Great Smoky Mountains NP and Riveredge RV Park

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The fog finally lifts from our overnight stop, only to be replaced by more fog out on the road.  But it was not bad enough to keep us from driving on.  What did crop up later in the day, were the large flashing signs saying that I-81 southbound was closed about 200 miles down the road.  A little research on the Virginia511 website told the story of a 14 mile closure due to an unsafe slope in a construction zone.  They had created a 14 mile detour off of I-81, but the back up to get on the detour was last listed as 8 miles in line.  And, it was expected to be that way overnight and into the next morning.  So we re-routed ourselves over I-64 to I-77 and back to I-81.  A 100 mile detour of our own, but it would keep us out of the mess.

We found a little “rest turnout” on I-77 that had no facilities, but lots of nice concrete parking area.  It was perfect for us to stop, make some dinner and get some sleep.  On the road by 6:00 am, we are headed to Pigeon Forge, TN so the DH can revisit a favorite spot from years ago, and we can finally add Tennessee to our states visited map.  Quick search online gave us the name of Riveredge RV Park as being about par for the area with good wi-fi.

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Only Florida tops this area for how many RV’s they can fit into a single area.  The sites are extremely close together, even the coveted “water sites”.  Looking around, this seems to be the case for all of the independent campgrounds.  Riveredge was extremely clean, the office staff very friendly, electric (they charge 3.50 a day extra for 50 amp) adequate.  The water pressure seems to come and go, and you hope it doesn’t “go” while you’re in the shower.  The great wi-fi they advertised was ok, but I got a much stronger signal from the campground next door, and since it was not secured, I just jumped on their wi-fi instead.

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Our first day, we took the jeep and drove the road through the National Park over to Cherokee. We had heard there was a nice casino there with great, free RV parking.  The plan had been to drive over to the casino, spend an extra night and leave from there.  But after driving the road in the jeep, there is no way we would take the bus through the park.

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The route was tight, several tunnels, couple of 9% grades, etc.  And included this little sign that means you will lose your stomach after you turn around in a circle and end up underneath the road.  Haven’t seen one of these since Colorado.

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Butterflies everywhere we drove, all along the road, including in my stomach. We stopped at a picnic area and found this little guy (and 100’s of his family) hanging in the branches above our heads.

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Spectacular views around most corners, and lots of places to pull off and enjoy.

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Wish we had a few more days to explore the mountains here.  That’s a quick wrap up of the past couple days.  We are headed out this morning, and pointing ourselves south to home in Indialantic, FL.

Until next time, Happy Trails,

Janet, Randy and Molly

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5 responses to “Great Smoky Mountains NP and Riveredge RV Park

  1. Boy, your blog was a tough one this morning! I was telling John about the construction mess and what you did. It really confused him because I am so bad with anything direction related. I was saying you left the Smokey Mts and he’s saying no because 81 doesn’t go south, etc. Finally, he got the map so he could look at your route then tells me Pigeon Forge is in the Smokey’s. Ohhhh, no wonder I was confused!

    Glad you got to view a little of the mountain area. We have done several motorcycle trips there and one MH trip for a rally. Yes, I was there, but quite often I am not sure exactly where I am…haha! It is a beautiful area.

    Travel safely!

    • Sorry I had you all turned around, I wrote that one rather quickly. It’s 9:00 pm, sitting in the Welcome Center in South Carolina on I-26. Wait until you hear what this day was like………worst day in RV history for us…..ever………see if I can stay awake to finish a blog. If not, then tomorrow!!

  2. Thanks for the pretty trip. I’m always glad when we explore mountain roads WITHOUT the rig in tow….I envision a similarity between a sardine can and the top of my RV when we encounter tunnels- not good. Have a safe trip back to FL.

  3. It was very pretty…..I agree totally on the tunnels. We had done some on the trip there in the RV and I was torn between squeezing my eyes shut, and screaming with eyes wide open!!! Like I said above….today ranked as the worst day in our RV history…….will try to get that posted soon!!

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