We woke up bright and early Sunday morning. Sleeping in the newly reconfigured truck is going to take some getting used too. The sleeping platform is lower which is great, but it is narrower as well which is more challenging. Figuring things out is part of the fun.

We packed up and headed toward Waynesville to find a coffee shop. We found a great place called Panacea Coffeehouse, Cafe, and Roastery. It was really spacious with rustic decor and very good coffee. We did not eat, but there were a lot of food options that sounded good. Francis was able to get some work done and I got all my online assignments posted for the week. I am looking forward to seeing how my students do on the assignments I created and being able to stay connected with them. As always, time flew by and we needed to find a place to spend the night.

Back in the truck, we headed toward Smoky Mountain National Park. The drive was beautiful of course. We found a nice little campground in the park called Balsam Mountain Campground. $14 a night gets you a cozy site with picnic table and fire ring. Amenities include bathrooms with running water (always a plus!), a nice dish washing station, and a very friendly camp host.

We woke up to a very chilly, rainy day. We managed a short hike on the nearby nature trail during a brief break in the rain and saw some really cool picnic tables built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930’s. Under the cover of our REI canopy, we were able to cook a hot meal on our propane stove. Most of the day was spent in our cozy jeep reading and napping.

We woke to bright sunshine on Tuesday and headed toward Cherokee, North Carolina. As always, there was some work to be done so we looked for a coffee shop to hang out in for a while. Qualla Java in Cherokee was a great spot. It had lots of indoor and outdoor seating, and the coffee was very good. I checked in on my students and Francis caught up on work.

Before work could suck up our whole day, we made our way to Smoky Mountain National Park. As we had heard, it was quite crowded but lovely to drive through. We came out of the park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and headed back to Durham to get the jeep inspected and registered for the year. So far, so good! #TravelsInLiberty #TravelsLiberty