Time for some Tennessee ‘splorin’…

We made it to Branson! Jenn and Max made it! Let the fun begin! We started off with the Rainbow/SKP park, Turkey Creek RV Village in Hollister. It is a small park right on Turkey Creek near where it connects to Taneycomo Lake. The Landing, a popular outdoor mall, is nearby and all is just outside the mess of downtown Branson. We picked Jenn and Max up from the Branson airport and got them situated in the trailer (“Pack ‘em in!”). During the week while we waited for the plane, Oklahoma City area got nailed by the tornado and Jeanne heard a tornado had touched down at the Lake Thunderbird State Park, which we had left about a week ago. Topping that off, the tornado warnings and alerts got intense in the Hollister/Branson area while we were there. Luckily, all we got was some thunder and lightning shows and a little bit of rain.  We got some visiting in with family (the Bevins clan and the Pace clan), then we relocated to the Compton Ridge Campground where the Bevins’ had a permanent campsite and we spent the Memorial Day weekend there with them.  We’ve still been fighting the ticks, and the women got a thrill (read “scare”) when word came out a camper got bit by a copperhead snake while we were there. Max had fun with his cousins and swimming in the pool. And what visit to Branson would be complete without a visit to Lambert’s, “Home of the Throwed Rolls”. 

Compton Ridge Campground in Branson.

“Now, THIS is a vacation!”

Hay rides at Compton Ridge. “Yee Hawwww!”

From Branson it was off to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch at Hurricane Mills, TN, a campground with concert facility, rodeo facilities, and a motocross type track area for M/C’s and ATV’s. We did not get a chance encounter with Loretta Lynn, but had a fun time touring the ranch/facilities in a rented golf cart. I think it was the highlight of Jenn’s visit, driving the cart… We got to take Max swimming in Hurricane Creek and the pool on the ranch, he had a fun time. They put on a “campfire songfest” with some pretty good musicians playing guitar. No snakes encountered here, but Max did get a close look at a fair sized turtle.

Chillin’ in Hurricane Creek…

Max, hangin’ with Oma and Opa in Hurricane Mills.

Just cruisin’ in my cool ride. “Look, Ma, no hands!

The Jellystone Campground in Cosby, TN was our next destination. This was a great family park, they do a lot of activities for the kids, and the owner is a big kid himself. While we were there a church kids choir from Georgia came and gave a concert on the grounds. We were also in the area of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, so we tried to do a day at Dollywood.  The weather was not real cooperative during our whole stay here, we got some serious rain/thunder/lightning.  The day we tried to go to Dollywood, the rain came down so hard you could not see while driving. There was just enough let-up in the rain so Max could enjoy a couple of “Hey Rides” with Yogi Bear through the park grounds. We did manage to drive into the Smoky Mountain National Park, but it was in that driving rain and we made it to the top of Clingman’s Dome, but the fog/mist was so thick we could not see past the parking area. We did get some spectacular views from other vantage points.

Ma and me and Yogi…

Hey Rides at Jellystone.

Oma and Opa in the Smoky Mountains. “How come they call them the Smoky Mountains?”

Next stop we drove to the Rainbow/SKP park, Raccoon Valley C.G. in Heiskell just outside of Knoxville. From there we managed to make it to Dollywood during clear weather and we had a good time until about 3:00 in the afternoon when the skies opened up again on us. We terminated our stay there at that time, since Dollywood closes all outdoor rides when lightning activity gets within 6 miles or so of the park, and it did. We made a trip to downtown Knoxville to the area of Market Square and the World Fair Park. We did some shopping in town and found a great dog park to take the doggies to, part of the Pet Safe business complex there in town. 

“This is how I fly at Dollywood!”

Let the fun begin…

“Lightning storm! Run for your life!” 

Me and Opa in the fountains at the World Fair park in Knoxville.

Our next stop is the Jellystone Campground in Nashville, just up the street from the Grand Ol’ Opry. Stay tuned…

About rvrrat520

Recreational wanderers just livin' the dream while we can still get vertical.
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