Hey look! It’s a treehouse!
Well this was an experience. I had this great idea that we could cut travel time for our next leg by staying some place in between Meriwether Lewis and our next destination, rather than stay an extra night. I found a state park that seemed to be located about half way, plus it said it had hookups and laundry facilities, and there were shopping opportunities along the way. Perfect plan!
“Hey Siri, does Tennessee get earthquakes?”
So, you know how Ricky Ricardo says, “Luuuucccyyy!” when Lucy has created some kind of crazy, cockamamie situation? This is what the scene felt like when we pulled into the campground.
Lush and lovely back roads. Got stopped by an oversized transformer attempting to take highway 70.
First off, the road getting to the park from the south was quite a bit longer and more twisty than I imagined. It seemed from the online reservation system that there would be no trouble getting a site, but we called for good measure. They asked us about the length of our trailer, which is not an abnormal question, and were assigned number 26. This park is located on a reservoir and we did a good deal of climbing up steep roads before getting there. Just before pulling up to the campground, Richard read the description of the park out loud. It said something about the sites being on raised wooden platforms, with some sites proving to be challenging due to steep inclined or declined ramps. We were like, “Wait, what?”
It’ll be fine.
And sure enough, ALL of the sites are located on raised wooden platforms. And I don’t just mean like little decks. There were concrete pillars of ten to twenty, maybe thirty, feet holding up structures made of exposed wood. Like treehouse porches. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but Richard is not a fan of being on raised platforms. Like, he does not like bridges at all. Nor does he like it when trails have parts suspended above the ground, as in, raised wooden platforms. And here we were, in the late afternoon, with rain threatening, and about twenty miles in, on narrow windy roads, from the last place we saw where there may have been an alternative. “Luuuucccyyy!”
Glad we weren’t trying to get into this site.
He was a total trooper and did not actually give me a hard time at all. We reminded each other that Tennessee does not have earthquakes, and surely these structures are super duper solid. We told ourselves they were neither too old to be falling apart, nor too new to be untested. Backing was tricky though, and the bottom of the hitch scraped a little as we got Dory onto her little (super sturdy) deck. There was no way we were going to get the wheels under the jack to unhitch, so we just lowered the jack stand directly to the ground. It felt super weird, but she was set up.
All alone on our row. Actually a nice experience, if you are cool with the whole deal.
We went through a full unhitching before we realized the electric cable was not going to reach. Then we had to really consider how much we cared. The dual lithium batteries were doing well, despite the overcast and rainy weather. Still, we knew we would be without hookups for a while and it would have been nice to top up. I think the more persuasive element was the heat and humidity. Running the AC is awfully nice when you’re sweating like a pig. So, we undid everything, put the roof down to be super safe, hitched back up, and pulled her forward enough that the electric cable would reach. Then, all over again, we leveled, chocked, unhitched, raised the roof, and stabilized. Time to plug in and have dinner.
People have asked me how we deal with laundry for two months. Ta da! Either that, or stay with nice friends (looking at you, Jack and Lee…)
After dinner, we tackled laundry. Because we were kind of disoriented about how far the laundry building was, we opted to drive there. At least then we got to see the rest of the campground and spied little glimpses of Center Hill Lake through the trees. We got some computing done while the clothes and towels got a good cleansing. As a bonus, there was good cell service up at the laundry house. It was raining hard by the time we were done, so we just retreated inside and hunkered down for the night.
Just more shots…
t was less of a close call in terms of the hitch scraping when we pulled out. All of the sites show evidence of people scraping up the wood, right at the highest, or lowest, parts of the angled approach. A couple of sites are level all the way, and I’m sure they reserve those for big rigs. A couple of them were really extreme, and I don’t know if you could get a trailer onto those. So you gotta be careful about the site you get in this place.
There was a lake out there, but we were just passing through.
We took the northern route out of the park and hit Highway 40 in just a few miles. So that would have been a far easier way to go, avoiding much of the narrow, twisty climbing we did coming from highway 70 to 96. There are tons of campgrounds all around this lake, and there is a marina, with boat rentals, and all sorts of fun. I could see this being a really fun way to spend a couple days enjoying water recreation, while feeling kind of like you’re in a treehouse. The facilities were plenty nice, and this was the first place we’ve seen in a long time that had recycling. There really are no objections to the park, we just think maybe we would never ever do this again. Super interesting as experiences go, but I think Richard was very relieved to get off that platform in the sky.
Total miles from Meriwether Lewis: 132.5, 17.5 mpg, 7 hours 7 min. Site 26. Electric and water hookups on platform. Super weird campground where all sites are on raised wooden decks. Approach is tricky. Hookups are on wrong side. Lots of evidence of rigs scraping on approach. Very steep roads. Fine dump but no potable water. Laundry, wifi, LTE in certain spots, like near laundry. Tiny campground store, but very limited hours.