After my last post, a blog follower named Daniel asked, “What’s up with the cat? Do you still have her?” The answer is yes, we still have and adore her and she’s become quite the traveler. At first she she was over-stimulated by travel – all of the new sounds and seeing the world flash by had her edgy. It was difficult for all of us. She would dash around the coach and be very vocal. We worried about her hurting herself and also I had concerns when she would jump up on the dash and distract me or block my vision of the side view mirrors.
Before we left Hollister, Missouri I rode the scooter to Branson and bought a cat carrier/crate which we knew we would need to take her to get spayed. After a day of travel, we decided it was best for all of us if Ozark the cat traveled in her crate. I’m happy to report that after a couple of months of travel, Ozark has accepted her crate and travels quietly in it. She doesn’t fight Donna when she’s put into her crate and usually grooms herself once inside before napping for hours. Ozark seems to have adjusted very well and seems to enjoy finding herself in new surroundings on a regular basis.
We changed our surroundings again on Saturday, but not until after Donna took a hike on the Seven Sisters Trail. She found a variety of mushrooms on her hike – we’re not mushroom experts so she didn’t pick any. We don’t know if they’re poisonous or possibly hallucinogenic. Wouldn’t that make a memorable meal! Here are a few photos from her hike. Unfortunately the spectacular views mentioned on websites weren’t evident due to heavy foliage.
We left Stony Fork Campground in Jefferson National Forest around 10:30am. Our route took us southwest through Bristol. We saw many road signs warning of heavy traffic and stoppages. These were due to the NASCAR race at the Bristol short track scheduled for Saturday night. We came through by noon and didn’t have any traffic hassles.
The drive through the Smokey Mountains was pleasant. On a tip from the Escapees Days End Directory, Donna had already contacted the management of a restaurant in Crossville and secured permission for overnight parking in their RV/truck lot. I looked at my trucker app and found a Pilot/Flying J station only a few miles away that had diesel fuel for $2.29/gallon. With my Pilot/Flying J Rewards card I would get a seven cent discount making our cost just $2.22/gallon – the least expensive fuel we’ve bought since we hit the road over two years ago!
Before we reached Crossville, I saw a sign for truck/RV wash ahead. Our coach is so dirty, I haven’t been able to wash it properly since we were in Michigan. The road grime was bad enough, but then the rain while we were in gravel/dirt sites in New York splashed more dirt up the sides of the coach. I couldn’t stand it. We stopped at a Blue Beacon truck wash. A crew of about eight guys went at it with pressure washers. I opted for the full treatment – wash, under carriage, Rain X treatment and citrus alloy wheel cleaner. I was amazed at how they were choreographed as a team and got it done in no time at all. The full treatment cost $77 and I think it was money well spent. The coach looks good, the alloy wheels gleam and I’m happy. This is the least expensive (other than doing it myself) RV wash I’ve had.
We found the Shoney’s restaurant and their gravel RV/truck lot. After circling the lot a few times like a dog looking to lay down, we decided on a fairly level spot. Donna felt a need to pay back for the free parking and went out to pick up litter. She ended up filling six bags! One of the guys taking care of the lawn expressed his appreciation of her effort.
We went inside and had dinner in Shoney’s. Not my favorite food and not a choice Donna would usually make, but when they offer free overnight RV parking, we feel like we should patronize their establishment.
Breakfast will be another Shoney’s meal, then we’ll head onward another 110 miles to Nashville where we’ll relax, find live music and good beer for a few days. Of course rain drops are falling on our clean and shiny rig this morning.