August 19-25, 2019. We stayed at Whispering River Resort in Wallend, TN at sites E-10-12, all Pullin, 50 amp sites. Only $267.29 for the week. We chose this place because of the ability to get 3 sites for a good price and it’s proximity to Josh’s (30 min), the National Park (5 min) and Dollywood (30 min).
State #50. 5…0..!
The last state on our two year adventure. Tennessee. WOW! Just WOW! We made it!! Quite an accomplishment. It’s bitter sweet that it is coming to an end.
Chris played “Tennessee” by Arrested Development as we crossed the border. He queued it up at the right spot so as we passed the sign it said Tennessee. We all sang and danced. He has deejayed every Saturday for two years and found the perfect border crossing songs.
When we arrived we placed our last sticker on our US sticker map that we have on the slide out of the RV. We also added filled in the missing state of Tennessee to simple our 50 states sticker on the Jeep. I got to put on the last sticker because Tennessee states with a ‘T’ for Tina. That’s how we divided up the state stickers over the years. We would have the same ritual. We’d place the sticker, all together as a family, the day we arrived or the next day if it was too dark and take a picture.
Chris still worked this week but the girls and I took off from school work. My brother and step brother met at Whispering River Resort for a week of family fun. My step brother and family (Lankfords) drove their camper down from Pennsylvania and my brother and family live in TN so they only had to bring their camper 30 minutes down the road. We all three camped next to one another. My sister came over from North Carolina for a couple days. My brother joined us at our very first camping spot in St. Augustine, FL two years ago, so it was only fitting that he help finish up our adventure at our last camping spot.
Our awesome corner sites with a giant field in front of us.
This campground was perfect! We filled the week with so much fun! Water balloons, riding bikes, river boogie boarding, kayaking, fishing, swimming, and games.
Great Smokey Mountains National Park
This is our 30th National Park we have visited! Josh took us on the Bud Ogle trail after we stopped by the visitors center where we watched the film, bought our souvenirs and picked up our junior ranger books. We will mail them in because it was closed when we were done and we aren’t planning to drive back out there. I was surprised that there is no entrance fee or gates for this park.
The Bug Ogle trail is an easy 1 miles loop trail that has The Ogle’s 1880’s cabin that you can explore the inside of, a nice creek where you can see the old corn mill and then the Ogle ‘drive thru’ barn.
We also visited the Little Greenbrier one room schoolhouse and church that was built in 1882 and used until 1936. It is located in the ghost town of Little Greenbrier in Sevier County. You can get to the school by walking the Metcalf Bottoms Trail from the picnic area at Metcalf Bottoms (about a mile) or you can turn and drive the narrow road to the school but you have to be prepared to back down the road IF we came across another vehicle going out. Half of our crew took the trail and the other half drove there.
We love Dollywood, so no trip to Tennessee would be complete without visiting. The kids had a blast hanging with their cousins all day. It rained so they had to shut down the rides for about an hour. Abby, Audrey and I got stuck on the pirate boat ride in the rain, they let us ride it and then shut it down when we got off. We were soaked but it didn’t stop us from having fun.
Back at the campground I let everyone practice their diving skills in the Jeep.
One day, before the Lankfords arrived, the kids built cardboard boats to race down the river. I joined in on the fun. Mackenzie’s won.
The river runs right along the RV park.
Josh drove us out to a local swimming hole that they love right along the highway. We all had fun swinging from the rope swing. We were the only ones there for a while then it got a little more crowded so we moved down the river to a rock and jumped off of it. Josh and Zachary did some diving for treasures and Mackenzie caught a fish.
Rope swing jumping
Watching a movie and playing Quelf in our RV.
Family style dinners outside. Hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and nachos.
Campfire stories and treats
One night we all sat around and told stories, some funny and some scary. I’ve had this same bottle of Margaritas on the RV since the beginning. We’ve used it to hold up the cooler lid for two years, I finished it off to celebrate the last state.
The cousins formed a club together a year ago. They have a newsletter and everything! These homeschooled cousins have bonded even more over the last two years.
Josh got behind the wheel on our last day. Goodbyes are hard but we will be close now so we can see them more. This is the last night in the RV. We slid in the slides (I took a picture of it with the slides in because I don’t think I ever have) and off we go. We will be driving up to our new home to move in today! It will take us 4 hours to get home. Tomorrow is Abby’s birthday, so she will get to wake up in her home town.