Tuesday, September 29, 2009
We arrived in Nashville, the city we consider “home”, about noon Monday. We are parked, at least for this week, at a small campground just off I-24 in the community of Joelton located at the northeastern edge of Metro Nashville. This campground is certainly nothing special in appearance, however, it has two major drawing points for us. First and foremost, it is very convenient to Ansley and Jack. Normally, we try to leave them in peace to go about their own lives when we are in town. This year, however, we anticipate lending a helping hand for household chores and cooking after the baby is born. The second drawing point for this campground is the fantastic monthly rate of just $400. That is unheard of in this area. With our plans for Florida this winter and spending some time in the D.C. area next summer where campground rates are higher, saving a little now will come in handy in the future.
With that being said, we still only rented for a week. We just couldn’t make the full commitment without testing ourselves first. Our other options were the three campgrounds on Music Valley Drive near Opry Mills Mall. In the past, we have stayed at both Two Rivers and Yogi. Of these two, we like Two Rivers better because that campground gets a lot of snowbirds traveling to Texas and Arizona. We really enjoy meeting these folks. However, Two Rivers does not offer a monthly rate which makes the overall cost pretty expensive. Yogi has a monthly rate, but electricity is extra making that campground almost double the cost of this one.
We have done a little tally of what we accomplished on our West by Southwest journey this year. We have put a total of almost exactly 20,000 miles on the truck; 8,500 of that were towing miles. We drove through a total of 20 states with lengthy stays in 7 of those states. We added to our “See all of America the Beautiful” map Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, South Dakota, and Iowa. Among our goals when traveling is to visit National Park units, state capitol buildings, and state high points. On this trip we visited the capitol cities of Montgomery, Alabama, Austin, Texas, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Carson City, Nevada, Sacramento, California, Salem, Oregon, and Des Moines, Iowa. In the National Park category we saw Tuskegee, Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Lassen Volcano, Bandelier, Carlsbad Caverns, Fort Clatsop, Crater Lake, Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Wind and Jewel Caves, LB Johnson Ranch, San Antonio Missions, Guadalupe Mountains, Big Thicket, Padre Island, Rio Grande, Big Bend, Olympic, Fort Vancouver, Mt Rainier, and Devils Tower. Of that group, I think we both enjoyed Mt. Rainier and San Antonio Missions above all others with a close second being Olympic National Park. Although Lake Tahoe doesn’t fall in the “National Park” group, we certainly enjoyed it immensely and already have plans to return. I got to add Florida, Oregon, Washington, Texas, and South Dakota to my high points list. Not a bad year. Of course, we also got to purchase one new 5th wheel which was nowhere to be found on our list of things to do.
This morning, Gene is off to have the truck serviced and this afternoon we have a little shopping to do as we get settled into to our Nashville routine.