Day 102. Friday 9th August. Mt Pisgah Camp site. North Carolina to Thunder Rock Campground, Ocoee. Tennessee.

It was a most pleasant evening, high up in the mountains. Lovely cool air and the light duvet on for the first time. 

The morning dawned beautifully sunny and after breakfast and packing up, we were on the road by 10am.  With only about 60 miles to go to the end of the Parkway road system, we still had to reach the highest point. I said in my last posting that elevations ranged from about 2500ft to 3900ft. Well that was only for the parts we had driven. Today we reached the highest point of 6053ft. A quick photo opportunity and it was all down hill from there to the end of the system approx 11miles away. 

While the Parkway System was established during the Depression years of the ’30’s it is still evolving. Farms along it’s length are being bought up and allowed to return to the lands natural state. Here is an example. Farm houses being reclaimed by nature. 

Old farm house being swallowed by vegetation.

Stopping at the Visitors Centre at the end of the Parkway for an hour, allowed us to update the blog and get some information for the road west. 

On heading back to the car park two young people were showing a great deal of interest in the map on the land Rover. They were Jeroen & Judith, from Holland. They’re taking advantage of the mid term holidays to see as much of the country as they can. Jeroen is a secondary school History teacher and Judith, a legal advisor for a city council. They were driving a very smart looking Jeep from New Jersey and were heading for Asheville. The Dutch are a very adventurist people. Like Kiwi’s, you find them everywhere!!..:)

Jeroen & Judith from Holland.

Boy, it’s hot down at the lower levels. It must be 38deg. 

Our direction is towards Chattanooga. Walmart Chattanooga, to be precise. The shopping list includes a camera card reader, a couple of ScanDisk cards. Ones that both camera’s will read, and a Casio battery charger. Or one that will provide the right charge rate for my camera.  It’s still over 100 miles and we are not going to make it today. 

From the visitors centre we took Highway 19 through some of the best country we have enjoyed so far in the US. The Nantahala State Reserve with a white water rafting river beside us tumbling over a rock strewn base and dense forest on both sides of the narrow valley. It’s cool and has the occasional most interesting towns along the way. Andrews and Murphy, to name a couple. 

The State park we are camped in this evening, is part of the Cherokee Nation reservation. 

It’s only Friday and already most of the camp sites are reserved for the weekend. I’m hoping that the further west we go, pressure will come off finding a camp site, particularly during weekends. 

Each camp site is surrounded by tall red Oak and other trees that provide some privacy from neighbours. 

It’s time for a cool beer..:)

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