Watts Bar Lake, Tennessee
We just spent the Memorial Day weekend and the two days preceding it at the Soaring Eagle Campground in Kingston, Tennessee. The Soaring Eagle was actually more like a Hovering Buzzard but it served its purpose which was a place to park Mary where we could hook up and watch the American Idol Finale. Let's hear it for David Cook! Yaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy!!!!!!! It was a fun season to watch and we are both glad it is over.
When we first pulled in on Wednesday afternoon we parked Mary and discovered to our dismay that we couldn't get the satellite to lock on or the Fox channel on our antenna. I sunk into the chair in utter despair as John shot out the door and made a run for the office. While he was gone I was bemoaning the fact (to Breezy) that we had not missed on episode of the competition since it got started in January and here we were in the Hovering Buzzard and we would have to read on the Internet about who won and how the two hour finale was the most entertaining and best one ever. Breezy put her chin in my knee and looked at me with sympathy in her big brown eyes. "I guess that's just the way it goes sometimes," I said to her as I hooked her leash on her collar and we went to explore the Hovering Buzzard. We found a pretty park-like area in the back and the Clinch River flowing along the perimeter of the property. Fifteen minutes later we returned to the coach and found that John had put the slide outs back in and was getting ready to move Mary. "Are we leaving?" I asked. "Nope! The nice lady at the office gave us a different space so we have more clearance," he said as he fired her up. We moved and miracle of all miracles we got satellite and Fox! He is a problem solver.
We had spent Tuesday night, that actual final night of the competition in Charlotte where we had dinner with Jason and Jennifer, John's two grown children. We had a wonderful time with them and they spent the evening with us watching American Idol. Jason, with his inventive mind and computer software expertise actually spent the evening attempting to figure out how to write software that would send out millions of votes at a time. Jason is a never ending source of ideas and creativity and more fun that a barrel of monkeys on top of it. So on Wednesday when David Cook won by 12 million votes we both looked at each other and said, "Jason..." and started to laugh.
From Charlotte we drove way out in the country to look at some horses. When I say way out in the country I mean waaaaaaayyyyyyy out in the country. We drove Mary until we found an empty parking area by an abandoned school to leave her. There was plywood over most of the windows so we decided to ignore the sign that said "No unauthorized parking," and "No overnight parking," and "Violators will be towed." We unhooked the Camry and put Breezy in the back seat and away we went. Because Tom Tom was dead we had to find this place Mapquest directions that I had printed out. To get there involved a series of turns on country roads...like a hundred of them. I was afraid that we might not find our way back to Mary before someone had her towed. As I was thinking that John said, "I hope Mary will still be there when we get back." I nodded my head thinking, "IF we get back." We finally found the place and looked at the horses. John was as jumpy as a fart in a skillet and as soon as we saw the last one he blurted out, "Thanks so much for showing us your horses. We have to get back and get on the road." He took off toward the Camry with me running along behind him. We jumped in the car and he threw it in reverse. "How do we get back?" he asked. I got the directions and read them backwards to him as we screamed around corners and ran stop signs. "You know, it would take one of those huge tow trucks to handle Mary," I said bracing myself for the next turn. "Do you think we could slow down to a little UNDER the speed of sound?" He eased up a little bit. We made the final turn on to the four lane highway where the old school was located. When we got within a half mile of the school I was studying the road to find her and I heard John utter, "Oh #@%*&." Use your imagination for the expletive. I looked up and saw a mega sized tow truck, one of those that can handle a semi truck and trailer rig or a D-8 Cat, or a 42 foot Monaco motor coach named Queen Mary, with ease. It was at the intersection just before the driveway to the school. I realized what he was thinking and I started to laugh. I laughed and laughed and laughed until we got to Mary. He hooked the Camry to her in record time and I was still laughing when we pulled out of the school parking lot and headed for Kingston, Tennessee. He failed to see the humor.
Knoxville to Chattanooga and all surrounding areas is the land of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the land of lakes. We learned some things about lakes and lake property while we were in Tennessee. An important one is that some lakes go dry in the winter. So when you receive one of those fliers that tempts you to go and look at lake lots for ten dollars down and ten dollars a month for the rest of your life be sure to ask if the lake remains a lake during the winter or does it turn into a mud hole. Not many people want to look out their window at a mud hole. The nice lady who was showing us property spent some time explaining which lakes stayed full and which ones went dry. We spent time exploring on our own and found west Knoxville and the Kingston, Harriman area to be very pretty. I was totally convinced that it was a perfectly livable area yesterday. We were driving down to look at the Caney Creek Campground to see if it was more pleasant than the Hovering Buzzard when I saw a Starbucks sign for the next exit. "Starbucks!" I hollered. John just rolled his eyes. He thinks I'm a little around the bend about Starbucks coffee. I refuse to apologize for my coffee preferences. He thinks it is an addiction. It is a preference. Never mind that I won't drink anything else except for some coffee that the Arcuris brought us when we were in Oregon. It was every bit as good as Starbucks but you can't find it out here in the eastern part of the country so it is Starbucks or nothing for me. I digress.
The Caney Creek Campground is beautiful and it sits right on the bank of the Clinch river like Hovering Buzzard but it is three and a half miles off of the Interstate. It is quiet. Since we got Mary I've spent so much time sleeping alongside Interstates that I'm not sure if I could sleep where it is quiet. The last truly quiet spot that we stayed was in Las Cruces, New Mexico. That is still my favorite campground of all. The Hovering Buzzard sits where I could literally throw a rock and hit Interstate 40. We love to sleep with the windows open for fresh air so we spent from Wednesday to last night slumbering to the sounds of 18 wheelers. A person can adjust to anything with the right attitude. And Queen Mary.
It is honeysuckle season in Tennessee. Honeysuckle rates as one of my top five favorite scents in the world. Blooming lilac, gardenia, honeysuckle, freshly cut grass (lawn or a hay field) and of course Starbucks coffee round out the top five. Roasting turkey and freshly baked pumpkin pie come in a close sixth and seventh. I guess it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what my favorite holiday is.
Right now honeysuckle is dripping off of every bush and tree in Tennessee. I couldn't walk ten feet in the wooded area without stopping when I hit a wall of its sweet perfume. The scent was dizzying. It does have a bit of a down side though. John, Breezy and I all spent our days at Hovering Buzzard sneezing and sniffling from the little yellow and white blossoms. They poof out glorious scent while we run for Kleenex and bless each other's sneezes. A multitude of angels got their wings while we camped at Hovering Buzzard.
We are in Kentucky now heading up Interstate 75 for Lexington to unload Mary and give her another brief rest. June will see us in Florida and probably back in Tennessee along with some time at horse shows in the local area. I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend!!