Calypso made her third voyage on October 14. Dan and I want to camp in every state park in Tennessee, unfortunately some parks don’t have campgrounds. The second voyage was to Bledsoe Creek, near Gallatin, Tennessee. I’ll add that one in later.
Number three took us to Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park near Camden, Tennessee. It is named for the Confederate General during the Civil War. It’s a beautiful park that sits on the Tennessee River and Kentucky Lake. There are over 2000 acres of forest to wander. It’s a small campground and the only lakefront sites are for primitive camping only. That’s not for me, Calypso offers me all the comforts of home in a more rustic setting!
If you love hiking there are miles of trails. There’s even a 20 mile loop for the experienced hiker. The camp host told me that lots of people hike that trail in preparation for future hikes like the Appalachian Trail. There is a short trail right at our site that joins that trail about quarter of a mile in. That’s more to my liking. I can go for a one mile hike or a ten mile hike and come right back to my campsite when ready. Photo below is the view from our patio!
Photo below is the beginning of my first branch weaving. It took awhile to find the perfect stick, had to walk at least a mile! Maybe I will make some progress later this afternoon.
We originally planned to ride up to Mt. Charleston Lodge for lunch today, but Mother Nature decided they needed more snow! Rain was expected in Las Vegas and the sky looked a little threatening but we decided to beat the rain and visit the Neon Museum. If you ever get to Vegas it is a must see. When signs are no longer needed they are donated to the museum. We learned that most of the neons are leased by the hotels usually for ten years. When the lease expires if the hotel doesn’t want it, it goes back to the sign company.
So many signs lay in this historic boneyard and I’ve only shared a few!
Red Rock Canyon is about 20 miles from downtown. The clouds continued to roll in and the wind got quite gusty, but we drove out anyway. Lucky for me the low hanging clouds made the already dramatic landscape ever more ominous. There is a 13 mile scenic loop, well worth the drive. Do not miss this if you are in Vegas. Sadly tomorrow we leave for Nashville, but I can say for sure that it won’t be 30 years before I’m back again!
VIVA LAS VEGAS
Death Valley is about a two hour drive west from Las Vegas. We got a late start and we were meeting Dan’s cousin who lives in Pahrump, so we had a very short amount of time. The park covers 5262 square miles! You would need several days there to really appreciate its beauty. The power of Mother Earth is beyond imagination. These are just a few photos made on my phone!
The lowest elevation in North America at 282 feet.
That white stuff is salt, not snow!
We met Dan’s cousin Dickie Hooper who lives in Pahrump. He insisted we eat lunch at the famous Sheri’s Ranch Brothel. He knows the bartender and apparently everyone else there! That was not on my bucket list but I can say it was a unique experience. They greeted us at the door of the bar and asked if any of us had an appointment! We said no we just want lunch!
Didn’t have time to see Red Rock Canyon so back to MGM. Later we had appetizers at Greek Sneek complete with Greek wine and Mythos beer. Ah, memories of Greece!
We went into Gatlinburg to see our timeshare at Laurel Point. Our building was destroyed in the fire. Robin and Robbie waited outside while we went in to the office. We couldn’t have been inside more than 10 minutes. When we came out Robin had captured this photo while a bear leisurely strolled past the pavilion! Later that night I made a night sky photo. If you look closely in the upper middle of the photo you can see the Big Dipper, also known as Ursa Major, the big bear.
Note: Dan and I are now in Myrtle Beach. The bear sighting happened last week in Smoky Mountains. Slow internet or slow blogger?
Wears Valley, Tennessee
Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains
Sunlight through the trees
Warm gentle breeze
copyright Toni Hooper 2018
Today we worked on glow in the dark rocks. Pretty cool art. Robin bought the glowin the dark paint and Ashley fished rocks from Newfound Gap. Deliah painted and they turned out great. Then we had activities and all worked on collage. Robin created her first artist trading card. Again we had a wonderfully creative day. The Smoky Mountain muse was generous once more.