We saw bears! I'm doing the happy bear dance :-). I'm so thrilled. less than three weeks on the road, and I saw bears!
First things first though. Wednesday was the formal start of our classes. Between the two of us we attended each one Wednesday: 1. No Right Way to Full-Time: Evaluating the Options 2. Emotional Aspects of the Full-timing Decision 3. What Does It Cost to Full-time? 4. Internet on the Road. Each was was very informative, and whereas most of the information can be found by digging through the RV-Dreams website, I found the question and answer session after each lecture to be very interesting, often bringing up different topics and ways of looking at things. There's an afternoon break between 3pm and 6pm, and then the chili cook-off/dinner started. I believe there were about 40 different pots of chili brought in, along with all the fixin's and desserts (my favorite part of the meal!). After dinner, everyone was invited to bring their favorite useful and/or amusing rv gadget for show and tell. That was very interesting and informative as well as being quite funny at times.
Today we continued getting the pups used to being in the trailer on their own, and it seems to be working out quite well, better than I expected, actually. We pull the shades, leave the fan on, the tv on, give them their cookies, and tell them to stay, we'll be back soon. So far, so good. Casey seems to like staying on the bed while we're gone, and Chelsea just sleeps on the couch! No barking at all that we've been able to tell, and our neighbors tell us they haven't heard anything, so GOOD DOGS!!
On an amusing side, Nancy next door told us to check our pin box, she's seen a bird flying in and out of it. Sure enough, as I was sitting at the picnic table, I saw a little house finch fly over with a twig and duck into the pin box. The little guys are building a nest in there! I shooed him away, and after making sure it wasn't occupied, we put a plastic garbage bag around it to keep them from going in anymore. We sure don't want to get stuck here because we're waiting for a family of finches to be born! Shortly afterwards I saw both of them come flying in, and boy, were they not happy campers when they couldn't get in. Poor things, they were flapping their little wings hovering in front of it, trying to figure out what happened. Oh well, there's plenty of spots better for them to raise their family!
Thursday morning we attended more classes: 1.Buying an RV-pros Cons and Must-Haves 2. Selecting a "Home Base" and Insurance Considerations 3. Working on the Road. The last class for the day was TV Options for RVers, but being that we are set with our satellite and DirectTV, we decided to skip that one and head out to Cades Cove. We were going to do that on Friday, but it's not supposed to be a nice day on Friday, and Thursday afternoon was beautiful! So we got some lunch, and headed off to the Smoky Mountains and the driving tour at Cades Cove.
This is a very popular trip within the National Park, and is a showcase for some of the most inspiring and cultural treasures that the Southern Appalachian Mountains have to offer. Now, for those of you at home, a "cove" in Smoky Mountain vernacular is not the same thing that we consider a cove, which of course is a body of water. Here, a cove is a relatively flat valley between mountains or ridges. The primary access to Cades Cove is an 11-mile, one-way road Cades Cove Loop Road, shared equally between motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
We continued on with our drive, and took some more pictures of the preserved buildings along the way.
So that was our quick tour of Cades Cove, and I hope you found it interesting :-). We had to quickly make our way back to River Plantation, as we had our pot-luck dinner at 6PM, and afterwards a "friendly" game of RV Family Feud. Now, that was different. My team was eliminated in the second round, but Al, as team captain, (guess you just can't take the leader out of him lol) took his team down to the final round, and lost on the final question.oh well! :-).
Today, Friday, is a "free day"...no classes or official events scheduled. Al went for more fly-fishing instruction, and I'm doing laundry, as its piling up and I don't think we have laundry facilities at our next stop in Kentucky. We are waiting for some bad weather, and high winds to move through tonight, so the awning is rolled up and the chairs will be stowed. So, until the next post, enjoy your day, wherever you are!