Thursday, October 6, 2011


Wednesday, October 5 - We vowed to take it easy this week at Raccoon Valley and not do any excessive sightseeing. We've succeeded fairly well with this goal. We've enjoyed relaxing around the campground, sharing time with fellow Escapees, meeting new friends, working on our hobbies, and “veggie out” in the wonderful fall weather.

One thing we have discovered is Knoxville is a pretty cool city, and there is quite a bit to see in this area. We look forward to returning when we are in a more “touristy” frame of mind. We've already added several sights to our “to see next time” list. Things like Cumberland Gap, Alex Haley Statue, WDVX Blue Plate Special live radio show on the square, Bush's Best Beans, University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge Nuclear Museum, and the Museum of Appalachia.

We went up to Norris Dam State Park today to enjoy the area and the fall colors. The trees are just beginning to change......getting beautiful. Norris Dam, what a wonder area. We're disappointed we didn't find this area earlier. This 4,038-acre park, located on the Norris Reservoir, began in 1933 as the first Tennessee Valley Authority project. They have tons of hiking and walking trails, a Grist Mill, picnic areas, and a campground. We would be a little tight getting into most of the campsites, but smaller units would have no problems. We saw deer grazing in the woods next to the campground.

Views of Clinch River.


Miles of trails.


18th Century Rice Grist Mill.

The Trigonia Elm was declared to be the largest American Elm I the U.S. on page 39 of The New Yorker magazine for July 15, 1961. It was way taller than either of us.


Can you see the little one reaching up for leaves while mother looks on?

Don't miss this great area! You can hike a different trail everyday for a week.

We spoke to a gentleman that was volunteering at the Dam Visitors Center. He worked on the crews that built most of the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) Powerhouses in the area. What a great guy and a wonderful source of knowledge.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is the nation's largest public power provider. The TVA completed Norris, its first dam, in 1936. By the end of World War II, the agency had build 16 more.The Norris Dam is 1860 ft. long and 265 ft. high. 



Clinch River that supplies the water.

Norris Lake on the other side of the Dam.

Here comes Paul over the Dam.

We did have a scary experience on the way home. Driving down one of the back mountain roads, we came upon a boy and dog running in the middle of the street. The boy, about eight years old, was completely naked and appeared to be chasing the dog in and out of traffic. It was really scary. We thought for sure they were going to be hit. Amazing, people weren't stopping! After stopping and trying to talk to the boy, we discovered he was autistic and couldn't really communicate with us. After several other motorists stopped, we were able to get him to put on a ladies sweatshirt and got him in the back seat of our car. We called the police and waited about fifteen minutes for them to arrive. They luckily knew the boy and have had similar problems in the past. Evidently his parents are not very caring, and it's a bad situation. Child Protection Agencies are involved so hopefully he will receive some help. What a sad situation. We were both very shaken up over this.

A quick comment about our last blog's title…BELLA IS IN HEAVEN IN THE WOODS! We knew perfectly well what we meant by the title BUT can now see we should have reworded it to BELLA IS IN HEAVEN WHEN IN THE WOODS. We are sorry we caused undue worry to several of our readers. We appreciate the concern for Bella. She is alive and doing super. Also, she enjoyed another day in heaven WHILE taking another walk in the woods today.

NEW…Thanks to Bob's comment and help from Rick of Rick and Paulette's RV Journal, you can now click on any graphic, and it will enlarge for better viewing. At least it is suppose to work that way!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see ya'll back real soon. Have a great day!


  1. Nice change to the pictures. Thanks.
    That wording had me going for a couple seconds too, but it was easy enough to see the ambiguity.

    Nice to see your kitty is still alive and well...

  2. Looks like you are having a fairly relaxing time this week. Our oldest grandson is attending UT Knoxville now (Roger also went there). TN is very pretty in the fall. You will enjoy those museums on your next trip.

  3. We loved the Museum of Appalachia and the museum in Oak Ridge, 2 must see in the area. We also loved Cumberland Gap area. Great hiking trails and they have a cave tour that was one of the best we have been on. Have a great time in TN

  4. We knew what you meant about Bella. Looks like another trail Suzy could negotiate! We're trying to find those trails, but at the same time we are trying to find a different path that will get Suzy off that darned scooter!

  5. Our daughter teaches autistic children. She would relate.

    AND do you know what - We have Bush Beans in Canada now. Yeah, my favs.

  6. Thank you Paul and Marsha for being the LOVING and CARING people you are and for stopping for the young man and taking control of a horrific situation ~ how anyone could NOT stop is beyond me, but I am often amazed at how society is so afraid to "get involved" because of possible liability ~ thank you for NOT being those people.

  7. Another great post. We camped in that area in a tent in 2006. We were there for our son's baseball tournament so we didn't have a lot of time to doing any real sightseeing. We did go to the caves in the area though. When we stayed there we stayed at the Douglas Dam Tailwater Campground which is a COE campground. It was pretty basic but we had a great time. After looking at your posts of the area, we will definitely have to head back there some time and spend more time exploring the area.

    Kevin and Ruth

  8. So grateful you were there to help that little boy.

    Love being able to enlarge the pictures. Great blog. We've only been to Knoxville once, but you've given us several reasons to return to explore. Thanks!


  9. Oh my! I see on their website that Sugarland is in Knoxville tonight. They are like my absolute favourites.

  10. LOVE those fall colors. And good for you for stopping to help that boy.

  11. Good job on getting those pictures to enlarge so we can all get a better look at the beautiful area you're in.

    Love the photo of the old Rice Grist Mill.

    Good for you in stopping to help that autistic child.

  12. What an experience with that little boy and his dog. So glad that you stopped and helped him. I hope that something happens that he can have a safer life. Take care.

  13. We were down river from this location yesterday. While out on a motorcycle trip, we discovered the Hiwassee Dam, also part of the TVA. Our view looked similar to your pictures.

    Glad two educators came upon the autistic boy. Nice work:)


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