Townsend, Tennessee

The week before Thanksgiving we drove to Townsend, Tennessee near the entrance to Smoky Mountain National Park. We immediately raised to satellite dish and got to work on grading class projects. It was rainy so it was easy to stay inside and work on classes.

It seemed to rain forever and the RV was soon surrounded by water. The Little River (that's it's real name) wasn't so little! As you can see in the photo below (right) it was raging.

Annette and flooded RVAnnette and flood

The wet weather didn't dampen our spirits. We decided to explore an area of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park that we often overlook. After stops at the gift shop in the Sugarlands Visitor Center and in Gatlinburg to pick up some Subway wraps, we headed to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. We were amazed at the contrast between the wall-to-wall people in town and the quiet world of the park.


Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

We'd purchased a booklet at the Visitor Center that provided background information about the stops along the motor trail. Our first stop was at the Noah "Bud" Olge place and included a short hike around a homestead and back into the woods to see a mill along the stream. It was interesting to see the tub mill.

Old House in Smoky Mountain National ParkAnnette and mill

We made many stops to enjoy farmhouses, fences, and fall leaves. About half way around the motor tour, we stopped for a hike to Grotto Falls. It was only three miles round trip and easy to walk, but it was steeper than it looked. It was very hot and humid for a winter day!

Annette and WaterfallfenceWaterfall

Rock wallAs we hiked around the park, we decided that we like the three Rs of Rocks, Roots, and Rapids. These three things were all around us.


Along the road we often came across creeks like the one in the photo below. It was fun to listen to the sound of the water rushing over the rocks. You could often see the remains of old farm houses, fences, and mills near the streams. Many of the farms were from the 1880s through the 1930s.


Larry's Birthday and Thanksgiving

Larry's BirthdayLarry's birthday was on Thanksgiving this year. Larry's back was bothering him and Annette was planning for a work trip to Virginia, so it was pretty quiet. We were a little disappointed in the big "Thanksgiving Event" sponsored by the campground, so we had to make our own party. In the photo on the right, Larry is getting ready to open his birthday presents that have been carefully wrapped in kitchen towels.


Norfolk workshopFlying Around

Annette ended the month by spending a few days in Virginia working with teachers. The photo on the left shows her teaching teachers how to use an interactive whiteboard called a Smartboard.


Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 5/05.