The plan was to stay three days at Elkmont Campground in the Smoky Mountains National Park. That would put us close to the scenic natural beauty of the Smokies and give us some experience in National Park Campgrounds (no hookups).
Our new friends at Ga Mtn CG told us “You don’t want to do that, we always stay at Clabaugh’s in Pigeon Forge.”
Hmmm….Then remembered that “restaurant nearby” was an important criteria for us. The first thing we did after getting set up at Ga Mtn CG was to go looking for takeout Pizza.
Hmmm… Clabaugh’s is a Trailer Life 28.5 Campground. Creekside is a Passport America Campground (half price under stated conditions) and rated 27 by Trailer Life. Being neither a cheapskate nor an engineer, I decided on Creekside. http://creeksidervpark.com/
Called and talked to David. Yes, he had a couple of sites available and would let me stay 3 nights at the Passport America rate. He wouldn’t be there when we arrived but his sister Jennifer would. Mom & Dad own the campground, David & Jennifer run it.
We saddled up and drove 441 through the Smokies.
The Dodge had no problems getting up the mountain. Coming down, now that was a different story.
Actually it wasn’t really all that bad. I did have to use the brakes more than I was comfortable with. The Dodge needs an exhaust brake; actually it’s an intake brake, before we head west.
The site that David put me in was the backin site from hell. It was narrow and across from the pool that severely limited maneuvering room. Charlie, Ron and another guy helped me. The 3rd guy really knew was he was doing. He later introduced himself as “David and Jennifer’s Dad.”
Plan was two days in the area. One day for scenic, one day for Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg touristing.
Day one was declared a “veg day” and was spent napping, eating and reading.
We also spent a lot of time chatting with Charlie & Ann from NC. Interesting folks. I asked Charlie where he went to the beach. “Lakewood Camping Resort at Myrtle Beach”.
We decided to just stay there for a total of 5 nights. Jennifer let me stay the additional two days at the Passport America rate. That saved more than the annual cost of Passport America membership.
But we had to move to another site. This was on the creek side of the park and much quieter. Backin site #3. Russ helped us and provided a little training.
Russ & his wife are homeless. The spend the summer at Creekside working a Dollywood. We met several couples who work at Dollywood or other tourist places for the summer.
Day 1 – veg
Day 2 – Outlet Mall Shopping and Gatlinberg
Day 3 – Cades Cove, Elkmont and the Old Mill
The Old Mill is awesome. Jean Crowninshield recommended this place years ago when I was headed south for some reason. I met up with Joan & Jed in Gatlinberg and we ate there.
The menu is interesting. All meals start with corn chower, corn fitters, salad. They all come with mashed potatoes and green beans and desert. The main dishes are the southern fried cholesterol specials. Roast Beef, Fried Chicken, Country Fried Steak, Meatloaf,…
Very good and huge servings. In the parking lot I asked a guy if it was good. His response was “prepare to eat!”
Camille & I had a second meal from my leftovers.
Day 4 – Antiques and Clingman’s Dome.