It's been a very busy day today. I planned a route where we could see 2 national military parks and a monument and still get to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in 4.5 hours...of course, we had to stop for a couple of meetings Scott had at a rest stop with his boss and I don't drive the RV as fast on windy roads, but before 5 pm we'd done it all.
Kings Mountain is a unique battle for several reason. It was one of the few major battles of the war fought entirely between Americans: no British troops served here. In the South, many people were divided. When the war started, some fought for independence, others for loyalty to England. Kings Mountain is also unique in the large numbers of riflemen fought here. Rifles were not used much by the armies. A rifle was a hunting weapon, used by families on the frontier. The American militia that fought here mainly used rifles; the Loyalist troops had mostly muskets. The difference between a rifle and a musket is speed versus accuracy. A rifle is slow to load, but very accurate. Riflemen can hit a target at 200-300 yards. Yet the rifle can only be fired one a minute. A musket, with a smooth bore, is easy to load but inaccurate. Muskets have an accurate range of about 100 yards, but can be fired up to three times a minute.
You can see artifacts here from their little museum at the visitor's center.
The visitor's center was lovely with very friendly and helpful rangers.
|King's Mountain Visitor's Center|
|Inside the center|
|March to the Battle of Kings Mountain 1780|
Next, we traveled 25 minutes to Cowpens National Battlefield Park in Gaffney, South Carolina but in order to do this we had to drive back to North Carolina and back down to South Carolina.
Cowpens is another unique battlefield from the Revolutionary War. It was just a 2-hour battle that occurred on January 17, 1781 with Daniel Morgan leading his army of tough Continentals and backwoods militia from South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia and sharpshooters from Georgia to a strategic victory over Banastre Tarleton's British regulars. I watched the 12 minute video on the subject and was surprised by the thoughtful planning of the battle on both sides. It was the turning point of the war in the South; part of a chain of events that helped end the war in Yorktown.
|Cowpens Visitor's Center|
The scenery at Cowpens also looked much like that of Guilford Courthouse yesterday and Kings Mountain earlier. The sites were quite close together. I also noted yesterday that the leaves are already starting to change here in the south. I've seen groupings of crimson maples, rush bushes and gold and orange leafed trees spotting the landscape as I've drove but couldn't stop to take photos due to lack of a place to do so.
The nice thing about Cowpens is that there is plenty of parking and the battlefield is only a 1-mile walk. Big rigs and RV can easily park at their parking lot but the roads are narrow and tree-lined.
Following Cowpens, we traveled back into North Carolina for our final destination, poet Carl Sanburg's home located at the Carl Sandburg National Monument in Flat Rock, North Carolina.
|Carl Sandburg 1878-1967|
The Carl Sandburg landscape was breathtakingly serene. Just quaint and charming; a perfect setting for a poet. To access his home, you walk along a path about half a mile uphill but you pass a beautiful lake, lush fields and a gorgeous rock wall up to his home that is lined with trees. The white house stands out above the hill when see first come to the lake. It's bright white. The visitor's center is housed in their 2-car garage. There are tickets to tour the home but today they were free because the furnishings had been removed from the house. Normally, I believe they are $5 per person. I wasn't able to see the interior of the house because I would have to wait an hour and Scott and the girls were in the truck, so I toured the grounds, took photos and walked back to the RV.
|Lovely walking trails|
|The home across the pond.|
|Pasture on the path to the house.|
|A closer view of the home.|
|Stone pathways are beautiful.|
|Through the white fence and the house is in view.|
|Carl and Lilian Sandburg Home|
|The Visitors Center in the garage.|
|In the Visitor's Center Garage|
|A Biography on Carl Sandburg.|
|Side view of the house from the garage.|
|Hydrangeas in the garden.|
|Many lovely flowers|
|A small pond overlooking this valley.|
|The bridge leading from the property to the parking lot - Gorge on left and pond on right.|
|A VERY LARGE snake sunning himself down in the gorge!|
We stopped at this cute rest stop while Scott had a meeting with his boss. I took the girls for a long walk but I noticed a bug on my shoe that wouldn't get off no matter how hard I tried and realized it was a tick. OH NO! I checked the girls over and put them back in the car. I'm not a fan of those dreaded creatures.
|Haywood County, Tennessee Rest Area|
|Picnic Tables and lots of grassy areas|
|Flowers including these black-eyed Susan's.|
|Traffic, traffic, everywhere.|
Next, I drove us on to Pigeon Forge, North Carolina. It was fairly close, but took a bit of time due to narrow roads and traffic. We haven't been to Gatlinburg for nearly 30 years, and I was shocked to see how HUGE Pigeon Forge had become. Back then, it was a sleepy town with Dollywood at it's core.
We arrived at Eagle's Nest Campground, our RV destination for the next 4-5 nights at about 4:30 p.m. We got all squared away and moved to our site, 46A, and started getting set up to realize that the people in unit 46, had our utility connections. We had already unhitched and lowered the stabilizers at this point. I pointed it out when we first arrived but Scott thought they must be somewhere else. He finally went to the office and the office noticed that the people in 46 had pulled into their spot the wrong direction and had our hook-ups. They had to pack up and turn their Class A around and were NOT happy about it. Not a great way to start off our visit here. *SIGH*. Finally, everyone got squared away and we were all set up. I like our spot because we are on the end and Coco and Chanel have a large area to play in. The restrooms, showers, laundry and pool are right across the street. Perfect! I'll post more on our campground tomorrow...
I was really tired by now but Scott wanted a good dinner and so we hopped back in the truck and found our way to "The Island in Pigeon Forge." It's a fun little place with restaurants, rides and shops...almost like a mini amusement park. We found a parking place and took the tram ride to the center of the action and decided to eat at Paula Deen's restaurant. The food was great but I was disappointed you couldn't have your left-overs home with you, especially since we don't eat a lot and didn't have seconds. The girls would have loved the left over pot roast. Oh well.
|The free shuttle service.|
|The Great Smoky Mountains in the distance.|
|Paula Deen's Family Kitchen and shop|
|Me and my girl, Paula.|
|Scott is checking out all the wares.|
|I chuckled over this piggy bank! I should go back and buy it!|
|Our corner window view at the upstairs restaurant.|
|Out my window...|
|Family Style dinner of fried chicken, zucchini casserole, black-eyed peas, ribs,|
pot roast with rice, baked beans and mashed potatoes...and bread!
Enough for me for a week! I felt sick after I was done!
|Oh! And, fried green tomatoes...had to try it...I never have before.|
|Our meal. WAY too much food, but it was good. I'll hate to read the scale tomorrow!|
|While we were eating this weird truck drove by!|
|Strangest thing I ever did see...|
|Another view of "The Island".|
|Water shows every half hour.|
|Scott loved these signs in the jerky shop!|
|Map of The Island|