Ashville, North Carolina

Monday, June 18th 2001

We left Cades Cove and headed for Knoxville to return the rental car. We had planned to stay at the Cades Cove campground one more night, but Bill's brother Gerry and his wife Rosie wanted to meet us in North Carolina. So we changed our plans. Bill feels he has been adequately challenged in driving this barn through narrow windy roads. He feels he has proven himself to himself and is comfortable with his manliness regarding the level of driving ability with this thing. Instead of driving through the Smokys, we chose to return the car in Knoxville and then drive on highways through Tennessee to Asheville, North Carolina. I was thinking that we had left most of the beautiful sights behind us. I was wrong. The drive through Tennessee was beautiful - even on the highway!
Gerry & Rosie  We connected with Gerry & Rosie by walkie talkie and met them in the Biltmore Estate parking lot. We didn't do the Biltmore tour - even though Gerry & Rosie speak VERY highly of it. 

We got our RV settled at a campground and let the kids swim in the pool while we took much needed showers! Then we all headed out in our "rental car" - Gerry & Rosie's full size van! That is also a great way to travel!

Mandy, Jeff & Joe at the pool
We intended to go to Chimney Rock, but while on our way, Bill read the documentation and realized it was closed. So we headed south on the Blue Ridge Parkway - more BEAUTIFUL sights! As we climbed higher and higher, the view just kept getting better and better! The kids have mentioned that they believe they have seen one too many waterfalls, streams, hills, and mountain top views. But it hasn't been too much for us!

We stopped at a placed marked 'Sliding Rock' on our way south on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We didn't know what it was when we stopped, but soon found out. There is a stream that goes down one very smooth and very large rock for about 60 feet. People slide down the rock into an 8 ft deep pool of water. There were just a few people doing it when we got there. Mandy really wanted to try, but we hadn't brought our bathing suits. That didn't stop her, though. She got right in there in her shorts and t-shirt and slid right into a pool of VERY COLD water! Bill borrowed Gerry's bathing suit and did it also. It was a lot of fun to sit on the bridge at the bottom and watch them!

The unfortunate thing is that I didn't bring my camera! So we don't have any pictures of Sliding Rock. We all wanted to go back again tomorrow, but we are planning to drive the opposite direction on the Parkway!

By the way, other than the one rain storm on the road and the thunderstorm at the campsite, we have had wonderful weather. The two days by Mammoth Cave were very warm and humid, but since then even though it has been warm, it hasn't been as humid. And while in the hills, it has been sometimes even cool. Our RV and Gerry & Rosie's van
June 17th
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June 19th