Sunday, June 24, 2018

June 24, 018 - Not Dead

No, we did not get lost in the forest.  Or fall off a cliff. Or get run over by a truck on the interstate. We are well and fine.

It was the computer that died.  I killed it by closing it up with a ball-point pen lying on the keyboard. Cracked the screen. We waited until the next Monday to go out and buy a new computer.  Then we waited for them to transfer data from the old computer. I finally got the new computer and then realized that I did not have my program disks for Photoshop or Quicken.  I can't write a decent post without pictures.  Since I can't find my voice recorder, the pictures remind me what happened during the day.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

June 2, 2018 - Rain

It occurred to me today that I have not been reporting what we hear on the park radio.  I have noticed that I am not tuned into it.  There could be a lot more going on in the park than I realize since I am not paying close attention.

I can say that we have heard of three motorcycle accidents so far.    Yesterday, there was a lost 15-year-old boy who hiked on ahead of his family up the Alum Cave Trail to Mt. LeConte.  The family had not seen him all day.  A team was formed to look for him on the likely trails.  It was about dark when a ranger reported "Got him" at Newfound Gap. He had followed the wrong trail back out.  Today, a man slipped and fell on a slippery floor and hit his head against the wall.  That was probably in one of the toilet buildings.  With this humidity and rain, they can be very wet inside.  An ambulance arrived and they checked the man.  He was going to go to the hospital or doctor in his own car.

It seems there are bear reports every half hour.  Rangers and volunteers try to shoo a bear back into the woods and attempt to keep bear/human interactions and traffic backups to a minimum.  Boss Larry assisted a woman hiker who said she was followed on a trail by a mountain lion.  Larry was convinced the woman was believable although the park officials do not think there are any mountain lions left.

May was relatively quiet for Andy and me.  There has been so much rain that many campers do not show up.  A large percentage of them leave before their reservations are over. We have had a good number of day visitors hiking up to the Midnight Hole, but we have given up trying to control the parking when things get hectic.  Also, people seem to be going to park in the horse camp on their own without us having to tell them. The group site has had no-shows at least half the time.

Friday, June 1, 2018

June 1, 2018 - It Was Electric

The root canal job was finished this week.  Now I need to return to the dentist to get a filling where the endodontist drilled through the crown.  Dr. Fred Case has ruined a root canal's bad reputation. It was not big deal, not even unpleasant.  After the root canal, and picking up new RV keys in Knoxville, we returned to Pigeon Forge to see the Dolly Parton Stampede dinner show.

I did not take any pictures so I snatched one from the web.  The stadium/dining room was as interesting as the show itself.  It is a rodeo arena.  The seating is at long narrow tables. There was enough room between the rows for the wait staff to zip along for the dinner service. The show had a lot of rodeo events including barrel racing and fancy riding tricks.  There were also long-horn cattle.  The costumes were great too.  There was also plenty of audience participation which added to the fun. The cutest was pre-schoolers herding chickens. The food was good!

Thanks to the LED wall backdrop, guests at Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction are transported deep into the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. (Photo: Business Wire)

This is my first photo this year of people in the creek.  I have heard whooping and hollering over there so I know these aren't the only ones who have been in the creek.

We drove across the Foothills Parkway one evening and I stopped to get some cloud photos.  It was too dark and I have not captured the magic of little clouds nestled into the hollows of the mountains.  That's what makes them the Smoky Mountains.

The best views of the smoke in the mountains are from Interstate 40, but I can't take a picture from there when I am driving.  We have had rain every day now for weeks.  That is when the smoke is the smokiest.  Big Creek and the Pigeon River have both been a torrent for the last week or so. This is looking upstream from the bridge in the picnic area.

I walked to the far side of the creek to get a picture of Andy on the bridge.  The water is so high that the drop-off is only about two feet.

Andy pointed out this Giant Leopard Moth on the wall outside the men's room this morning. It was difficult to get a picture as the white was so bright - it glowed.

I have been nibbling the wild onion/garlic all week.  This morning I saw a blossom coming out from just below the bulblette.

They are quite tasty if you like onion and garlic.  I had my camp host office-in-a-box in my left hand, the phone in my right hand (talking to Boss Larry), and my mouth full of wild onion/garlic when a deer crossed the campground road in front of me.  I missed the picture.

A bit farther along, the sun was shining on a tiny meadow in the woods.

I zoomed in and saw daylilies.

Andy said there were two deer.  I spotted one as we walked along the campground road. She paused when we did.

She began to amble through the understory.

She came out behind us and hurried across the road.

Once on the other side, she stopped for a nibble.

Then I got another picture for my animal-butt collection.

Boss Larry stopped in to visit and bring us more reservation paperwork. We always enjoy his visits.  He was concerned about our electricity problems.  Andy had a temporary fix by getting an adapter and plugging into the 50-amp outlet.  The problem with that is he could not close the door to the panel and it rains a lot here.

Larry decided to cover it with a plastic trash bag.  He did a good job too.

However, Larry was not gone for long when Tommy, the park electrician, showed up. He took one look at the power panel and said it needed to be replaced.  He happened to bring a new one along in his truck.

I think he must have had one of everything he might need it the truck.

Here is the old panel.  Good riddance.

Rick, his supervisor, helped him mount the new panel on the post.

Rick said he is new to the park and has only been here three months.  He transferred from the Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis. We chatted a bit while Tommy worked with the wiring.  Turns out Rick was from the same area of Missouri where my brother Louis lived.  I couldn't remember the name of Louis's town.  When Andy said it starts with an F, Rick immediately said, "Fordland".  He knows it well.

I thought maybe we shouldn't chat too much and distract the electrician while he worked.  I don't want to be responsible for crossed wires.  We talked when he was done.

Tommy and Rick both know Spence.  They golfed with him for the memorial tournament last month.  Turns out Tommy and I have been living near each other several times in our lives.  I grew up in the Seat Pleasant, Maryland area.  Tommy grew up in adjacent Suitland. Our high school teams were rivals. Andy told him we had lived in Lusby, Maryland before moving onto our boat.  Tommy lived in The Ranch Club, just across the road from our neighborhood.

We have been having a number of electrical problems for the last few weeks.  We hope that this fix will solve all those mysteries.  It has been driving Andy bonkers. I have been smelling that electrical burning/melting smell since we got here and thought it was something in the RV.  Yes, I have been thinking about fire. Maybe the problem was that RV power panel all along.