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Driving and waterfalls in the mountains

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If you've followed my articles for very long, you know that I like mountains and waterfalls. And best of all, I like hiking to waterfalls.

The picture above is Crabtree Falls in NC. There is also a Crabtree Falls in VA. There is boondock camping next to where the hiking trail starts and you can get Class-A motorhomes there if you take the Blueridge Parkway.

It's a one-mile hike to get to the falls and a two-mile hike to get back. My thoughts were, "How can that be?" The one-mile trail to get to the falls goes down a very steep path and is almost too steep to hike back up. It's easier to take the two-mile loop back to the starting point than to try to hike back up the steep trail. That's what I did.

The website says that it's a strenuous hike, but I guess that depends on how fast you want to hike. The last time I hiked to the falls I had four cousins with me. They were, 4, 6, 8, and 10 years old. I did have to carry the four-year-old part of the time, but she made it.

Here's a link to a website that tells a lot more about the falls:

The picture at the top of the page is from the website below:

When I was there recently and I shot some pictures, but the leaves had not started to turn when I was there. This picture fits the season better.

Enjoying mountains and waterfalls means that I have to drive on a lot of crooked mountain roads

I have spent this week outside of Nashville, TN and to get from the NC mountains to the Nashville area means that I had to drive over the Smoky Mountains. It seems like I'm driving over the mountains since I'm going from one side of the mountains to the other side, but actually, Asheville is about 2,000 feet higher in elevation than Nashville, and the French Broad River flows from Asheville to Knoxville. In other words, you can wind your way from one side of the mountains to the other side without going over the mountains.

The campground where I have stayed for a lot of the summer is about three miles down a narrow, crooked, dead-end road. I drive it at least every other week with my motorhome just because I think it's better for the motorhome to be driven every couple of weeks even if I come back to the same camping spot.

I've done this so much that I don't even think about it. My son came to visit recently and he said, how did you get your motorhome back here? I don't see how you can drive it on that narrow, crooked road.

I think it's all mental. The road is the same width as other roads. There is no shoulder and that makes it seem extra narrow, but if you keep it between the lines, there's no problem. Well actually, there is. You have to watch for overhanging tree limbs. There are a couple of places where I have to go over on the wrong side of the road to dodge low-hanging tree limbs.

There's one place where there is a six-mile 6% grade not far from the campsite, and it's crooked too. Going up it, I just shift down and go slow. There's no need to rev the engine up and stress it. I'm not in that big of a hurry. Going down I shift into 2nd gear and I can go all the way down without touching the brakes.

After a summer of driving in the mountains, it's going to be a big change in a couple of weeks when I get to Florida and roads are flat and straight. There is one place near where I camp in Florida where the road has a little hump in it that goes up 15 feet. And since you can't see over the hump, there is a yellow caution sign warning you to go slow.

Bottom line: I rambled a lot, but don't let driving on narrow, crooked mountain roads keep you from experiencing some of the most wonderful parts of RVing. Do just a little bit of mountain driving and it will soon seem natural.

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