Georgia to Maine

After leaving the tropics of Florida, we were quickly reminded that it is still early spring. As we approached Atlanta, the weather turned cool (cold by Florida standards!) and very wet. With a constant drizzle and heavy traffic on a 12 lane highway, Atlanta is a miserable hub to drive through. Intersates come and go (75, 85, 475, 285, 20). It literally handles most of the traffic north, south, east, and west. All I can say is; I’m glad we got to the Corp of Engineer Campground (COE) north of Atlanta. Here, we were able to see several Civil War encampments; Allatoona Pass and Kennesaw Mtn. It was an enjoyable two days.

Full moon over Allatoona, Georgia

Campground at Allatoona Atlanta skyline from Kennesaw Mountain

After exploring both battlefields, we moved on to camp at a Boondockers Welcome site south of Chattanooga (Boondockers Welcome is a peer to peer camping organization). In Ringgold, Georgia, we camped in beautiful farm country just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Two nights there enabled us to visit both Chickamauga and Chattanooga battlefields. The couple where we stayed were gracious and busy. They have two teenage girls that kept them running. Side note: he is a salesman for a national flooring company and does a lot of business with Marden’s (of Maine). Small world! Spring had sprung here as the trees were all leafed out. The rain had passed. It was warm. And the area is gorgeous.

Ringgold GA at our Boondockers Welcome site

Chattanooga and the Tennessee River. Chickamauga Battlefield

There is so much to see we could easily spend a week at each place. Time marches on …and so did we. Our next stop was at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We stayed four days here and soaked up some mountain camping and hiking. We camped at Cades Cove Campground and used it as a base. Here we ventured to another campground in the park known for its synchronized lighting-bugs. Of course, it was too early to view that. Late May through June is the time for that but you better have reservations. It’s extremely popular. Pigeon Forge (Dollywood!) and Gatlinburg are close by so they are worth a visit.

Cades Cove, GSNP,

Cades Cove scenes: campground, stream, deer – entrance, campfire, horse trail

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

After leaving Cades Cove, it was a relatively short drive to Cumberland Gap. Cumberland Gap was important in 1861 and it switched hands four times during the Civil War. However, there weren’t a lot of casualties. Both sides had difficulties with the elements. Yup Mother Nature can be a force to reckon with. On the other hand this area is quite amazing, beautiful, and the gateway to the west and the Mississippi. Daniel Boone is famous for his operations in these parts.

Gap campground, Check in, and hiking trails. (bottom) – the pioneer trail through the Gap

There are some interesting connections in this part of the woods. Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) is here and General Otis Howard had a big hand in its formation. General Howard was from Leeds, Maine.

General Howards personal items on display at the Lincoln Museum

The gap overlook

The campground in the Gap was a NP one but on the mountainside. It was nice and close to our attractions but nothing to write home about. Our next stop was further up the Appalachians on the Ohio River. Oak Hill Campground is in Wayne National Forest in a quite rural part of Ohio. Tennesee and West Virginia are within a stone’s throw. This area radiates to the coal industry and the railroad and truck traffic speaks to that. The Ohio River is huge and this enabled early settlers to use it as a major thoroughfare for travel and commerce. For us, I wanted to visit the Ramsdell House on the other side of the river in Huntington, WV. The Ramsdell House has ties to Leeds, Maine as well. The Maine man bought it in 1858 for the sole purpose to guide enslaved Americans to freedom; the Underground Railroad!

Ramsdell House – Underground Railroad

Oak Hill CG,

A big mystery to me has been West Virginia. How did it come to be? In 1858 it was part of Virginia. And the American Constitution made it nearly impossible for a state to split. Those people residing in the west side of Virginia were much different than the established eastern Virginians and wanted to split decades earlier but couldn’t. But in 1863, Virginia was no longer a state in the USA and had no such rule against splitting. Long story short, they seceded from Virginia and joined the Union.

Welcome to Pennsylvania

From Ohio, we drifted eastward to visit Flight 93 Memorial in rural Shanksville, PA. The National Park did a beautiful job at erecting the memorial and honoring each of the 40 passengers who valiantly fought off the hijackers costing them their lives but saving countless others in eastern metropolitan DC. Definitely worth a trip.

The Wall, the personal memorial, the Tower of Voices

We finally arrived back in Maine on April 21.

Happy camping!!!

Coming soon, more tales from the Campah!

Next adventure; “Civil War”

STAY TUNED! More “tales from the campah”!

Please comment (and share to facebook, twitter, instagram, other social media) (


2 thoughts on “Georgia to Maine

  1. Chris. I just ordered if you saw all the carpet mills north of Atlanta, Mohawk who I work for . Funny. Spent much time in that area including Stone Mtn for sales conference. Once during ice storm which was the sales conference we thought would never end. Haha. Glad you made it back to Maine safely. Love following your blog.


    1. Hi Deb,
      We did not notice the carpet mills. It was a rainy day when we went through Atlanta and it was a white knuckle drive. Yes, Stone Mtn is interesting. I am still amazed at the connections throughout America (like you and Mohawk). We stayed a persons back yard (Boondockers Welcome) who is a nationwide sales person for a flooring company. He was quite familiar with Mardens! Small world. Glad you enjoy the blog.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s