Tuesday, September 06, 2011

101 degrees to 57 F.

The day before and the day we left, on our weekend trip, it was 101 f. degrees.  It was the Labor Day weekend, the last holiday marking the end of summer break for all the children.  Brandon was off an extra day from school, so we all thought this would be a good time for a weekend trip.  We left by 8 a.m. and arrived near our destination exit only to see that the exit ramp was lined with cars, not a good sign.   We inched our way, a few feet at a time up the ramp...the temperatures by now were HOT.


Our trip so far had been an enjoyable one and we had planned on all starting out wearing our leather jackets but even at 8 a.m. it was much too warm for anything but maybe a light long sleeved shirt, which we all shed on our first rest stop.  As we inched our way through Sevierville, Tennessee, first Brian's bike started to over-heat so we made a stop so that he could put some water into his radiator.  We pressed on, foot by foot, inch by inch, the traffic creeping along and the temperature was now at 101 f degrees.  To say that it was hot and humid was an understatement.  Then Jimmy's bike quit from shear heat exhaustion right in the middle of traffic.  Normally this might be a problem but with traffic moving at such a snails pace pushing the bike across traffic to the other side of the road was no problem, except to Jimmy who pushed it along as he sat on it.  Brian and I each made a U-turn and stopped a block away at a Barbecue restaurant.  Brian and Brandon each walked back to help Jimmy push his bike to the restaurant.  Brian there mostly for moral support because of his injured back, with Brandon doing most of the pushing.  Everyone was ready for a cold drink by that time anyway so we stopped and rested for about an hour while Jimmy's bike cooled off, but how does a bike cool off in 101 degree heat?  Another block or more traveled and Jimmy's bike took it's last breath and this time a wrecker was called.

It took the wrecker over 2 hours to arrive and by this time we wanted him to haul all three of our bikes.  Brian and I followed the wrecker driver through back roads away from all the traffic and soon we were at our motel in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  Our trip across the Smokey Mountains by bike to Cherokee, North Carolina was cancelled, and since there were 5 of us and only 2 bikes, we either walked to where we wanted to go, or took the Fun Time Trolley.

Brian, Brandon & Reva
at the Fun Time Trolley Station

The trolley's are everywhere
except when you need one.

We had a GREAT TIME even though we had to change some of our plans, but as plans go they usually get changed or don't work out the way you want them too anyway.  I think it's a lot more fun to play it by ear and to be spontaneous and to be willing to do whatever you feel like doing at the moment.  

And at one moment, this is what Brian felt like doing.....

Brandon also had a close call with that shark too.....

Shortly after our arrival at the motel, we had a severe storm and we all got wet.  The wind blew so hard that once we got into our rooms we couldn't open our doors because the rain was blowing sideways and right into our rooms.  The storm was brief only lasting about 10 - 15 minutes and then the sun came out and dried up all the rain, for a while.....

Above is Brandon in the lead.  He eventually came around and passed everyone for a second time.  This go-cart track had 3 different tracks and this was the second track.  The 3rd track was the fastest track and Brian was in his element in that one.

Here are some more pictures of our weekend trip:

Brian and Brandon

Sitting: Reva, Brandon and Brian,
Jimmy is standing.

We had just stopped to talk to a couple from Canada
who was on a Can Am Spider.

While waiting for the wrecker, Jimmy met someone to talk to.
This was his bike.

The Old Mill
The Old Mill Restaurant is on the other side.

Old Mill Restaurant

Great food, but you get way too much.

Just crossed the Tennessee Line

It's getting hot so we search for shade when we stop

Looking for shade on a hot day

20 minutes seems to be a long time when you're
waiting for the trolley at a stop that doesn't have a bench.

Watching Brian and Brandon on the go-carts

We walked a lot,
and then we decided to get on the trolley and not get off.
That was fun too.

To see more pictures CLICK HERE

It was raining on and off on our last day, so we put on our rain suits and headed for home.  I took the back way out of Pigeon Forge, because EVERYONE was leaving town at the precise moment that we were.  The back way was clear without much traffic on it at all, but as I reached its end I could see that most of the cars were heading for the Sevierville exit, so I headed for the next exit which was about 40+ miles away....and farther away from home I might add.  The drive was beautiful and winding through countryside and it wasn't raining.  We finally hit I-40 and I headed for home.  I-40 started out fine until it started to rain.  We had no choice but to keep going, stopping only to clean off our windshields and to exchange helmets.  Brandon was wearing a helmet with a shield that he gave to his dad to wear to help him see better by raising the shield up a little to repel the rain away from his glasses.

Shortly after I had passed a sign saying that we were about 26 miles from Knoxville, Tn. the rain really started coming down and I traveled as far as I could until I couldn't see anything but the two white lines on each side of me.  I decided it was time to leave the interstate and take a vote....to go on or find a place to stay for the night.  Everyone voted to stop at the very first opportunity we got.  We got back on the highway and the traffic was nearly stopped.  The rain was still coming down in buckets but at least everyone on the highway, going West, was inching along.  I felt immediately safer and we inched to the next exit and stopped for the night, causing Brandon to miss a day of school.  I-40 E was at a stand still because of an accident.

After we checked into a nice place to stay for the day and night we found out that the reason we were going so slow on the highway was because they had closed it down up ahead because of flooding, and also because of numerous accidents.  Tropical storm Lee had finally caught up with us and the temperature began dropping.

We burned up on Saturday with temps of 101 and didn't mind the rain at all, but today it turned into winter as we made our way home in 57 degree weather.  Then it started raining....and that's when it really got cold.

None of my family felt very well on this trip.  Brian didn't feel well the whole time, but put up a good front.  Jimmy had a headache on Saturday and he almost never has headaches.  Reva and Brandon woke up sick and with fevers on Monday and Jimmy went to bed real early on Monday night with a fever.



TUFFENUF said...

Hi Sandy, I always enjoy your posts! I haven't looked at my blog in so long even though I vow to get back on there, I am always so busy! I go up to Sevierville once in a while to my girlfriends condo in Cobley Knob (near there). It is quite peaceful there and we like to hike in the forest, but still be close to the tourist area! The traffic can be congested, we discovered a "back way" to get from the condo to Sevieville. Looks like in spite of the weather you all had a good time!

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Yes, Tuffenuf, we did have a good time but it was despite of the traffic more than the weather. We found the back way in on our way out, hahaha.

It was good hearing from you. It's been a while.

I almost abandoned my blog but then decided to just make it sort of a diary of the things we do. I have to refer to it at times to find out dates of special events and of surgeries when asked. The other day I wanted to know where it was that I ate some of the best Bacon Cheese Fries, so it comes in handy for me as well to blog about the most insignificant things.

It was nice hearing from you Tuffe and I'm glad that you're still around even though you're not blogging.