I guess I'm getting grouchy in my old age, but some people ... hmmm

Today, and for the next 3 days, I'm at Tuckaleechee Campground in Townsend, Tennessee. I had a reservation over at Eagle's Nest in Pigeon Forge, but this one is closer to Knoxville and therefore more convenient for my daughter and her family to come visit. So, I'll stay here despite some disagreements I have with the Tuckaleecheeans. It's a really beautiful little park right on a river that's purportedly stocked with trout and teeming with small-mouthed bass. Plenty of trees, birds tweeting, friendly neighbors, cable TV ... really fairly nice.  So why am I whining? ... Let me do some background ...

This trip started with a night at the Walmart in Jackson, Mississippi. Price was right, but that convinced me I really neeed air conditioning .. and a little TV is nice also.  Next night was at Shilo Campground in Monroe, Louisiana -- standard price $20, Passport America price $10 -- good TV reception and they had nice phone hookup for my computer.

After a few days at my son's place, the next campground was at the Grand Casino in Kinder, Louisiana -- standard price $18, Passport America price $9 -- cable TV and phone hookup. Next was the Little Rock North KOA in Little Rock, Arkansas -- standard price $29, KOA price $27 (I have a KOA membership that I didn't know about -- guess it came with my Allstate Travel Club membership). The KOA park also had cable TV and a good phone hookup. Next was Timberline Campground in Lebanon, Tennessee -- standard price $20, Passport America $10 -- good TV reception and internet access. Now here I am at Tuckaleechee, price $26, cable TV, no internet access.

Now I'm not that concerned about the $26 -- that's probably a fair price for being in the Great Smoky Mountains next to a trout-filled stream. I'm not bothered by no internet access -- I can do without it for a few days (yeah, believe it!). But last night my daughter and son-in-law came down from Knoxville for supper. After a couple of hours, here comes an old man on a golfcart, telling us there's a $2 per person charge for any guests that stay over two hours ... jeez. Never heard of such a thing. That brings the daily rate up to $30 -- the most I've paid for camping ever! When they come down tonite, we're going to leave every hour and a half and stay gone about 30 minutes -- we'll see if we can drive the old man up a wall .. hahaha.

Oh well, we'll survive. Bottom line appears to be that Passport America is the way to go. I really don't understand people who are stuck on KOA or Good Sam or Coast-to-Coast or any of the other clubs. They mostly cost more and provide less.

I've also concluded that 4 out of 5 campgrounds have internet access -- statistics don't lie --- hohoho. Whatever the real ratio is, it's a great improvement over a couple of years ago. Two years ago, I rarely found a hookup and it was usually sharing the office's credit card phoneline with a really short time limit. All the ones I've encountered this trip were set up at a nice desk in the clubhouse and no time limit if others weren't waiting. I found that all were rather slow (16-24k bps), but surely better than my cellphone-modem that runs at about 4800 -- 9600 if I'm lucky. As soon as I get some time, I'll probably update my Internet-on-the-Road site to reflect these improvements.

First, a picture of me, relaxing at Tuckaleechee Campground in Townsend, Tennessee -- beer in hand, trout-filled creek in the background, laptop in front of me ... hey, how's everything with you?  Look familiar? -- you must have read Chapter 39. Neat picture -- figured I'd show it again.

Now, more on the campground. I took a walk down the river/creek this morning and took a few pictures. First (top left) you see a really quiet river with almost no apparent current. Second, if you look real closely, you can see the beginnings of a small rapids at the top right of the picture. Third, a close-up of the "white water" -- not too strong -- probably just about my speed. My next-door neighbor has a two-person rubber boat and I'm thinking I might try to talk him into a paddle down the river later. I figure someone could drive my truck and follow us -- then, down river, I take over the truck and follow them further down. Going to go check it out later to see how the road follows the river -- then to talk to my old buddy, Tony, who I met yesterday  ... more later.

Fourth, I saw a rustic bridge on downstream. Went down to take a closer look and realized it was the "rustic bridge" I drove the RV across on the way in. Didn't look so neat then -- just kind of small and creaky.

Note the sign on the bridge -- no jumping, no standing, no fishing .. they sure have alot of don'ts around here. On my campground receipt, it says "5 MPH! ALL DOGS MUST BE ON A LEASH AT ALL TIMES. 2 CARS PER SITE! ALL VISITORS must sign in at the office !!!!!!!!!!" -- in those colors and with that number of exclamation points. I'd like to meet the manager -- must be grouchier than me.

To continue .. speaking of rides with neighbors. I met a neighbor with a Bounder (for those who don't know me, my previous RV was a 31' 1990 1/2 Bounder) and a 1932 Ford coupe -- one of my favorite hot rods ever. And it's the same color that my 1951 Studebaker was!  .. whoopee! .. anyway, I talked to the owners awhile and he tells me he'd be glad to give me a ride later! I'm looking forward to that and the river-boat rides. More later ...

Matter of fact, that's probably enough pictures and chatter for this chapter. I'll continue in Chapter 41 if I can get those rides. And the '32 Ford people tell me there's an antique car show right down the road tomorrow, so I'll probably have a few things to say about that also.

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40. Tuckaleechee - Beautiful But Too Costly
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