The thunderstorms arrived at Hixson with a vengeance last night around 10:00 p.m. They hung around until about 4:30 in the morning. The wind and rain was relentless and came in waves. Liberty was rocking and rolling most of the night. I believe I was lucky in the choice of my campsite. To the west of me was a 150 foot high ridge located about 50 feet away. The ridge acted as a shield and forced a lot of the wind to go over me instead of hitting me broadside. During the night, when the storm was the strongest, I would look out the windows to see trees almost bend in half but Liberty just barely rocking.
I took the picture above from the ridge looking down at the campsite. The park is almost empty now but the park was slap full on the weekend with kids, pets and people everywhere. They all bailed out Sunday afternoon. Hamilton County has done a great job with building and funding the Chester Frost Park. I really enjoyed the stay.
I planned to pack up, dump tanks and be on the road by 10:00 a.m. I was keeping an eye on the thunderstorms after they had past over my location because they were heading in the same direction as I planned to travel and I sure didn't want to catch up to them. It seemed as though they slowed down a little after hitting the mountains to the east so I just slowly dumped tanks and topped of the gas tank to give the storms time to move on.
I found this gas station with easy in and out access using Google Earth. Notice the barricades in the background. They did a good job of handling traffic, even RV's.
Of the three choices I had on the directions of travel; I chose heading into the Smoky Mountains. It was an easy drive on roads that were well-maintained. Some places were very narrow and I had to keep bringing my side mirrors in to avoid the possibility of another side mirror hitting mine. I'm glad I got the option on Freedom that allows remote controlled folding side mirrors. I couldn't get any pictures of the narrow road but did get one on a straight stretch of 4 lane with the mountains rising in the background. It was a pretty day after the storms and we were heading up to the Smoky's.
Traffic was light and the temperature was in the low 70's.
I found a very nice park on the side of the road for a rest stop. It was completely empty today, but I would imagine it is packed with people on the weekends.
I pulled into the Flaming Arrow Campground near Cherokee, North Carolina around 2:00 p.m. I was assigned a pull through site on the upper level in the woods.
I plan to stay here for at least 3 days. The entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is only 5 miles down the road. There is also and entrance point to the Blue Ridge Parkway nearby. There will definitely be day trips to both areas. Hopefully I'll get lucky and run into some good photo ops. Before it got too late I drove into Cherokee and was disappointed in the commercialization of the place. The town could almost pass as Disneyland. It doesn't matter because I came here to see the mountains and they remain mostly untouched since they are a protected national park.
It was a good day.
Ya'll take care of each other. Cya.