Greetings from the land of Rocky Top! We’ve been enjoying our recent days in Lookout Mountain, Nashville and now Cosby (near Gatlinburg), Tennessee. This is a beautiful state, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed our adventure here. The KOA in Cosby has been our favorite campsite so far - nice people, level lot, clean facilities and fantastic scenery. We took a rainy morning hike Friday on a 2 mile trail right next to the campground.
A couple of nights ago, we stumbled upon a real gem of a restaurant in Newport, TN. If you can believe it, we ate Russian food at a place called Grill 73 (I already posted my review on Trip Advisor!). We had a very unique opportunity to meet the owners - Valentina and Alex Ryzkhov. Not only did we have an exceptional meal (simple, but very flavorful Russian food), but we also experienced warm hospitality as if we were dining in the Ryzkhov’s home. Val shared stories of their journey to America several years ago after she and Alex had spent over 30 years as specialty circus performers around the world. Tennessee is home for them now although they appreciated our RV adventure having lived in one themselves for a period during their circus days. I was so impressed with how these people are truly living their American Dream and are making a meaningful impact in their community as naturalized American citizens running an honorable business with lots of raving fans in the region.
We plan to be in the Gatlinburg area for another few days and then we will head towards Fort Mill, SC (suburban Charlotte, NC). After visiting in Charlotte, we plan to be in Hardeeville, South Carolina, also known as the “gateway to Hilton Head Island”.
We’ll be in Atlanta in late August / early September. We will drop off the RV in Knoxville for two weeks, so we can get some warranty and repair work done at our dealer. During part of this time, we will fly to Colorado (more on this detour in later posts) and enjoy some Rocky Mountain scenery and hospitality in this wonderful state. After we retrieve our RV in mid September, we will do our final checks in Atlanta before pushing off for a while. Itinerary is finalizing for the fall - more to come in our September posts.
These shakedown trips are essentially, trips fairly close to home where we can test out our systems, stock up on necessary supplies and home goods, experiment with cooking and sleeping routines, etc.They have been invaluable to us, and I’m grateful that our itinerary was reshaped to help us accommodate more practice runs. That said, even the practice runs have been enjoyable, and we’ve managed to see some of the beautiful Southeast US that we’ve not spent much time in as explorers and tourists.
“Home is where you park it” , “RV there yet?” and “Not all that Wander are Lost” are just a few of the quotes and bumper stickers we continue to see and now understand even better.
And then there’s old school wisdom - thank you, Mr. Clemens!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain”