Friday, December 21, 2018

Snow in the Smokies

The snow last week happened in the mountains and east of us. We did not see any snow so we decided to take a drive to look for it. The Park Service closes the road through the mountains when it snows. They do use snow plows but no salt.  The snow started at 3000 feet and increased at higher elevations. The road opened on Monday. 

Tree cutting crew and snow at 3000 feet elevation.

Going up, roads were clear.

Clingmans Dome is closed for the winter.

Newfound Gap.

Heading back to Sevierville.

Our Tuesday drive took us on to Cherokee, North Carolina.

View from the North Carolina side near Newfound Pass.

Elk gather in the fields by the Visitor Center on the Cherokee side of the mountains.

Harrah's Casino at Cherokee. It's not really leaning but I guess my camera was.
This casino is on the Cherokee Reservation.
On Wednesday, we drove to the Pisgah National Forest and the small town called Hot Springs. We followed US 25 along the French Broad River. 

Pisgah National Forest at an overlook. This road 290 was about 5000 feet elevation, very narrow and had many curves.

Most of the houses along the road were abandoned but some were still occupied.

There was no flat land, hardly room to grow a garden.

We drove south and came back through Cherokee and the mountains again.
The sun was down but a slow shutter worked for this photo.

It was dark by the time we reached Gatlinburg.
A night view from an overlook on the bypass road.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Smoky Mountain Opry

One of our benefits from working at Two Rivers Landing are free tickets to most of the shows in Pigeon Forge. We went to the Smoky Mountain Opry Christmas Show with our friends from Mississippi, Billy Joe and Fran. 
This was a first class show. Here are a few photos.

Chris Blue from Knoxville won Season 12 of NBC's reality singing competition The Voice.
He is currently working here at the Opry in Pigeon Forge.

Everyone must change costumes many times during the 2 1/2 hour show.
The final was the Manger Scene complete with live animals and flying angles.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Tennessee for the Winter

Once again, we are in Tennessee for the winter season, November through April. We are at Two Rivers RV Resort in Sevierville, same as last winter. I will post a few times on the blog this winter but we are sitting still until April. Christmas lights are already up and lighted. If  anyone comes to the Smokey Mountains, looks us up. We are two blocks behind the Smokey Mountain Knife Works on Route 66.

The colors are still here on November 8th.

We are on site 53 same as last year.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Red Bay Alabama

Once again we are in Red Bay, Alabama for annual motor home service. We have been in Indiana and Cincinnati for the last month. We will be heading to Sevierville Tennessee on Saturday for our six month work camper job at Two Rivers RV Resort.

I apparently have a case of Pleurisy, making it hard and painful to breathe. Local doctor Jim Naber has checked me out and so far that seems to be the problem. Jim and his son Steve (he is a medical student now), operate the RV park we are staying in. We see Jim's parents, Bill and Linda Naber, every day. They keep an eye on the RV park and are the nicest southern people we know. We always like to visit with them.

Weather here has been nice except for the rain we drove through on our way here last week. Then this morning at 5:00 am, we left in a hurry for the Methodist Church basement two blocks away. One more tornado Warning for the year. Nothing happened although the Weather Service said Red Bay was going to get hit. Too much excitement for early morning.

I always take a few photos when we come to Red Bay.

Old oak tree by the Downtown RV park. Bill Naber has lived here all his life
and grew up in a house where the building is now located. I asked Bill about
the tree and he knew his father planted it in 1911. Bill and Linda owned
 a business on the property where the RV park is now located.
RV Service Center check in. Parts store is to the right side.

An old motel has been purchased by Tiffin and torn down.
Their parts store will be located here by the next time we arrive at Red Bay.

There are about 120 RV hookups at the Service Center.
We always stay at the Downtown RV Park about one mile away.

The Service Center has about 55 service bays.

This is our 2016 Tiffin Phaeton in a service bay. Our chassis service is
done by Bay Diesel at another location. Bay Diesel is a
Freightliner Service Center.

Just a few of the motor homes being serviced.
One of two new RV parks located on the road behind the Service Center.
All RV parks are usually full since most owners do not trust their dealers to
work on their expensive motor homes.

The second new park next to the one shown above.

Next to the new parks spaces, anew body shop has appeared. There are several
good repair facilities in the area, many owned by former Tiffin
employees with plenty of experience.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Brushy Mountain State Prison

Here is a historical place if you like prisons. I don't but at least this one was empty. We found this near the Frozen Head State Park in Petros Tennessee and decided to pay the $24 entry fee. The old prison has been turned into a tourist site, including a restaurant with a moonshine distillery. We skipped the restaurant and moonshine and went on back to the prison museum. You can tour almost all of the old prison as it was when it closed. 

The Brushy Mountain State Prison has quite a history. The original prison building was constructed in 1896. That building burned and the current building was constructed the in 1930's. Prisoners were used to mine coal from the nearby mountains. The prison is actually surrounded by mountains except for the entry road. Walking through is a bit spooky. There was a prison guard that had worked there and he told us a few stories about things that happened there. You don't want to be in prison!

One famous prisoner was James Earl Ray, convicted of the assassination of Martin Luther King. He escaped June 10, 1977 with six other inmates by climbing over a fence. Ray was captured less than 58 hours later in rugged mountain terrain 8 1/2 miles from the prison. There was a story told in the museum that Mrs.King did not think he was the assassin. The prison closed June 11, 2009. Its functions were transferred to the Morgan County Correctional Complex which is on the entry road to Frozen Head State Park.

Mountains all around.

Not sure what this separate building was but it doesn't look like a nice place.

We went in anyway. It was not that bad.

This is the "Hole". Four cells no windows and just where the inmates did not want to be.

Lots of news articles were on display.

There were a number of inmate paintings around the building.

There were many items on display in the museum room.

This must have been a entertainment stage in the yard.

This was the maximum security section added in the 1970's.

There were 584 inmates at one time so row after row of cells.

Not a nice place to live for years.