Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 16th through April 23 Heiskell, TN, Huntington, WV

The last update was getting to Raccoon Valley RV Park in Heiskell, TN, an Escapee’s Park.  Whenever we actually get to one of these parks, it is almost like ‘coming home’ – they welcome you with hugs and, once you’ve been in the system a while, almost always there is someone there you recognize or know!  Of course, it is kind of in the middle of nowhere, you have to hop on the interstate and go 5 miles either direction for restaurants, groceries, etc.  There is a Post Office and a convenience store with a deli in Heiskell, about 2 miles from the park.  The lady at the post office is very friendly, she even gave the park a phone number for you to call and see if your ‘general delivery’ mail is there so you don’t make an unnecessary trip!  Very good service :)  Another thing that is very nice is that they don’t charge you extra for electric – yaay  it is built into the daily fee!  No surprises.  They do have cable tv if you want it, it is an extra $1 per day!

We were so very busy that we didn’t take any pictures of the park!  How bad is that…especially when some folks asked me to do so – I apologize, but it was a fun and busy busy busy week!

When we got there and I went into the office, who was in there but Bob, who was our neighbor in Hondo for about 5 weeks – his wife, Donna uses a walker/scooter and it was nice to see them!  They were actually two spots from us!  Then, when we went to social hour (held 7 days a week at 4 pm) in walked Clair and Sandy Souter, who also have a lot at LSC in Hondo.  What a surprise on both our parts!  Sandy invited us over for ‘dessert’ of fresh strawberries with angel food cake – it was very yummy, and we talked for a couple hours.

The next day we went to the Appalachia Museum, about 7 miles from the park.  We spent 5 hours there, and did not see it all!  I knew quite a bit about the area, but nowhere near what I learned there.  The grounds are beautiful and they have done a marvelous job, moving Mark Twain’s cabin to the grounds, a real still, blacksmith shop, quilters, oh and music!!!  There were several groups playing  fiddle music – the one I sang along with and remember, ‘Silver Slippers’ – do you remember that song???  We had lunch at their café, and I had herb chicken, mac and cheese and pickled red beets, David had homemade vegetable soup and a tuna salad sandwich.  The food was also excellent!   We went back home and napped!  In the evening we had Clair and Sandy over for dessert and I fixed peach cobbler with ice cream…yum!

We took one day and drove down to Cleveland, TN, where my EX mother in law, sister in law and brother in law live.  I had an address, but had not spoken or emailed them since they moved from Venice, FL to Cleveland, TN.  After 2 hours drive, I knocked on the door, and when Annie came to the door we both hugged and cried!  What a wonderful visit.  Mom recognized me immediately, which tickled me, ‘cause she didn’t know Dawn (my daughter) when she visited a couple years ago!  This was an ALL DAY visit, and we’ve been invited back, and when we are in the area, we will do so!  Annie, Bob and Mom – love you all!  Only took one pic, of mom…she is almost 90 and still baking :)
Then there was Cades Cove, and the Great Smokey Mountain National Park…breathtaking and I have no room for all the pictures we took – here are a couple.
So..suddenly it won't let me add any more pics :(
Gatlinburg – and Pigeon Forge – amazing and fodder for another trip when we will stay closer to do some evening shows – I don’t like to drive far at night on roads I don’t know ;) 

We went up to Powell for a lunch at ‘The Golden Girls’ that was recommended to us – and the food was marvelous, and the dessert…they had coconut cream, lemon merengue and chocolate cream pies, plus pecan and several berry types.  We had the first two and WOW, worth the trip!  Here is a picture of the flowers in front of the restaurant – if you know what they are, please let me know, I should have asked inside – never seen anything like ‘em! 
We went for a drive around Norris Dam State Park – beautiful place!  That concludes our week in Raccoon Valley!

Our next stop was in Berea, KY, where there was ‘supposed’ to be a Passport America park – who no longer accepted PA…grrr.  However it was a decent park, full hook ups for $20 per night, no cable, but decent wifi.  When we arrived we immediately went to the Kentucky Artisan Center where there are hundreds of artists’ works, everything from pictures to sculpture, weaving to basket making.  Lovely place with interesting treasurers around every corner.  I saw a lamp that I’d love to have for the living room in PA – but it was priced at $3,000.00!!!   Needless to say, I left it there.  They also have a little café there and we had lunch – I had a wonderful Rueben and David had a plate lunch with corn pudding on it – all great food!  The Rueben was served on a rye sub roll, obviously homemade and I didn’t leave a nibble.

We had heard much of ‘The Bourbon Trail’ of Tennessee and Kentucky, and we particularly wanted to tour Maker’s Mark in Loretto, KY.  So off we went pretty early in the morning, and it was about 70 miles away on some pretty scary twisty narrow roads!!!  Danged GPS took us the ‘shortest, fastest’ route rather than the interstate!  What an experience.  The tour is about an hour, and at the end we got to taste Maker’s Mark regular, something called ‘46’ and a ‘white’…David got a bottle of ‘46’ and oh yeah, he had his tastes and mine – I am NOT a bourbon girl!  Once again they had a café and we had lunch there – I had a pulled pork sandwich with their bourbon bbq sauce that was excellent, David had a burger.  We also drove to and took a mini tour of Heavenly Hills, another distillery on the trail.  We were not up for walking to the ‘rick houses’, but David had more bourbon :)

By the time we got back home I was exhausted, having caught a pretty nasty cold several days prior, and forgot to take my Dayquil before we left in the morning.  I had put a crockpot of beans and smoked sausage on and it was quite aromatic when we got home.  It poured all night long, and when we got up yesterday morning David had caught the ‘cold’.  Of course everything he gets is worse than when I get it (goes to his chest), but I doped him up and we came on up to Huntington WV, where we are staying for 3 nights at least – maybe more!

That brings us up to date – we’re gonna try to get better!


  1. We've never camped in WV. Anxious to hear of your recommendations. Would like to hit that area when we are back in the northeast in the fall.

    So much to do reasonably close to Raccoon Valley. Looks like you did most of it.

    1. Oh yes, but we'll go back - loved the park, and the area. Here at the Airpark it is pretty neat - there are only 3 other campers here, so it is very very quiet!!!