All About April (Part 1)–Saturday, April 5 to Thursday, April 24, 2014

Our winter travels in Florida ended when we arrived back at Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, SC on Saturday, April 5th. We will be in this area until June 25th except for a few side trips.  The map below is where we traveled in April.

00 - April Travel Map

                      A – Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
                      B – Buck Hall Recreation Area, McClellanville, South Carolina
                      C – Magnolia RV Park and Campground, Kinards, South Carolina
                      D – River Plantation RV Resort, Sevierville, Tennessee

(A) Sat, Apr 5 to Thurs, Apr, 17 – Huntington Beach SP, Murrells Inlet, SC
I guess we consider this our “Home” park as it is just a few miles from my mother’s home.  We spend a lot of time here.  However, getting a site at Huntington is getting more and more difficult.  If you don’t reserve well in advanced, you will be shut out.  Doesn’t seem to matter that the prices are nearing $40 per night with tax!! 
Our site, 104 was a new one to us and a bit tight.  But, you take what you can get;-)
01 - Huntington Beach SP - Site 10401b - Huntington Beach SP - Site 104
The first thing that we noticed as we drove into the park was all the broken trees!!
02 - Ice Damaged Trees
Just a couple weeks ago, they had a major ice storm and it was a real mess!!  So many trees were broke and damaged that the roads were blocked.  No one could get in or get out.  Two weeks after we could still see much of the damage.  Also, by now, Spring is usually well on its way here.  However, like everywhere, the cold weather keeps hanging on;-(
We did see the beginning of Spring as the Wisteria and Tulips were beginning to bloom:o))04a - Wisteria04b - Tulips

Our 12 days here were spent catching up with Mom and Friends.  We also needed to just chill and take time to do those tasks you neglect when traveling.  We were hoping to be able to stay through Easter on Sunday, April 20th.  However, Huntington Beach was booked solid.  So we headed just 40 miles south to Buck Hall Recreation Area in McClellanville, South Carolina.

(B) Thur, Apr 17 to Mon, Apr, 21 – Buck Hall Rec Area, McClellanville, SC
Since we couldn’t stay at Huntington, we moved to Buck Hall so we were close to my mother and could spend Easter Sunday with her.  We also needed to do a major inside cleaning to get rid of all the pollen we had gathered.  We seemed to be constantly moving into new pollen as we headed north all winter;o((
Just after we arrived at Buck Hall, the rains began;o((
05a - Buck Hall - Rain05b - Buck Hall - Rain
It rained all day Friday and Saturday:o((
Well, that did wash away the outside pollen;o))
So it was the perfect time to do inside cleaning work!!
05b2 - Buck Hall - Cleaning the Motorohome05b3 - Buck Hall - Attacking the Pollen
We emptied every closet and attacked the pollen with the vacuum!!!
The cleaning got finished and the rains ended.
Easter Morning woke to a beautiful day:o)05c - Buck Hall - Easter turn sunny and beautiful
We spent most of the morning watching the boats on the inter-coastal
our new hummingbird friend!!!
05e - Buck Hall - Boats on the Intercoastal     05d - Buck Hall - Hummingbird
In the afternoon, we headed to Mom’s for a wonderful Easter Brunch!!!05f - Buck Hall - Easter Brunch with Mom

(C) Monday, Apr, 21 – Magnolia RV Park and Campground, Kinard, SC

Monday morning we began our travels to Sevierville, TN near the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  The total distance is 400 miles, so we split it in half and did 200 miles each day.  Magnolia RV Park and Campground is an easy on/off  Passport America Park along I-26 in South Carolina.  Nothing fancy, but clean with nice washers and dryers for only $20 per night PPA rate!!

 01 - Magnolia RV Park01b - Magnolia RV Park

(D) Tues, Apr, 22  to Thurs, April 24 – River Plantation RV Park, Sevierville, TN
Our trip to Sevierville, TN was Baby’s first trek through the mountains. 
She didn’t bat an eye and Bill loved the Jake Break!!
Click on any photo to enlarge or hover your mouse on any photo for a description.
02 - I-26 Mountain Views to I-40 near Asheville02a - I-40 Truck Lane through the mountains02b - I-40 Truck Lane through the tunnel02c - I-40  Tennessee Welcome Center02d - I-40  Baby was enjoying the ride and the view

The reason we came to Sevierville, TN was to attend the RV-Dreams Rally.  However, we decided to come a week early to have time to do some hiking in GSMNP!!  We were fortunate to have our friends, Dan & Tricia and Gin & Syl join us for a great pre-rally week:o))

Site 436 - River Plantation RV Resort, Sevierville, TN – our home for two weeks!!
02e - Site 436 - River Plantation, Sevierville, TN   02f - Site 436 - River Plantation, Sevierville, TN

On Wednesday, April 23rd, we planned our first hike to Abrams Falls

The trailhead begins in Cades Cove.
00 - Abrams Falls Trail Map

Round trip the hike was about 5.5 miles!!

Click on any photo to enlarge or hover your mouse on any photo for a description.
01 - Abrahms Falls Sign02 - Starting Down The Trail
03 - Dan and Syl Checking Out Abrams Creek
04 - Heading UP04b - Looking down at Abrahms Creek

04c - Group Picture at Highest Point

Bill, Trica, Syl, Dan, Nancy


06 - Heading Down toward the Falls    08 - Final Bridge to the Falls
08b - First View of Abrahms Falls   08c - A closer view of Abrahms Falls

The Perfect Lunch Spot
10 - Table for five


On Thursday, April 24th, Dan, Trica, Bill and I drove to the Porter’s Creek Trail.

This hike is on the northeast side of the park and was one of my favorites:o))
00 - Porter Creek Trail Map

The trail guide says it is 4.o miles roundtrip to Fern Branch Falls.

However, we hiked closer to 6 miles since we explored some off trail areas!!

Mid April to Mid May is wildflower season in the Smokies.  This trail is a wildflower lovers delight:o))

Since all the trails have many wildflowers,
I will do one post of the wildflowers we have seen at the end of the hiking posts.

Click on any photo to enlarge or hover your mouse on any photo for a description.
01 - Porters Creek Trail Sign    02 - Porters Creek
02b - Tricia getting a special picture of Porters Creek    02c - Wish you could hear the water

There were several of these little log bridges along the trail:o)

02e - Little Log Bridges along the trail

In the early 1900s, there were settlers who had a farm in this area.
Hard to imagine how you could farm and raise cattle in such hilly, rocky terraine!!
02d - old stone walls - remnants from the Elbert Cantrell farmstead, who settled here in the early 1900s  03a - Porters Creek - Stone Steps to Ownby Cemetery, which dates back to the early part of the 20th century.03b - Porters Creek - Ownby Cemetery  04 - Butterflies and Bees - somebody spilled something wet and sweet

The condition of the barn and well house were amazing!!

It felt like we were stepping back in time :o)
06 - Porters Creek - John Messer farm site - cantilevered barn built 1875.  06b - Porters Creek - John Messer barn - a closer look06c - Porters Creek - Well House  06d - Porters Creek - Well House Inside

Just behind the old homestead, the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club
built a hiking cabin that was used as an overnight facility until 1981.

06e - Porters Creek - Smoky Mountain Hiking Club Cabin built in the mid-1930s - used as an overnight facility until 198106f - Porters Creek - Smoky Mountain Hiking Club Cabin - Inside 

As you get closer to Fern Branch Falls, you must cross Porter Creek :o)
07a - Bridge across Porters Creek

Our first view of Fern Branch Falls.

11 - 60 ft Fern Branch Falls 

Dan hiked up to save our lunch spot on the downed tree in front of the falls!!
11c - Dan climbing up to reserve our lunch table log

Such a perfect spot for lunch.  Just the sights and sounds of nature!!!
11b - 60 ft Fern Branch Falls

When we returned to the campground, we gathered at Dan and Tricia's campsite for Dinner.  Dan grilled all-beef and veggie burgers and we all supplied some side dishes.  You’ll have to take my word for it that the food was great.  I was too busy eating to take photos;o))
After dinner and dessert, we put our feet up and sat back to watch Dan and Gin solve the engineering issues with Dan’s refrigerator.   We call Dan, MacGuyver and Gin is our Easy Button.  Between the two of them, there is nothing that can’t be fixed.  So if you are just starting into your full-time adventure, be sure to pick some very handy friends.  We are so lucky:o)))
13 - Dan and Gin working on Refridgerator Problem


  1. What a great time we had! Loved the wildflowers and those butterflies and bees were amazing. I know the guys hate they missed seeing that! :-)

  2. Looks like a fun time. We stayed at River Plantation RV Resort and found it very nice.

  3. You know maybe I need to send Dan and Gin a plane ticket to San Antonio to get our rig fixed :)

  4. So nice to see you're still having a great time on the road. It gets better every day.

    We'll be in Myrtle Beach at the KOA June 8-12 for a seminar Marti is attending. Maybe we can meet somewhere for dinner one night?

  5. So nice to see what you folks have been up to! I love your comments on my blog as well. Thanks!

  6. Nice to finally have an update from you guys. Looks like you're still having a blast.
    Take care and safe travels!

  7. Gorgeous pictures of those really great hikes. We really have to get back to GSMNP. This post reminds me of what a wonderful time we had there and how like Acadia it is in that there are SO many things to do.

  8. You guys always have such great times together! Isn't it wonderful to have such great friends :)

  9. Your pictures at GSMP bring back a lot of memories. We used to spend every Fall Break there in Gatlinburg with my parents, my brother and his wife, and our kids. Dianne and I did a lot of hiking. I remember the Abram Falls hike being a good one. Hope you all had fun at the rally.

  10. We still haven't gotten rid of all our pollen. We may have to wait till August in Michigan! :) Happy Mother's Day!

  11. Yes, it's good to have handy friends and handy to have good friends like you two. :) Enjoyed the hikes and the pre-rally week was a great idea. Happy Mother's Day!

  12. It looks like you found some great country!! Love the pictures as always.

  13. Nice blog…thanks for sharing! The hiking and water falls look amazing!