Day 6: Thursday, June 2, 2011
Mark had an idea…
But he really wasn’t sure how to pull it off. The pregnant wife wasn’t drinking these days so he sweetened her up the only other way he knew how… food. The Sweet Onion, located in Waynesville, NC, offered an entire menu full of deliciousness – and seemed to specialize in making just about everything with goat cheese.
Goat Cheese, Andouille Sausage, Sweet Onion and Black Eyed Pea Egg Rolls? Yes, please!
The Royans ate and ate as the skies opened up on their mountain view outside the restaurant windows and a downpour ensued. At this moment, when she couldn’t get away, Mark went for it. “I think we should go off the grid tonight,” he announced. “Let's go boondocking”
"Booondocking (in camping terms):" no electricity, no water, no sewer.
This is not what Andrew and Mom signed up for. But, alas, the Eagle Scout excitedly talked about heading up into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 70 degree temperatures, lanterns, bonfires, and no bugs (because it would be too cold for bugs). Very full and otherwise worn down from the pitch, April agreed.
A few hours of off-the-road and then on-the-road again mountain driving later we arrived at Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Andrew, effectively bored to tears from the lack of “crocodiles” he was determined to see in the mountaintops – was sacked out at the awkward hour of 5pm.
The campground was packed with families seeking relief from the otherwise scorching temps down on the main land – but lucky for us it seemed they were also having a bit of a “heat wave” up on the mountain. We exited our RV to a refreshing blast of 85 degree air, gnat swarms, and a friendly reminder to turn off our generator by 8pm. Not to worry – our campsite did come with one amenity - a fire pit.
Since there wans’t any set-up to speak of, Mark got Andrew up from his nap and onto the bike in search of a cool stream. April hung back and made dinner – on the propane stove – and it was delicious despite the fact that she had no idea what was going in to the pots due to the lack of lighting.
After dinner darkness fell, but the show was just beginning for Andrew. The little guy stayed up until almost 10pm (we think - no clocks?) sitting at the window and watching his first fireflies dance around the campsite. We called them "lightning bugs" - but he prefers "Lightning McQueen bugs."
Cooler temperatures finally prevailed, as the mercury dipped into the low 70's we settled in for a mountain slumber with forest fresh air flowing through the RV. If only Glade plug-ins had a Boondocking scent....