Bardstown, KY to Raccoon Valley, TN., Oak Ridge, Knoxville, Smokey Mountain Nat'l Park
Raccoon Valley Travel Blog› entry 36 of 169 › view all entries
Late November and it's cold. I have had several nights with weather below freezing so, it's still south I go. The ride down through Kentucky into Tennessee was pretty and an easy ride. I arrived at the Escapees Park in Raccoon Valley, TN. This is a small park nestled into a valley about 20 miles north of Knoxville, TN.
About 15 miles west is Oak Ridge, the place that most of the work on the first atomic bomb was done. It was the home of the Manhattan Project. They have a museum which follows the development from start to finish. Oak Ridge was chosen for a number of reasons, isolation, electric power, water, labor and transportation. The project had three huge plants and a town of about 75000 at it's peak.
On Thanksgiving, a group of us from the Escapees park all went out for a nice Thanksgiving dinner. A nice time but not the same as being with friends and family.
Knoxville was getting into the Christmas spirit and I was luck enough to be there when they had their annual lighted ship parade on the Tennessee River.
saw that I was near Pigeon Forge so I thought I would go over and visit Dolly Parton. The place was mobbed as the town was all shopping malls, outlet stores and tourist shops. Parking was impossible and the traffic was so bad, I just continued on to Gatlinburg. That town was even worse so on I went. Ended in the Smoky Mountain National Park and took a ride in. Beautiful country with rushing streams, high mountains and lovely forests. A nice place to return to see in the summer when the trees have leaves.
The last day at the SKP park was fun with a group of ten musicians having a jam session. Guitars, banjos and mandolins all playing bluegrass and country. The quality was quite good and we ended with an ice cream and pie social. Fun time!
Elks Lodges: 18, Escapees Parks: 6, Public RV Parks: 9, Nat'l Parks: 17, Major Ships: 5, Forts: 9
Expenses: 7 months on the road with an average expense of $1939 per month.