Day 255 – 5/13/21 Moving Day: Perry to Chattanooga TN, plus Rock City Garden.

Today was moving day, again, and we traveled from Perry, Georgia to Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

It was a cold morning, at 48F.  I was not ready for that cold early in the morning, and inside the trailer out of the blankets it was quite cold.  I had an ok night of sleep, my back was hurting quite a bit, likely from all the sitting in the truck as we drove here and then just sitting around after we arrived.  All that spicy food I ate for dinner was not helping either hahahah.. I was able to get my writing done in the morning, and get some emails done, and I was all set by 8am.  I wanted to leave by 9 so we could get to our next spot early and check out the area, and also to have the girls just start class from the truck and not get interrupted as we started the drive for the day.  As I was done, everyone was up and awake, so we had the girls have breakfast and change while they played on their phones a bit before school.  There was not a ton of stuff to do, nothing was brought out, and the hitch was still connected to the truck, so all I had to do outside was disconnect hoses and power, raise the stabilizers, hitch, and lock up and go.  All the school stuff for the girls was on a bin, so it was easy to get it back in the truck.  Prep was smooth today, and we loaded everyone around 8:45, and rolled out of the campground right at 9am.

Today’s drive was a bit shorter than yesterday, at 4 hours.  The drive was pretty easy, mostly all highways, and we just went straight for hours.  There were turns and ramps when we hit the Atlanta area, and a bit more traffic.  Then again, when we hit Chattanooga, but we did not get stuck in traffic or anything.  We did awesome with stops again today, making only one stop after 3 hours of driving.  We stopped for lunch, had sandwiches, and continued the drive. 

Bia did all her school work for the day on the road, she only has a project to keep working on, which is a presentation due on Monday.  Bella did a little bit of work, but said she was feeling car sick, and would finish later or tomorrow.  I think our driving with longer spacing between stops is great practice for our last day.  I keep saying that when we leave, if we can make it all the way back we will, otherwise we’ll split in two days.  The drive back would be about 8-9 hours if we tried to go direct, that’s a long drive, but maybe if we break it in 3 chunks of 3 hours it could work ok.  We’d have to leave very early in the morning too, as I would not want to drive too late.  Maybe if we leave by 7 or 8am, we’d be home around 6pm that day.  The girls want to do it, but we’ll see how the driver feels that day.  As we got close to our final destination, we crossed the boarder into Tennessee, and went around Chattanooga, then back down a bit towards the campground and right back into Georgia. Hahahahaha…. We are staying right at the border, so any movement and we cross state lines.

As we drove towards our campground, we kept going towards a mountain, not a huge one, but still.  The closer we got, the steeper the ride, and when we got there, it is a nice place.  It’s tucked in the middle of the woods, at 1100ft of elevation in the mountain.  Very cool area.  We got our spot, which was nice and easy to park, even though it was a back in.  The only problem is that it was quite unlevel, and even with the big blocks we have, we were still lightly leaning towards the door, which is not good if it rains.  But, since there was no rain in the forecast, and this is just for one night, we were good to go.  The other challenge we had was that we parked way back in the spot, and I didn’t pay attention to the stabilizer jacks in the back, which were hanging out of the pad area, and too far from the ground.  Fortunately, I have the wooden stabilizers, so I just used them in the back and we got the trailer steady and not rocking.  Our setup time was pretty quick, like last time.  When Carol joins the setup, it goes very quick, less than 30 minutes and we were all set.

We then decided to go visit the town, and check out Rock City Gardens and then go out to eat from there.  As we drove there, we again crossed into Tennessee :). The girls got a kick out of this moving back and forth.  We were not totally sure what to expect at Rock City Gardens, but had the recommendation from Ju and Leo.  Carol had some coupon for there too, so we saved a few bucks to get in, and we got there just before 4pm.  The place is at the top of a mountain, and after parking and paying the entry fee, you are led towards a path to follow. 

You follow that path, towards gardens, in between rocks, over rocks, under rocks, under ground, onto bridges, etc… the place is amazing.  It is like a garden maze made in the middle of rock formations, where they created a path that goes over and under the same areas without crossing, so you walk over 1 mile on this path and enjoy all kinds of different things, even an under ground fairytale land.  Oh and the views from the top of the mountain into the valley are amazing.  There’s even a waterfall right at the edge of a rock with the valley behind it, just amazing.  We all loved this place.  They even have soft music playing in most places, very relaxing. The mood is relaxing, it’s a connect with nature setting.  Carol was not in a great mood when we started and was super happy and relaxed by time we were done.  So, there, if you have a cranky person or anyone in a bad mood around Chattanooga, take them to Rock City Gardens for a walk, they’ll feel better for sure. :). Now, for real, the place is super cool.  I took a lot of pictures of the views, of the tiny spaces between rocks that the path took us through, of the bridges, etc.

From there, we drove downtown, and on our way there, my DEF in the truck went too low and the truck gave me a message that the speed limit would be held at a max of 55mph.  I needed to get some diesel anyway, so we looked for a gas station on the way downtown.  Soon after we were down the mountain there was a station and I pulled in.  All the pumps at that station had covers, showing they were out of gas.  They had a much smaller pump, older too, for diesel, and that one was not covered, but required pre-payment.  I went inside to see if they had DEF and to prepay for diesel.  The lady told me they were completely out of gas, but did have Diesel, but they were out of DEF.  I filled up anyway, but we had to continue looking for DEF.  Now, here’s the crazy thing, stations are running out of fuel because people are freaking out thinking there will be a gas shortage.  There was a pipeline that got hacked this past week, and was down for a few days, and the media kept reporting there would be a shortage, so people went nuts and lined up to fill up.  So, yes, now there are a lot of stations empty.  It’s crazy.  I’m glad diesel is not as popular so I don’t have to worry too much.  The pipeline has reestablished service, so this mess should be cleaned up in a few days, and I’m hoping we won’t have to deal with this.  We drove a little more to a much bigger station and they had DEF, so I got their 2.5 gallon container and that got my DEF meter to a little over half, which should be enough to finish the trip I think.  As I was dealing with that, Carol found an Italian place to eat, they had a build your own pasta deal, and the price was decent. 

We went to Tony’s Trattoria, which is in this arts district, kind of higher in the banks of the river downtown.  The area is super cool, with lots of art things on that block of the street.  Very cool buildings, structures, and art in the gardens.  The restaurant was pretty nice too.  I was surprised the price was decent and the place was so nice.  They had a nice menu, and good beers too :). We ordered our foods, had drinks, ate their awesome breads, talked, laughed, and had a great time there.  Their bread with garlic was amazing.  The beers I tried were pretty awesome too.  Bia’s pizza did not look too great, just ok.  My pasta was good. Carol and Bella had Ravioli and they both loved it.  We had a good time there, and ate pretty good.  My plate was pretty big so I was stuffed on my way out.  We took the long way the truck, around the block, so we were able to get a view of the river from atop, and take some pictures.  Carol was enjoying the gardens with all the art. 

From there, we just drove back.  I was pretty tired then, so I showered first and started getting ready for bed.  I had some emails I wanted to check on first, so while the ladies got ready I did that.  Bella did some school work. We had the TV on as well so the girls watched some TV.  We were all in bed by 10pm.

We had a good moving day, and all loved checking out Rock City Garden in Chattanooga, TN.

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