It didn't get into the 20's last night - the low was 34°F, still cold enough for the electric cube heater to be running at full blast most of the time. Since it was only 50 miles to Elkmont Campground, I was in no rush to get out of the Triple Creek Campground. I eventually left around 11:00, followed the GPS, watching many of the cars coming towards me covered with a couple of inches of snow. Matilda routed me through the middle of Gatlinburg, something I will try to avoid doing again, then into the campground, which had snow melting off the trees, but none on the ground or roads. While a beautiful campground with a stream running behind many of the sites, it wasn't the campground I wanted. I realized that Cades Cove had its own campground, which was where I wanted to be. Another 22 miles on some narrow, windy roads, many sections with no guard rails that are paved right to the drop to the stream. I've driven them in both the RAV4 & Tacoma, but not towing the trailer. Glad the speed limit was 35MPH, and much of the time there were cars in front of me doing 30MPH or less. I did pull over a couple of times to let those behind me go by, although it didn't do them much good with the slow drivers in front, and double lines on the road.
Both campgrounds are pretty much empty, with an entire section of Elkmont closed. Cades Cove looks to have all the sections open. I drove through most of the loops, looking for sites that had as little shade as possible so I wouldn't have to dig out the portable solar panel. I'm in site C35, a back in, fairly level site within sight of the Cades Cove Camp Store, and a few sites away from a heated, but showerless bathroom. The camp store was open, so I bought a "T" shirt & a couple of postcards for the granddaughters. If I get hungry & lazy, they have hot dogs & burgers along with snacks.
Site C35 is, like all the sites in the park, dry camping. It is also in the "No Generator" section, not that that is a problem for me. I will have to readjust back to the dry camping mode & try to keep my electric usage down. I won't be wasting any electricity on the internet - as expected, there is no coverage with either Verizon or AT&T, even with the amplifier. I was hoping the camp store provided WiFi, but no such luck. There is one NPR station, and even with the trees, my XM Radio is picking up the satellite, so all is not lost! To post pages, it will be at least a 6 mile drive to the closest place I can expect to find anything. I'll still do a page update every day and post them when I can.
I just got my first "Wildlife" photo in the campground - a hen turkey wandering by a few sites away.
After setting up, even though there was no internet signal, I started today's page while there was still enough sunlight to run the computer without draining the batteries. I'm only getting enough to barely break even - heavy clouds, and while there are no leaves, there are many fine branches shadowing the panels. We will see how it goes if the sun comes out. Unfortunately, I can't look up the weather on the computer. I sure am dependent on the internet!
The rest of the afternoon was spent reading. I wish I had downloaded a couple more books to the Kindle. I just started a series (The Queen's Poisoner, by Jeff Wheeler) and I won't be able to continue to the next book until I can download it.
It is still pretty cold at 47°F at 3:00, so I'll probably do something in the oven for dinner. That way I don't use the heat just for cooking! I do have to run the range hood fan, otherwise the CO detector goes off.
Dinner was a couple of El Monterey Chicken, Cheddar and Mozzarella Cheese Empanadas, and coleslaw.
Until Tomorrow -