Saturday, June 14, 2014

2014-14 Crossville Tennessee


Crossville TN

Campground:  Breckenridge lake Resort, Crossville TN. A Passport America park, PA rate $15, regular $30 full hookup.

Another Laundry Story.

You know I enjoy telling a good laundry story so here I am at the Laundromat in Sevierville TN doing my laundry.  It’s a pretty decent place, clean, good washer/dryer rates, sitting out behind the main roads leading through the area.  Opposite the parking lot is a freshly planted corn field, an old barn sits off to one side.  A gal in her late 30’s comes in, throws in her laundry, reaches for the remote control and turns the tv volume up.  A scratchy tinny sound comes out of the speakers.  Oh well, I walk outside where its quiet and I can enjoy that country view.  A few minutes later, she walks out, notices my license plate is from Florida and begins a conversation.

Barn and corn field next to Laundromat

Tells me she was in an accident and broke a few bones and couldn’t work while living in the Tampa Fl area.  Ended up moving back to Tennessee with her parents so they could take care of her while she healed.  A year or so later she has a heart attack.  Has heart surgery and now lives on Social Security, apparently unable to work.  May need a second stint put in as she has 70% blockage in one artery.   I learned all this and more within a matter of a couple of minutes.  Doesn’t seem handicapped to me, but what do I know, I’ve just met her.  Told me about her truck, first one she’s ever owned, a full size Chevy.  Has rust on the running board and the transmission fluid was low so she put in a quart, but still needs a little more.  After I shared that I have a 5th wheel camper, she shared that she bought a 24ft trailer over two years ago but has yet to try it out.  Great condition, the couple that owned it never used it either.  Her father hid it from her, but I couldn’t follow the reason behind that and she was a bit sketchy on it herself.  Asking me why would he hide it on her?  Now how the heck would I know.

So here she is doing her laundry before getting ready to head out today with the camper for the first time, oh and the side of her truck is damaged because she wasn’t used to driving a truck and ran into the corner of her Mom’s fence near the driveway.  And did I mention she was going to be pulling the camper for the first time today.  Whew.  That’s a lot of info in a few minutes time.  Overall a nice gal, slim body and wearing a pair of bright pink cheek hugging shorts.  Who says doing laundry is boring.

farmhouse near laundromat

Tennessee is a dry state, meaning by definition liquor is not sold.  Each county must enact a law permitting its sale.  Some counties are dry, yet a municipality within the county may permit the sale of alcohol.  The park I’m in does not permit alcohol and my neighbors said they and other campers would call the local authorities if they saw alcohol being consumed.  I’m so used to being able to buy wine or beer at a grocery store or Wal-Mart’s, I’m often surprised to find it not available. Whiskey is one of the largest exports for Tennessee totaling over one billion dollars.  I wondered if my fellow camper really would call the sheriffs office but today, after about 6 cop cars raced into the park and over to the swimming area, along with an ambulance, there was no doubt in my mind.  With no lifeguard on duty, someone had called the sheriffs office because a couple of young adults had floated their inner tube/air-boat out past the safety lines and were now floating out where all the recreation boats were passing by.  As they came paddling back to shore all wet and soggy the police gave them a real talking to and even wrote out a ticket.  It wouldn’t take much of a stretch to think a neighbor would call the police is someone walked out of their camper with a drink.

In the south, I’m once again in areas where tiger lilies grow wild along the country roads.  Those bright orange lilies are so hearty and thick along the ditches. Quite a site to see.

wild tiger lillies alongside country roads

Distance Traveled:  102 miles

Crossville Tennessee

Sevierville to Crossville Tennessee 
Cumberland Mountain State Park

I’ll be visiting with friends in a day or two but until then it’s time to do a bit of exploring on my own.  First off I tried to get into the tower museum, but being an hour too early, it’s Central time zone here, I headed to a place I wasn’t sure I’d get to see up close.  It’s called the  Ministers Tree House and having found it online of unusual places to see in the area, I just had to try.  You see it has been declared unsafe by the fire department but that wasn’t to deter me from at least driving over to the place to “see what I could see” as the old country tune used to go “the bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the Mountain, the bear went over the mountainee to see what he could see….”.  So I’m telling you that as I drove through Crossville, across a highway overpass, down a country lane onto a dirt road that dead ended, if I got into any trouble I was going to blame it on you, my readers.  After all, I had to go the extra mile or in this case, climb over the locked gate to get to the Ministers Tree house just for you.  After parking the truck on the end of the dirt road and looking at the posted sign that the place was closed and looking all around for any signs of someone lurking in the bushes, I hopped up on over the fence and started to walk down the dirt lane to the tree house.

hmmm, that will be easy to climb over

Ministers Tree house

currently closed to public

The place appeared empty, though I did see a few children’s toys out front and along the side of the tree house.  It was quiet except for my heart beating a little louder and as I looked up I could hardly believe my eyes.  The Ministers tree house is huge.  At least 5 stories high with 80 rooms.  It all started when the Minister in his prayers heard God say “If you build a tree house, I’ll see that you never run out of material.”  That was back in 1993 and before one knew it, he’d built the largest tree house in the world.  What a fun way to start out a days adventures.  Climbing over a fence, stealthily sneaking up on the tree house, snapping a bunch of awesome pictures.  Marveling at what man creates and then sneaking back to the truck and not getting caught.  Wow, what fun.

Breckenridge Resort Campground

most of the park was empty

As you probably know by reading my Blog, I’m a member of a half price camping club called Passport America.  They sign up over 1,900 campgrounds to participate and I get half off the daily camping rate.  Saves me lots of money.  By going online, I find a location that is near my next anticipated stop and if there’s a Passport America campground nearby, I make a reservation.  Well, that’s how I’ve ended up at Breckenridge Lake Resort.  I could have never found it except through the Passport Club as this campground is way off the beaten path.  Down a couple of country lanes, past farms, barns and horses and cattle.  How did a campground end up being built way out here in the country?   Well, the man who owns all the land was building a subdivision way out here, or maybe they are called them farmets.  In any case, he built the campground as a place for folks to come camp for free if they would look over his land for sale.  Later, Electric, water and sewer were added and now it’s a regular campground.  Not exactly what I’d call a resort as there is only a laundry room, bathhouse and an old moldy single wide trailer that’s used as a club house.  I haven’t seen any sign of a lake even though it‘s a part of the name of the park.  The campground does have an interesting layout though.  A large circular drive with campsites on the inside and outside of the circle.  Lots of grass and a park like setting in the center of the large circle.  I understand they are part of Thousand Trails or Coast to Coast clubs as well.  The park has lots of open spaces available and I’m enjoying the area and my neighbors.  They have put the 10 campers together in two bunches with the rest of the campground empty.  I would have spaced out the campers a little bit more, but that’s the way they do it here.  Always interesting to find places like this that I would never have found just driving down the road.

Betty and Dave

I’m also visiting with friends Betty and Dave B.  I worked with Betty and she and her husband were my first friends to go out on the road as full-time RV-ers.  They met their goal and along the way kept looking for a place to settle in for their retirement years, finding their ideal place here in the heart of Tennessee country.  With a large piece of land, much of it wooded, they’ve built a house, Betty’s sister also has a house on their property along with a big barn/garage for all their tractors for cutting and trimming the acreage.  Dave continues to add on the already good size house with a full length back porch, lower deck for the hot tub, double garage and plans to add more decking for the outdoor fire pit.  He and Betty keep themselves busy with grandkids and daughter moving back into the area, cutting trees down for a firebreak around the house and all those other duties required to maintain a large piece of land.  For retirees they are living a very busy and active life.  Dave is also repainting the interior of their new home as well with colors more suitable to their taste. The man never stops.  We went out to their country club for lunch today.  Dave still hit’s the links but with Betty’s new hip replacement, she’s backed off on getting on the greenway again.

Dave and Betty's property

Dave's Barn/garage and RV

Betty's farmhouse kitchen and daughter

The next day, Dave brought me over to their stone clad Presbyterian church for the men’s breakfast and show and tell.  Thought I was going to be the show and tell but Dave brought his collection of hand guns.  I apparently wasn’t good enough for show and tell  ""grin and chuckle"".  After a great breakfast Dave brought out the guns for the show and tell.  Passed them around and discussed the quality, pricing and how Betty has gotten a concealed gun permit and which gun was hers.  Who would have thought that guns and a church group would be compatible.  I learn something new every day.

The Church Betty and Dave attend

The men's breakfast meeting

show and tell

On my last day I decided to visit one of the local attractions.  Most small towns have something unique besides the usual history museum.  Crossville has a Model Railroad Club with quite a display set up in the Crossville Outlet Mall.  They have many different scale model train sets from Z, N, HO, O, and G.  Many hours of enjoyable labor and cost have been put into these model railroad displays and if you are ever in the area, you might want to check them out.  And along with viewing the model railroad you might pick up a pair of Levi Jeans or a new pair of cowboy boots on sale.

The Crossville Model Railroad Club

More pictures on PICASA.

and I ran out of time to tell you about the history of the area and the Tower Museum, sorry.

The Tower Museum

mystery statue in front of Tower Museum

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