Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Back To Where We Started From…

Almost 2 years ago, we packed up Lucy and headed south for the beginning of an adventure that is not yet close to being complete. We’ve visited 25 states in that time with 25 left to go. Make that 24. I don’t think we can afford to take Lucy to Hawaii :) We have been fortunate enough to have visited Hawaii in the past so will have to concede that state as one we will not visit on this journey. However, there are Canadian Provinces and Territories to add to our list and several Mexican states we’d like to see, if it is safe to do so. Our journey is far from over :)

This week we found ourselves right back where we started from: the Triangle area (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) of North Carolina. We have several medical appointments lined up for the next few days. With any luck, we’ll get a clean bill of health and be on our way shortly.

It was hard saying good bye to Carrie and Thomas and the grandkids in Tennessee. We got kind of comfortable being so close to them in September, but we’ll be baaack! :)

We pulled out on Saturday morning and headed to I-40 E. The closer we got to the Smoky Mountains, the more it became obvious that Fall was in the air. It seemed a bit early for color in this part of the country, but we could see plenty of tinges with the promise of much more to come.

2012-09-29 14.08.25


2012-09-30 11.24.56

We broke this trip up into 3 days. We do not like to drive more than 200 miles a day and prefer to do it in less if possible :) At the end of the first day, we stopped in Newport, TN at the KOA. We are not big KOA people. For the most part, they are way overpriced but sometimes you just have to suck it up :) Sometimes, it doesn’t make much sense to drive 20 miles out of your way to save $10, while you’re burning $20 worth of diesel!

Sunday’s drive gave us a visual of just why these mountains are called the Smoky’s. It was slightly overcast as we left the campground and the views of the Smoky’s were awesome!

2012-09-30 11.05.152012-09-30 11.06.012012-09-30 11.06.56

We drove as far as Statesville NC on Sunday and completed the trip on Monday. It was raining when we left and it continued to rain while we drove. Thankfully, the mountain driving was behind us, but it’s never a fun time driving in the rain and certainly not when you’re in a 32,000 # vehicle! This was our shortest leg and just before we arrived in the Triangle area, the rain stopped…and the traffic stopped too. Nothing. Nada. We sat. It’s times like these that do make it nice to have your home with you. I fixed us something to eat and we had lunch while we waited. The backup eventually dissipated and we were, once again, on our way.

2012-10-01 12.53.11

We arrived at the NC State Fairgrounds, checked in with the Public Safety Officer and got set up. It was cool and wet with a feeling of Fall. We were given permission to stay until October 10, the day before the State Fair begins. After that, they want these sites for the vendors at the fair. The old vendor sites are being swallowed up by the fair itself as it’s grown over the years and they needed more space. The area we are in is off the beaten path and all the facilities are new. This year, they’ve doubled the number of sites available adding approximately 50 more to the mix. It remains the best option for visiting the area and anytime after October 21 it will, once again,  be a good choice. During the fair, not so much. It would be best to find alternative accommodations.

Today was the complete opposite of yesterday. Yesterday the high was 68º and very Fall-like. Today, it just missed hitting 90º and the humidity was even higher than that! Yeech! I hope it doesn’t last long. We made a Trader Joe run, picking up a few groceries and a few bottles of Three Buck Chuck. I know it’s known as Two Buck Chuck, but at $2.99 a bottle, I think it should be “3”. We also picked up a coffee order at Staples. If you have a Keurig Coffee Maker, Staples has the best K-cup prices, bar none. Check it out. I normally have it shipped directly to us, but this time, because we are at the fairgrounds, I opted to have it sent to a local Staples for pickup…a less than 24 hour turn around.

Tomorrow, dentist appointments and flu shots! Yay! :)

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle


  1. I am sure the mountains are beautiful this time of year. We avoid KOA's as much as possible. It has been at least four years since we had to stay at a KOA and hope to make that another four years:)

  2. I hear you about the KOAs, but sometimes you really don't have a choice. The Smokey's are surely something, aren't they?

  3. Watch out for the peanut butter at Trader Joe's it's all the news. We've looked at KOA but never stayed there. We've looked at Walmart and Flying J and never stayed there either. We've never stayed in Raleigh either and think the idea that the state fairgrounds is the place to go is a riot! I'd like to do it just to see. Lots of folks seem to stay there when in the area. Hope the appointments are all quick and uneventful. We've finally finished all of ours.

  4. Familiar places for sure. Not much choice close to the doctors in Raleigh. It sure will get busy soon with the Fair starting up.

  5. WOW, two years and full circle!! We are 6 months and right back where we started...a work bay at Lazydays;o)) But life is good...no great!! Well, you are in striking distance of the CC;o)) Won't be long now!! Hope medical stuff is taken care quickly and you get back to the journey!! See you soon, don'chaknow:o))

  6. Ahh - back to Raleigh! We'll be there after the CC gathering. See you in a few weeks. Hope all the appointments go well!

  7. The only reason I would go to the fairgrounds now would be to visit Gypsy Turtles! I hope we can get in a visit but not sure. I'm here at Cedar Point while we wait for the house to sell. We've had 3 showings already, we have fingers, toes and eyes crossed.

  8. yep since our daughter lives just south of Raleigh NC we know the fairgrounds quite well...

  9. It's been an adventurous couple of years with lots more ahead.

    I don't mind KOA's as, on average, they are nice campgrounds even if they are priced a little on the high side.

  10. Thannks for the Staples tip, Marti loves her Keurig and the prices for the cups run from expensive to insane in some places.

    I hear you about KOAs and burning diesel fuel to find a cheap place that costs you more in the long run. We weigh that out very carefully. KOA seems to cater to the weekenders that want lots of ammenities for the kids. I can't justify the $40-50 for an overnight unless there is absolutely no other option. Yes I had to pay $50 at a KOA in Ohio once for an overnight because there was no other choice and boy did it hurt!

  11. We avoid KOAs also, but unfortunately it's our only convenient option when in Richmond.

    The Smoky's are beautiful.

  12. It's really early for the changing of the leaves in NC, but it's been a really weird summer.

    I'm glad you arrived safely at the fairgrounds. It's good to hear they have the new sites done. They were working on them last October. We'll be there shortly, see you soon.

  13. Not KOA fans either. Here's to a clean bill of health after your medical appointments.


I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment.