Thursday, June 14, 2012
Douglas Dam Camping
6/14/12 Today we are in Waynesville, NC which was just an overnight stop on our way to Asheville. Yesterday we took our rig in to the Knoxville Chevy dealer - Reeder Chevrolet, and were delighted with their work. It was easy to get an appointment, they took our rig in as soon as we arrived, diagnosed the problem right away, called Workhorse in order to arrange warranty coverage, installed a new caliper on our rear brake and had our rig ready to go in an hour. This was all necessitated because we noticed a lot of smoke coming out of our right rear brake area when we arrived at Douglas Dam on Saturday. Turned out we had a fluid leak from the caliper, which was hitting the hot brakes and burning. Good thing we didn't have a fire!!! While we were at Douglas Dam Tailwater campground, we greatly enjoyed our riverfront site, had some campfires, walked everyday, and caught up on some RV cleaning and maintenance chores. This is a Tennessee Valley Authority site which was built in 1943 to help control floods, manage wildlife, create recreational opportunities, and create electrical power. There is a headwater campground across the bridge and on the actual lake that was created by building the dam. We had stayed at that location 3 years ago with Laura & Gordon Bornkamp, and Gene & Martha Merryman, which is how we learned about this nice camping location. It is fairly close to Pigeon Forge and Great Smoky Mtn. National Park. And, they honor the Golden Age pass so we got 50% off the camping fee of $22/night for a site with electricity, water and right on the river! We walked down to the dam and were amazed at the number of herons that were sitting on the railing and hanging around the area in the trees across the river and also on some rocks. It was the middle of the day and water was being released from some of the release ports. Later, in the evening, we walked down there again and there were lots of fishermen. They told us that they turn the water off, usually at 8PM, and then the fishing was good there for walleye, catfish, bass, etc. The herons then all fly to rocks which are now exposed in the river, because of the lower water level, and they fish too. We have never seen so many herons in one place before - at one point I counted 30 of them in the area! There was one big guy who was so used to people that he barely ever moved from his spot: Another day we walked up to the overlook and picnic area and from there we took this picture of the lake and other camping area: Today we are relocating to the Elks Club in Asheville and tonight we will be having Happy Hour and dinner with Rachel, Connie & Jenny, three cruise friends from 2006. Tomorrow we will visit the Biltmore Estate, America's largest private home, when it was built.