Thursday, December 19, 2013



You're (finally) leaving Hendersonville?!

Why, yes in fact, we are.


With all the busyness of the Christmas season we have decided to head for quieter grounds. And really - haven't we become a Clan of mushrooms after 4 1/2 weeks of being pretty much house bound. 

Of course it's been great and we will sorely miss all the amenities, but it's time to get back on the road.

So, with that, we have been spending the day getting things ready to go. We did make our way over to Camping World this morning after setting up an appointment a few days ago to have our stem valve looked at. Sadly, they thought I we meant our tire stem valve and not the propane. Darn! So - we still have a slow propane leak that we have to get checked somewhere along the way. The good news is that we did stop and get our trailer tire fixed after a nail made a nice hole in it. 

Once home we realized that our van tire also has a nail in it! Boy, we know how to get holes in tires in twos - same thing happened back in Panama City, Florida in 2012.

One of the things I was happy to get done before we left was to lay the vinyl cork floor that we used in our van in Curt and Debbie's motorhome. They also had carpet. Carpet in RV's, I will never figure that out!

We aren't getting to far down the road tomorrow - just a quick trip over to Waynesville to spend the evening at Frog Level Brewing. Although we never did get to any of the craft breweries in Asheville (Craft Beer Capital of the USA by the way - shame on us) we do want to visit this one. Apparently they are having a bluegrass band playing, you can imagine how excited we are about that. We'll find a place to stealth camp either in their parking lot or close by.

And the rest of the trip?

Here's our map for the next week - week and a half. All depends on what we find along the way.

Not the best map. If someone wants to tutor me in google maps I sure would appreciate it - I can't for the life of me figure out how to print off a better map than this. It will have to do.

Anyway, Saturday morning we will head to Gatlinburg and finally get to the Aquarium of the Smokies that we have all been looking forward to. A bit of a splurge but I think all three of us will have much fun there - it will be Cassia's first aquarium visit. Most likely the only attraction we will take on in that area other than walking around a bit.

Then it will be over to Nashville for Sunday. Looks like we'll be driving through a lot of rain and thunderstorms so we'll see how it goes. We'll see what we end up doing in Nashville - maybe the Opryland Hotel and most likely the Johnny Cash Museum. Perhaps a brew pub. 

Come Monday we will be over the top excited to be getting on the Natchez Trace Parkway! Finally! It's been on our list and I am glad that we are fitting it in this trip, which may be our last winter trip south - right?!

We are planning on taking our time and getting some serious hiking in so you may not hear from us for days at a time. There are three free campgrounds along the way and a few State Parks for a reasonable $20 a night. There are a few Home Depots also that we will stop in at and maybe even spend the night, so that we can get our internet fixes.

By next weekend we'll be in Natchez on the Mississippi River - one of our favourite cities. The Welcome Center is a good place to overnight - officially. We did a good job of touring the downtown back in 2012 but a return visit is most likely warranted.

After that? Who knows. The plan is to spend some serious time looking around Louisiana - Baton Rouge, Thibodaux, Houma, Morgan City, New Iberia, Abbeville, Lafayette and Lake Charles, to name a few. Stays at Lake Fausse Pointe State Park and Palmetto Island State Park are definitely on the agenda as well.

I thought that we sped through Louisiana too fast last time. Plus they have food - glorious food. We are definitely going to treat ourselves to some good restaurant food!

I hear Shucks calling my name! Glad to see Norma and Croft stopped in there tonight and had a great time too!

All from me tonight.


By the way - thanks for all the encouragement for Derek regarding the e-cigs - he's doing very well! Yaaaa!

If you are looking for more of Rantin' n Raven we are not hard to find out there in the social media world. We are on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest. See you there!


  1. If you get near Abita Springs Louisiana check out the Abita springs Brewery excellent beer free tours and free beer, I think everyday but sunday we love the small town atmosphere here.

    1. Thanks George - it's on the list already. I noticed on Croft's blog that you mentioned Abita so I went and looked it up. I actually had their root beer in Hendersonville - very good also!

  2. Steamboat Bills in Lake Charles! Must go! Shrimp Pistolettes!!!!!

    1. Got it! Looked it up! That's what I'm looking for - anybody else have suggestions? Bring it!

  3. Ah to be on the road to go or stay, east or west, north or south.....or a combination of all of them!! Glad D is doing good with the vapes!!

    Safe Travels............

    1. So true BlackSheep - we have a plan but as we all know plans are just loose guidelines for the Wood Clan. Who knows where we'll end up!

  4. Google Maps can be frustrating to work with, You can ask it to suggest a route and then modify it by clicking and dragging the highlighted route. Sometimes this helps.

    I am sitting here suffering from an overdose of rich food! Wouldn't have missed it though. Tomorrow will be a bowl of cereal for breakfast, not catfish!

    1. We were stuffed when we left Shucks. I remember looking at the seafood platter and thinking - that's it?! But it was so rich it was more than enough!

      I have figured out the dragging the route thing - not to long ago. Nice to figure out distances!


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