Friday, June 27, 2008

THE LONGEST RIDE OF MY LIFE!

Hello everyone! We arrived back in Maryland last week-end from our trip to Tennessee. My sister stayed here with me for a couple more days and then I took her to meet my other sister in Delaware so she could complete the last leg of her journey to her home on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It usually takes about three hours for me to drive to see my sister's. It was very nice that my other sister & her hubby met me a little over half-way so that I didn't have to drive the three hours. Cause.....my butt will never be the same.....or my right foot and leg either.


As my 76 year old sister stated, "I think I grew another crack in my behind"! Now that was funny, ugh? We were crazy.....crazy I tell you. We drove straight through....around 700 miles and 12 straight hours on the road. We made potty stops and gas stops. Route 81 is a long, endless road. I swear, well I didn't really swear, but I thought that it would never end. You're probably asking why we just didn't stay on the road in a nice little motel. We could have, there were many to choose from.....but we didn't. It wasn't like I was trying to prove that I could drive all that way without stopping. But once we were on the road, we were in the drive mode and drive we did! Also, I should mention that the closer we got to Tennessee the gas prices were cheaper than here in Maryland. Just thought I'd throw that bit of info in. I believe the lowest I saw gas was in the $3.80's. I've very unhappily paid $4.00 a gallon where I live. What's the use to complain? No one can do anything about it....well, someone could, but obviously won't, so we're at their mercy....dang them! But that's a topic for another day.


Tennessee is a beautiful state and driving along the interstate and viewing the scenery and mountains was good therapy for me. It brought back memories of when I was about 10 years old and my parent's packed us all up and we drove to the Smokey Mountains to camp out in our heavy, green, canvas tent. I can still see my dad picking out the perfect site; it had to be level, without to many rocks or holes. I remember the tent being difficult to put up and then it had to be anchored down with rope and those steel spikes that were placed in the ground. We had four old army cots that we slept on. And heaven forbid if it rained while we camped. And OH - YES IT DID!!! I can hear my mother saying, "don't touch the tent when it's raining". "Every place you touch the rain will come in there". I guess it was semi-waterproof as long as you didn't touch the canvas. I remember that I just had to touch a water droplet on the inside to see what would actually happen. I couldn't help myself; I knew mom would holler at me if she caught me. Is that being defiant or disobedient? Or could you just call it being curious? Whatever! But I do specifically remember having to dodge the raindrop's at least a few times.


As I look back, I think that our family was rich with love, but certainly not with money. My mom cooked all of the meals while we were camping in the Smokey's. We had a green coleman stove, a coleman lantern and a heavy metal cooler which held the food. Does anyone remember those metal cooler's? Am I telling my age now? And that lantern, I'm not even sure how it worked. Although I'm relatively sure that it wasn't a battery, possibly some kind of fuel? I think that you had to prime both the lantern and the coleman stove. But anyway, mom cooked all of our meals at the campsite. After eating, we'd clean up the dishes by heating water on the stove and then washing what we had dirtied. One thing specifically sticks in my mind about the "old" pots or pans that my mom had brought along.


You were never suppose to leave food out at the campsite because we'd have visitors, if you know what I mean. Yes, the bears made their rounds through the area every day. If they came around while you were there, I remember that we would scurry away, run out into the road or just anywhere until they left. You were never supposed to approach them. But the point I'm trying to get to is that once the bears got a hold of one of our pots and left it with a small paw print in the pot. My mom had that pot for years and years and loved to tell that story.


So, going back to the Smokey Mountain's in Tennessee really congered up a lot of good feelings for me. There is nothing like memories to make a person smile. And I did plenty of that while I was away. It was a great week and I'm sure that I will again make the long trip on I-81.


My nephew & neice were very happy to take us to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. And I fell in love with that little town. So much shopping and sights to see. Here is a picture of us driving through Pigeon Forge and then on to Gatlinburg.





This is looking up at the mountains from Gatlinburg. And I have to mention that the weather was just perfect; low humidity and in the 80's! Can't ask for better than that.



The streets were very crowded with tourists. I hope the people in the picture don't mind that I'm showing it on my blog! Oops!



And this picture too. Do you think they'll mind much?



If I hadn't been such a chicken, I would have ridden this chair lift. But because I am a big chicken, I didn't. My neice asked me if I wanted to ride up the mountain and I said, "are you cwazy"!



I have many more pics to post. But I've been working on this post off and on for two days. I just wanted to get it up. Please check back for some very colorful pictures, coming soon!

7 comments:

cat's momma said...

That was all interesting and loved seeing the pictures that go with the story. I'll be looking forward to more pictures as you get them up! I'm glad you had some laughs and got to travel back in your memory to those happy family times when you were a kid! My family never camped out, so I've not really ever had the urge to do so myself. Also, I've never seen the part of the country you were in.

Wanda said...

What a trip ~~~ hope your "butt" is feeling better now.
We drove straight through to Saint Louis from CA one time. Oh, I'll never forget that.

My hubby has some cousins in Onieda TN.

That pictures are wonderful, and I can't wait to see and hear more.

Glad you are back safe and sound.

The Woman said...

wow love the pics

Marsha said...

I'm still laughing over your sister's comment after riding so long in the car. It sounds like an absolutely wonderful trip. We are close in age and my family had the heavy green canvas tent, green "white gas" coleman stove and the green metal cooler too. I still have the cooler :-)

I love the look of the smokey mountains, but wow that's a lot of tourists. I look forward to more of the beautiful trip.

The Crusty Crone said...

Welcome home! It looks like you had a great time!

Travelling Goddess said...

Sure looks like you had a great time!!

And in reference to camping....my idea of camping is in the lobby of the Sheraton, near the Ladies room.

Sandy said...

Wow, loved readin this (I'm behind on blog visiting) and enjoyed the story and the pictures. I remember an old metal cooler and of course, that was probably kerosene in your lantern.

Ahhh the good ole days....the innocent days of summer and camping and.....just dreaming here.

Loved the post..

sandy