It was a cool but clear morning as we got everything packed up for our travel day to Tennessee.
We pulled out of our site around 11:00. We hit the dump station, and emptied our tanks. It's pretty good for us to go a week on our gray tank, especially when we don't use the campground bathhouse at all.
I also drained our fresh water tank since we wanted to be as light as possible going through the mountains. Water weighs 8.3 lbs per gallon, and it's surprising how much I can "feel" the extra weight while towing when we have water in the fresh tank. With our rig weighing 19,000 lbs, you wouldn't think a couple hundred extra pounds would matter, but it does.
Leaving Table Rock State Park, we took South Carolina Hwy 11 north and then picked up U.S. 25. We had a decent grade to climb as U.S. 25 crossed into North Carolina, but it wasn't too bad.
We then took I-26 toward Ashville where we picked up I-40 and headed west through the mountains into Tennessee. That section of I-40 through the mountains is really strange. Going eastbound, it feels like a constant downhill all the way to Ashville, but going westbound, it doesn't feel like it's all uphill. The truck doesn't struggle at all going westbound.
We like that the speed limit is 50 mph and trucks aren't allowed to use the left lane for that stretch. So, we settle in comfortably and don't feel rushed as we often do on other sections of interstate.
Off of I-40, we took U.S. 411 toward Sevierville. Now, although we usually find U.S. highways to be just fine for our rig, we've been on this part of U.S. 411 before. At about twenty miles, it cuts off a lot of distance, but the first ten miles are very curvy and a bit nerve-wracking. The road is a decent width, but there are numerous 20 - 30 mph curves, and I just don't like that part of the drive.
That road passes by the Bush Beans plant and visitors center, so it has to be passable for the big trucks getting to and leaving there. But it's still no fun.
Eventually, U.S. 411 straightens out and widens and it's an easy trip into Sevierville. We know how to take a couple of large back roads, Veterans Parkway and Collier Drive, to avoid the downtown area and come into River Plantation RV Resort from the south allowing us to make an easy right turn into the park.
We pulled in around 1:30, after 145 miles, and checked in. We've been here multiple times, and this is our third Rally at River Plantation. So, we know what we're doing here and we always have the same spot for our Rallies - Site 441 on the Little Pigeon River.
We got everything set up and hooked up, and started going through our Rally supplies to see what we might need.
We've had a few last minute cancellations this week, and while we emptied the Waiting List last week, others have signed up the last couple of days. Some are coming long distances on very short notice to be here for the Spring Rally. :)
Tomorrow, we've got some things to do and errands to run. But perhaps we'll be able to have an evening campfire with the few that have already arrived. The weather doesn't look so good this weekend, so it may be our only chance before the Rally begins on Monday. :)