My Mind Is On Vacation
Townsend Travel Blog› entry 10 of 27 › view all entries
July 3rd, 2008 – by: jsfarv
10pm / 75‚ąě / Cool
Today, I am convinced I have lost my mind. It began with some basic forgetfulness while on my morning exercise jaunt. This trip, (I started but didn‚Äôt maintain regularly while at home) I have tried to stick to 45-minutes of cardio activity each morning. Sitting in the driver‚Äôs seat, while at times elevating my blood pressure from asinine drivers, does not provide much exercise. So, today, at 6:30am I take off on my morning exercise walk-jog.
I go through our whole loop listening to a PodCast of ‚ÄúThis American Life‚ÄĚ and taking in the sights and sounds of Cades Cove, Smoky Mountain National Park.
Then I make a turn towards, what I ‚Äúremembered‚ÄĚ on the map as a way back towards camp ‚Ä¶ whoops, not a correct turn.
Then I think I hear the banjo‚Äôs playing and thoughts of Ned Beatty flash through my head, and I am nervous.
Where am I? Why do I not remember if I turned left or right at the fork in the road back there? This is a loop, right? Just keep going right, it will loop back ‚Ä¶ it will loop back ‚Ä¶
It does not loop back. Suddenly I‚Äôm on a desolate, abandoned road that has overgrown, unused campsites from an era long since passed. Then, on the horizon, I see a cabin. Civilization!
The cabin is abandoned, and is a part of the historic sites that mark the original settlers here in Cades Cove. Crap.
Follow the road, follow the road.
Ahhhh! Pay dirt! RV‚Äôs. Luxurious, mansions on wheels RV‚Äôs. Where am I? RV heaven?
‚ÄúStaff Campground‚ÄĚ? Interesting.
Follow the path.
Ranger station! But not the station we checked in with.
Camp store ‚Ä¶ yes, NOT the camp store near us.
Continue with this thinking for another 30 minutes. Then, I see familiar sites. Bike rentals. Bathrooms. Amphitheatre. Loop B campground ‚Äď hallelujah.
My parents, needless to say, are surprised at my tardy return. I tell of the magical road that took me far, far away. Unconcerned at this point, the push me towards the car for today‚Äôs adventure.
I begin to realize how much more of my mind is on vacation. I can‚Äôt remember simple, easy words when telling a story. I get lost in a small campground. Whatever, it‚Äôs vacation.
Then we leave for our day at the Tuckaleechee Caverns, 500 ft. beneath Townsend, TN.
On our drive through the Cades Cove Scenic Loop, we take an unimproved, gravel road (one way) into Towsend. It‚Äôs awesome. During the drive I‚Äôm telling a story and stop mid-sentence. I can neither remember the rest of the story, nor remember the next word I intended to use. This happens several times today.
I am losing my mind.
The caverns, discovered in 1953 by 3 brothers who lived above them, are very interesting. We all take the 90 minute tour of the caverns, seeing plenty of stalactites and stalagmites, underground pools of 98% pure drinking water, a waterfall and about 287 stairs (see pictures). It was difficult to get pictures to show up, but fortunately I had a great photo teacher and adjusted my shutter speed and captured more light, thus a useable picture (not the best pictures, but useable)! Of course, I can remember how to work my digital camera, but I can‚Äôt remember the word for that you put water into to freeze (ice cube tray).
We cruised through Townsend, dropped off some mail, and came back to the campground. I promptly took a 2 hour nap (another sign my mind is leaving me ‚Äď I got horribly tired today, beyond exhausted, and I hardly did anything!).
Tomorrow, is more sight-seeing and hiking around the Smoky Mountains. I saw in the news today that wildfires forced more evacuations in Northern California. I‚Äôm hoping we don‚Äôt have another summer of wildfires that destroys so much of our own natural beauty.
Anyway, with luck, my mind will return tomorrow‚Ä¶
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