over with a dolly in three or four loads. At quitting time, Spence tried to split one of the large blocks. It was very hard wood. The man had bought the scraps from a pallet manufacturing company.
Spence waited for the group to leave before cleaning the toilet building near us. We walked up to the tent campground. When we returned, Spence said I should take a picture of how well he cleans. So I went to the ladies room door and took two pictures. It was immaculate so I didn’t even walk in there with my hiking boots on.
We walked through the horse camp and saw where someone had knocked down the fence around the water trough. Spence has to get a new fence post before he can fix it.
Andy and I walked on down Big Creek Road to see if the buggy that followed the horse off the side last night was still there. It was not. We surmised that the owners had come up with the flat-bed truck we saw last night and pulled it up the mountainside. This picture is a big disappointment. I was standing on the side of the road looking down a steep slope, but it looks flat in the picture. It looks as though that big ole tree root ball stopped them from going farther down.
Here is another look at the spot, not looking down over the side, which gives a better idea of the steepness. Sorta.
We walked back up the road and saw Spence at the water pump building.
I took a peek and a picture inside the door while Spence was getting ready to test the water. He does this every day.
We left Spence to his work and continued up Big Creek Road. I love this walk, but we don’t do it too often, especially not on weekends when there is a steady stream of cars pouring in.
A caravan of the group of people who had been in the group site one night and then moved to the campground was coming down the road. They all waved and said goodbye and thanked us for being such good hosts as they passed.
Rangers Will and Chase surprised us at our motorhome, sitting outside. They had walked ten miles over the mountain from Cosby and were waiting for Ranger Heath to come pick them up.
We had a most pleasant chat with them. They have both worked at several different parks and we enjoyed hearing their stories. Andy insisted that we sing the Smoky Mountain Maintenance Man song for them. Then, when Heath arrived to pick them up, he wanted to sing it again for Heath.
Chase is new here.
Will is the acting lead ranger for our section of the park.
A 57 year-old woman was having trouble on the Goshen Trail.
A minute later, another 57-year-old woman had a broken wrist about a mile up the Grotto Falls Trail. She was walking down with her family.
At 1852 rangers stopped a vehicle with expired tags. I don’t recall precisely, but it was six months to a year overdue. It was a US government car.
About 2035 a car was flipped over on its side on Rich Mountain road with four passengers inside. Only one was hurt with perhaps a broken ankle.