Friday, June 6, 2014

2014-13 Sevierville Tennessee


Sevierville Tennessee

Campground:  Douglas Dam a TVA park.   Two campgrounds (headwater and tailwater) on the lake.  $11 Senior Rate, Regular $22 for water/elect. 30amp.  Open and shaded sites available with good space between most sites. A large parking area for the boaters and a good swimming beach open to the public.

Douglas Dam Highwater campground

Distance Traveled:  86 miles

At a rest stop
Traveling I-40  over the Great Smoky Mountains wasn’t bad at all.  No steep grades and except for a big boulder that was cordoned off on one of the lanes it was smooth sailing all the way.  Well, that is except for on the Tennessee side when I had to drive down about 20 miles of very narrow country lanes through some pretty nice farming country.  Not that I could enjoy much of it as I wound around some twisted roads with nary a gravel or paved skirting to the road what-so-ever.  But with a slow as you go attitude (top speed 25-35 mph) I made it to the Douglas Dam campsite.  Nice grassy areas between the camp sites which I find unusual in that the campers park their boats, extra cars and trucks on.  Driving across the grass to drop off wood, you name it.  A bit disconcerting if you have your binds open at night and all of sudden see headlights where they shouldn’t be.  Later note:  Four days later both directions of I-40 were closed due to rock slides on the boarder of Tenn and NC and it was expected the highway would not reopen till later that evening.

This is a no reservation campground, first come first served.  Meaning it’s best to get there on a Sunday afternoon when folks are leave or early in the week to get a good camp site.  What’s great is that it’s pretty close to Pigeon Forge, Dolly-Wood and Gatlinburg.  Locals use this park and set up their campers for the max time limit of 21 days and travel between their homes and their campsite during that time.  Leaving very few camp sites for the average camper. The no fee boat ramp just down the hill from my campsite gets used a lot.

Nice surprise, diesel fuel is 20 cents cheaper in Tennessee, $3.69 a gallon.

entering Dollywood

Well I finally made it to Dollywood after years of traveling and having been in the area a couple times previously.  School hasn’t let out yet so the crowds were small and easily manageable.  Looking at the number of large parking lots that are available, I can only imagine how crowded it gets during the summer months.  I’m here for the Barbeque and Bluegrass festival.  Nice to hear some of the best of the best.  One group in particular had a great sound, a five piece all female band called “The Seldom Paid Bluegrass Band”.  Quite a name for a group of very talented musicians.

numerous theatres throughout the park

a recreation of the mt home Dolly grew up in

Now I’m not much for roller coasters and rides such as those, by the way they have 5 roller coaster rides and the rest of the rides are mainly for the little kiddies.  Though I did see a fair number of adults on the dumbo elephant ride.  There are a couple really fun looking water rides as well if you’re in the mood to get all wet.  Needless to say paying $60 to enter the park and not go on any rides took some doing on my part as you know I hate to waste money.  Fortunately the Bluegrass bands were well worth the entry fee.  All the bands were scattered all over the park at various indoor and outdoor venues and not knowing any of the bands it was pretty much hit or miss as far as I was concerned.

There were two exhibits I really enjoyed, Dolly’s Prevost motor home she used to travel in before she upgraded to a two million dollar plus unit and the “Chasing Rainbows” museum featuring Dolly’s life of course.  Her life would make for one heck of a great movie and it was a real pleasure to get to know more about the singer and her growing up years with 10 siblings and a Ma and Pa as well as a preacher grandpa.  Of course the museum has many of her awards and dresses she’s worn throughout her career and the movies she’s been in.

Dolly's first Prevost Motorhome

Over all I thought it was expensive as I paid close to $100 to get into the park, have coffee and a snack and lunch later on.  On a side note, because their weren’t huge crowds it was much easier to observe all the workers and they did not seem happy.  Not only that, they were mostly dressed in the drabbest colored uniforms I’ve ever seen.  Lots of senior citizen type workers cleaning and working around the park.  On the other end of the spectrum there were also very young, 16 year old workers some in brighter costumes working in the many many shops and restaurants throughout the park.  As I left the park, the tram operators were joking back and forth about how much money they were making working in the park.  They were not happy from what I could tell. I remember the last time I was in the area the workers were having a strike attempting to get higher wages.  I’m guessing that didn’t work out.

did Dolly use a regular travel trailer in her younger yrs? 
Chasing Rainbows museum

And my oh my are folks heavy in Tennessee.  Wow, I think it’s the most I’ve seen of overweight people in all of the states so far.  At the beach here at Douglas Dam, the small kids were the only ones of a normal size.  Seeing all those plus sized gals in bikinis isn’t pretty especially with bad bleached hair and tattoos all over those folds of skin and fat.  Lordy, they must all like their food in these parts.  Maybe it’s because I’m trying to watch my own weight and knowing how hard it is to loose a few pounds that I’ve noticed it at all.


Pine Sol and generic 
RV Tip follow-up:  I mentioned a few blog reports ago that I was trying Pine-sol in my black water tank instead of the usual RV black water treatments on the market.  Pine-sol is phosphate free and from all I’ve read is safe to use.  More importantly for we Rv-ers is, does it work in reducing unwanted odors from the holding tanks.  Well after using it for well over a month I can tell you it works wonderfully.  It has reduced or nearly eliminated all those bad odors.  If I’m unable to dump beyond a weeks time, I simply squirt another small dose into the tank and it does a really good job until I’m able to get to a dump station.  I prefer using one of the Pine-sol’s without the pine scent most of the time as it works just as well without trying to mask anything with the heavy pine scent.  So there you have it:  Pine-sol, Dougie approved *****.

Another quick Rv tip:  I put this brush by my outside door as a reminder to brush my feet off before going inside.  Helps to keep the dirt down inside.  Good reminder for guests as well who might need a reminder to clean their shoes before entering as well.

And last but not least, one of my “one a day” projects was to organize my basement.  I think hanging up some of the tools will make it easier to find those items when needed and keep them organized at the same time.

a few extra photos on PICASA 

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