My second morning in the Smokies looked like it would have been my best shot at lovely sunrises, clear skies, but alas, there were other things on my agenda:
Through every fault of my own, I nearly ripped out the post at the end of Dave’s driveway on Monday with Harvey (after bragging how close it was when I went into the drive, you’d think the old brain would put two and two together and watch my REALLY long rear end on the way out). But instead, I was worried about the ditch on the other side of the road and whether there was any traffic coming. I damaged the left rear door and my water intake and part of the area behind the door. Dave and I were able to get the door seated on its hinge again and decided the water intake would have to wait for more experienced hands. I was so angry with myself that I just needed to chill, so I decided the park was just the place to get out and exercise some of the angst out. I phoned Cousin Dick and Lugene to let them know I’d be a day late getting there.
Even before I drove around to the west side of the park (no way was Harvey going up and over the mountain), I started looking for a place to spend the night as it was nearing 6 and I didn’t want to not be settled before dark. I had traveled into Maggie Valley (Shirley and Dave had visited there and had liked it). My girls group would have loved it, but not being a shopper 😉 I decided to turn around and get back on the interstate. I passed probably six campgrounds, but a quick glance revealed very small quarters and because I was still reeling from my mistake, I passed them by. I pulled into a rest area just short of the Tennessee border.
When I tried to get into my car (Tracker) to turn the braking assist off, my key fob wouldn’t work. I thought crap – this must be my old fob, let me get my other one. When it didn’t work either, the sad truth that Tracker’s battery was dead sunk in. I went into the building to use the facilities, and when I came back out, I noticed my brake lights were on ( I have a wire coming from Harvey so maybe that’s where the power was coming from? I opened the door and the brake was engaged (pushed down) by the braking assist. My first thought was, good grief, did I burn out my brakes too today? So, I’m wracking my brain to check my chain of actions. I had set up and tested the brake assist at Dave’s. I had rechecked it at the gas station down the road, so I knew it was working ok before I traveled the couple hours to where I was parked. I didn’t smell burnt brake, but I still wasn’t sure. So, for the second time in the month that I’ve had Good Sam Roadside Assistance, I made the call and arranged for someone to come in the morning – I was too exhausted to think any more about it that night, the diesels and my thoughts didn’t allow much sleep that night. I traveled on to the park in the morning (see previous post) had a wonderful time, and wish I could have stayed longer.
While at the park taking pictures of the old houses, the gentleman who gave me the background on them asked about my travels and I told him about the accident. He asked whether I’d contacted my insurance agent; I realized I was on the fixit yourself mode and hadn’t even contacted my trusty Erie agent Barry. It is very comforting knowing who your insurance agent is and hearing a familiar voice talking me through a sticky situation, he was able even two days later to allay my fears and point out the truth that it could have been much worse. The fact that he’s also married to my wonderful cousin Wendy is another great connection.
I had contacted a nearby RV center and the next morning navigated through hundreds of old cars and trucks in Pigeon Forge readying themselves for a show and parade. I congratulated myself on getting out of the park early, as that would have been a mess to drive through. The RV place didn’t even have time to look at my water intake and they directed me to Camping World on the interstate which was right on my way to Dick’s. I spent a couple hours at Camping World. While there, one of their techs gave me some pointers about the brake assist. He pointed out an option of installing a battery charging line so it wouldn’t happen again. Something to think about- but not today. Onward.