2012-07-09 Mon – 2012-07-18 Wed Drive From Atlanta to Copperhill,TN

2012-07-09 Mon – 2012-07-18 Wed Drive from Atlanta, GA to Copperhill,TN (National Forest) with other <Yahoo groups> “Vandwellers”. (From Atlanta – about a 2 hour drive.)
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I had seen a newspaper advertisement for a Northern Tools cargo carrier in the Sunday newspaper. I don’t live near a store, but found one near the Big Chicken on Cobb Parkway and stopped there on the way. The cargo carrier was in a box and need assembly.
This was my third visit to Tumbling Creek Campground – and this trip was as wonderful as the others have been. Atlanta is hot, but the campground is a higher elevation and cooler – and the creek flowing through the campground cools it even more. The deep tree canopy enhances the coolness and the color. In short, everything was ‘Green and Georgous’. I loved every minute of being there. Cuzzin’ Dick was there when I arrived. David and Linda from Dalton were visiting and left in about an hour. It was really good to see everyone.
In a couple of days, previous camp inhabitants, Scott and Alice returned to visit. They had been gone for a week or better for their wedding anniversary, the fourth of July holiday, and on a trip to Sweetwater, TN. There were a couple of rain clouds that passed over the area on Tuesday and Dick listened to the weather radio and heard where high winds were possible. We missed the big storm and on previous afternoons, rain was light and threatened – but, we were comfortable and safe in the area.
Near the week-end, Wolf visited for a few days and Rita came for a couple of nights. She had driven the Cherohala Skyway drive from Tellico Plains, TN to north of Murphy, NC and said that it was beautiful. I looked on my travel map at the highways and decided to drive the skyway after leaving. Rita returned to Atlanta on Monday morning, Wolf left to drive to Florida about 3am on Wednesday morning (in order to avoid Atlanta rush-hour traffic) and I left about 10ish on Wednesday. I drove to Tellico Plains and found out that Rita was right – the Cherohola Skyway was beautiful.
What do we DO while in camp? Well, the first thing that I had on-my-list was to assemble the cargo carrier. Dick helped me put some really tight screws into the trailer hitch part. I had put the cross bars on with the bar facing upward and Dick told me that I needed the bar facing downward in order to hold any weight inside easier. I started to undo my error and had some difficulty with a few screws – Scott helped remedy my error. Also, Scott tested van batteries for us.
I read Alice’s book about the history of the area and a novel about Tybee Island. Alice was seen in the field ‘catching-some-rays’. Wolf enjoyed cooling in the creek. Cuz Dick has a computer internet connection and uses it several times a day to check messages. Scott and Dick enjoy cooking. Both Scott and Alice cooked wonderful breakfasts while there. Also, Wolf and Scott discussed cornish hens – Wolf had never eaten one – and bought some for everyone. Both Wolf and Scott cooked them on an open firepit baking tripod. Dick cooked us on of his very special shepherd’s pie. When he said “It’s ready” – the iron casserole was completely full. After we were all served and returned for an extra helping it was “all gone”. (And, it was very good.) I have to make sure that I don’t gain weight when camping because of all the good cooking and eating! Basically, being there was very stress-free and relaxing – it’s like being on vacation. (By the way, both Scott and Alice are excellent firewood scouts.)
Rita had stopped at a National Forest ranger station and obtained several interesting maps of campgrounds in the area. I ended up looking at the ranger maps and trying to find the campgrounds on my Rand McNally map. The forest campgrounds are remote and difficult to locate. I wasn’t successful. The best solution for finding campgrounds is knowing the internet websites for the goverment maintained public areas and finding the updated information there.
I decided to leave on Wednesday morning and, of course, rain clouds threatened to burst about the time I wanted to shove-off. Somehow, I managed to leave before the rain started. I drove from the campground to Tellico Plains and found the Cherohola Skyway highway.
Just after leaving Tellico Plains, I saw a concrete block restaurant selling hamburger/hotdogs. There were many cars with people eating at picnic tables outside and with a ‘beach’ where others in bathing suits were playing in the river water on some shallow rocks. It looked like a lot of fun – and I was glad that there was a group of them rather than someone out in the middle of the river alone without help in case of an accident. Had to get a couple of pictures of that…
On the Cherohola Skyway, there signs pointing to many hiking trails and I saw someone walking toward Tellico Plains. The area was desolate and he didn’t wave for me to stop so I drove by – I was driving toward Murphy. Afterwards, I realized that he was probably a hiker wanting a ride to Tellico Plains for supplies. My son had hiked the Appalachain Trail and he had to depend on the “kindness of others” for rides to town. I didn’t encounter many other motorists, so – I could only hope that the hiker was able to get a ride as the town was a long way to hike.
While I was driving, there were a few raindrops – I was over 5,000 feet high and felt like I was IN the cloud with the rain. I had the camera on the van console, so I took a picture through the windshield. The picture had to be taken inside the van because the camera isn’t waterproof. The windshield was a little dirty and there is some reflection, but – I HAD to post the ‘not-too-great’ picture on the website for all to see – because the feeling of being that high and in the clouds was wonderful.
I had a plastic water bottle on the console and I drank the water while driving. The cap was back on it tight when I arrived home. The water bottle had collapsed because of the change in air pressure. In the van, I keep several 2-liter bottles of water for my use while camping. While driving, I could hear a ‘pop’ every once in a while, where a 2-liter bottle was expanding or contracting with the air pressure.
I drove through Murphy, Blairsville, Blue Ridge and Jasper back to Atlanta. The weather was beautiful and I really enjoyed seeing the mountains in the distance. (At least it is not sitting in an office and looking at a computer screen – like this thing called ‘work’. <As long as I can keep the bills paid, of course.>)

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((My Dad has a nickname for me and it is “Puddin”. He started calling me that when I was very young. I named my van, “Vanna White”. When I decided to start a blog, I wanted a unique name for my travels and the names “Puddin” and “Vanna White” came to mind.))