Friday, March 27, 2020

Day 159, Thursday, March 26, 2020 - Bristol KOA, Blountville, TN

Site 28

On to the first day of the rush home. I eventually reached I 40, then my hometown interstate, I 81. The Bristol KOA is a short, 2 mile hop off the interstate, but well sheltered so there is no road noise. I did hear a distant train whistle. I'm in site 28, a 100' long grass pull through unless someone is parked in site 30 which is behind the trailer. Not quite level, but a 1 1/2" side to side fix with the Anderson levelers, and a slight lift on the tongue jack let me settle in without unhooking.

The site is a full hookup, although I didn't bother with the sewer. $48.29 for the night (the usual KOA inflation). One point not made when I reserved - the bathrooms are closed, so unless I decide to hook up the sewer, no shower even in the trailer. The last time I showered in the trailer without a sewer connection, the gray tank oder quickly filled the entire trailer. One of the early projects when I get home is to find the break in the gray tank vent in the closet under the microwave. I also plan to add a tank washer. I'll just stink until tomorrow!

I lost another hour, at least until heading west next year, by passing into the eastern time zone. Both phones switched, but my GPS didn't so it must be close. In any case, I spent the remainder of the afternoon sitting outside in my chair reading.

It was hot enough that I thought I'd run the AC for a bit. Went to the thermostat, and no display. Looked at the converter fuse panel & a red LED indicated a blown fuse. I tried replacing it & the replacement blew. I though about it and remembered that the electronics closet was on the same fuse. I unplugged everything, and the replacement fuse worked. Another thing to fix when I get home. I think I'll move the furnace to its own circuit since it powers the thermostat for both the furnace & the AC.

While I have enough frozen meals in the refrigerator to make it home, the menu for take out meals looked like a better idea. I had their Beer Battered Fish Platter. 2 good size pieces of fish, potato salad, French fries, hush puppies, They didn't have any tartar sauce, so I mixed a bit of pickle relish with mayo & made my own. Overall, a good & filling meal for $8.99.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Day 158, Thursday, March 26, 2020 - Rock Island State Park, Rock Island, TN, Day 2

Caney Fork River Gorge
After breakfast & a short walk around the campground, I started making calls for reservations for the trip home. One of my usual stops, and, although a bit long from here, is Hungry Mother State Park in VA. Usually empty this time of year, but it will be a lot emptier starting tomorrow - Virginia is also closing their campgrounds on Friday. I have given up on any chance of the Townsend gathering, and canceled my reservation at their KOA.

I found a couple of KOAs that will still be open, as well as a campground near Bristol, VA so if things go as planned, I'll have places to stop around 250 miles apart all the way home. Should hit Oswego on Monday. Of course, that depends on the campgrounds staying open, but with private campgrounds, the likelihood is better than with the state parks I usually stay in.

I drove to a view of the river and took a few photos. I also took some photos at the same locations on a stay at Rock Island in 2016. There is a lot more water this time - More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Back at the trailer I sat outside and read. Current book is American Dirt by Jeanine Cummings. Lots of controversy over the book because it was written by a white woman about Mexicans.

While sitting outside the trailer with the solid part of the door open & the screen door closed, I noticed a hornet crawling into the hollow door gasket. I didn't think all that much about it until just after the first came out a second one went in. A few minutes later a 3rd (or the first; they didn't have name tags) went in. I found a new use for a Kindle - I used it to squeeze the gasket from top to bottom. The problem is I didn't see any come out. I finally stuck a stick in the end of the gasket to seal it, and will remove it before shutting the door tonight.

Dinner was a General Tso's Tofu by Sweet Earth. Very good!

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Day 157, Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - Rock Island State Park, Rock Island, TN

Site 29
A relatively short drive to Rock Island, TN. Most of the drive was on 4 lane roads, either interstates or US 70S. Just outside Lawrenceburg is a large Amish community. I saw over 6 carriages on the side of the road. I got a photo of one of them - lousy, but driving & photographing doesn't make for great photos. Photo of the carriage & truck are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I made a short stop at a Krogers and managed to get most of what I wanted. No gallon bottles of water, no sanitizing wipes or bottles, but I have a few more meals. Everyone stayed as far apart as possible, many with masks & gloves. I did head into the trailer & washed my hands on the way out.

I arrived at Rock Island State Park around 1:30. The office, like most, was closed, but there was a card on my site with my reservation information. The site is paved, mostly level (1/2" side to side & flat front to back) with water & electric for $27.59 per night. I booked 4 nights. My neighbor has a interesting tow vehicle. He felt the Ford E series chassis was more comfortable than F series, so he took an old RV, removed most of it, added his own rear seating & pick up bed. The first time I've seen something like this, but he said many individuals are buying old ambulances & doing the same.

For the first time in weeks, there are patches of blue sky, and an unusual yellow orb in the sky. I sat outside and read most of the afternoon. Current book is Long Range by C. J. Box. I took a walk around a couple of the campground loops, and almost every site is booked for the weekend.

Unfortunately, at 4:45 a couple of rangers stopped by letting me know that Tennessee is shutting down camping as of Friday at 12:00. So, both the end of my stay here and all of my one week stay planned for Cumberland Mountain have gone up in smoke. I was even thinking of extending the Cumberland Mountain stay to two weeks since New York is having major problems. So far, my small community in upstate NY looks far better than downstate, but I have to get there.

So, time to find some open campgrounds.

Dinner was a homemade pizza.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Day 156, Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 3

A fair amount of rain overnight and throughout the morning. While the rain stopped around 3:00, we are on a tornado watch until 10:00PM. At 4:00AM last night my smoke alarm went off. No smoke or fire, but it did go off one time when I left the fan off in the bathroom while taking a shower, so it may be the humidity. In and case, I tore it off the wall, wandered around the trailer looking & sniffing, stuffed it in my computer bag and went back to sleep. I wish it was a little later - I got an email from Walmart that they were starting Senior Shopping today with the store only open to seniors between 6:00 - 7:00 AM. Unfortunately, I slept through it. Not really a problem - I don't need anything, although I'm starting to build a list.

A couple more trailers left the campground this afternoon. One came back - I assume that he just went to dump. There are three of us in this loop, including an Oliver behind me, with about the same numbers in the other three loops.

Around 2:30 I decided to head to the showers. They have new bathrooms with individual showers. During my 2016 -17 trip I talked with the architects about the problems with shower designs in campgrounds, and made some suggestions. They mentioned that Tennessee had a stock design, and they would probably stick with it. I remember how much I complained about the stock design at a couple of the other new bathrooms in the state's campgrounds. In any case, the good is they are individual rooms with temperature control. While I didn't notice it because it was 65°F outside, there was a split AC in the room that might have also been a heat pump. The outside section was running when I left. The bad - high pressure spray aimed at a narrow wall "protecting - (it doesn't) the small seat in the drying area. The entire drying area is large enough, but the shower spray covers most of it. In fact, the only floor drain is in the middle if the drying area. Two hooks for your stuff, no shelve in the shower area. Overall, better than some, but at best a C.

The rest of the day was spent reading. One of my neighbors was worried that they didn't see signs of activity in my trailer. I have tinted windows that block everything is daylight, and only show a little glow from the LED lights at night. Plus, I only turn on lights as I need them - dry camping habits. Plus I didn't sit outside since most of the time it was raining or misting. I did go for a number of walks around the campground, but they must have missed them. They called the rangers to do a check on me. Evidently, when they saw me outside this afternoon, they called back since no ranger stopped by.

Dinner was a Kahiki Chicken Fried Rice Bowl with Egg Roll.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, March 23, 2020

Day 155, Monday, March 23, 2020 - David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 2

Lots of rain overnight, heavy at times & ever a couple rumbles of thunder.

I did very little today other than sit in the trailer & read. Current book is #2 in a series by A. G. Riddle - The Atlantis Plague. A little too close to current times. I did take a break a couple of times during the day to walk around the campground. No new arrivals, and the trailer behind me left.

I'm recovering from chigger bites that I got in Louisiana. I don't know how people living here stand them since they itch like crazy. Maybe living with them develops an immunity, but the couple of times I've "discovered" them while traveling in the south has not been fun.

Dinner was a Marie Callender's Sesame Chicken Bowl. Very good for a microwaved meal.

Until Tomorrow -