From our stop in Waynesville we made the short drive across the North Carolina-Tennessee border and then a few hours further west to get to Cumberland Mountains State Park. This is one of the places in the Smokey Mountains that Dad and Marcia recommended, and it did not disappoint, which is good since we had booked a twelve day stay, a rather unusual decision for us, but with RVing experiencing some sort of COVID-19 related boom, we were anxious to secure some spots during the summer.
While we had enjoyed our one week stay in Creekwood Farms RV Resort back in Waynesville, we were quite happy to discover the sites at Cumberland Mountain were exactly our type: spacious, spread out, and under a forest canopy. It was not exactly cheap, we paid $37 a night after taxes and reservation fees for our power and water only site, but we would later learn how to work the Tennessee State Park system to create some savings.
Dad and Marcia had warned of Loop 1 of the five loop options in the park due to quite unlevel sites in that loop, but even though we followed there advice, we still ended up with a comically unlevel site. Our hydraulic level system was woefully inadequate to compensate for the grade, but with extra blocks and the judicious use of carefully selected wedge shaped fire wood, we made things reasonable.
With a couple of caveats, we enjoyed the park and the general area quite a lot. One of our more enjoyable outings was to Ozone Falls just a few miles from the park. This 110′ fall has easy parking but requires a bit of scurrying to get down to the base, but was easily done with a bit of hand assist and careful footing Water level and volume is low this time of year, but we enjoyed the environment, our shower in the falling water, and a brief swim in the small pond created by the millennia of cascading flow.
We explored the nearby Crossville, finding an excellent and vary affordable pizza joint in Pit Stop Pizza, which was one of the rare places we visited in town that appeared to be taking proper coronavirus precautions. Mask wearing, even indoors and in close contact, was nearly non-existent in this area.
We were in the area during the annual 127 yard sale, a multi-state event which takes place along and in the vicinity of US Route 127. it extends through six states, from Michigan to Alabama, along a nearly 700 mile trek. Thousands of vendors converge along the axis for the four day mega-sales event. We stopped at a handful of the dozens of options, many of them with scores if not hundreds of vendors, much like pop-up flea markets situated at every open field and empty parking lot along the way, on the outskirts of Crossville, though our purchases were quite modest. (Again, almost no mask wearing anywhere, which most definitely affected our willingness to stop and shop.)
While here we also received confirmation that we had been accepted as camp hosts for at least two months back at Lake Powhatan National Campground and Recreations area, located just southwest of Asheville, North Carolina. We stayed their a couple of years back, and again in July while visiting brother Jason and Emmie. This gig solves two problems for us: income padding in that we get a free site, particularly important in the wake of all of our market, craft fair, and festival cancellations that ended our fantastic streak of sales of Rose’s jewelry, and locks us into a secure location for a few months so we won’t be searching desperately for openings at popular weekend destinations. Yay, us!
We also did some say hiking, which we incorporated with some geocaching, One of our favorites was an easy two mile hike along the river to find the container cache below a swinging bridge. This cache also happened to have last been found by Dad and Marcia during their stay here a couple of weeks before our arrival. Geocaching truly makes a difference in our level of activity, getting us out and about both in town and the woods.
Next up: July full time RVing Report, and then another Tennessee state park, this time with extra waterfalls.