We did it. This past weekend we traveled to western North Carolina to Tsali Recreation Area. I contacted Subluxation, an SMB owner in Cincinnati, about our trip to see if he was interested in going or meeting up. He had interest so we stayed in communication on travel plans and arrival times.
Our weekend was full of fun and great fall scenery. We left late Thursday afternoon due to my wife’s delayed return flight from a business trip. Even with the late start, we were all looking forward to the trip. We made our way to one of our favorite places to go (Tsali) and stayed at Levi Jackson State Park in London, KY just off of interstate 75 the first night. FYI, if you are traveling during the winter months, Levi Jackson is open all year and they do have electrical hookups.
Friday morning we headed out with a quick stop at Starbucks to fuel up before hitting the road. Just as we got on the interstate, I got a call from Subluxation. He said he would be there Saturday afternoon (Awesome). The day started out sunny, but as we headed south the clouds started to roll in. We knew from the forecast that there was a chance for some rain. As we kept driving the clouds got thicker and it started to rain.
View on Hwy 28 headed toward Tsali.
When we got to Tsali, about 2pm, it was drizzling rain. We were there about an hour when the weather broke and we started to have some sun (YES) and it pretty much stayed that way the rest of the afternoon.
Arrived at Tsali, site #12.
Since my wife’s flight got delayed, and we wanted to get on the road, we decided to wait to get groceries at Ingles in Bryson City, NC. When we pulled into the grocery store parking lot, there was a mini cooper meet-up. They were all lined up in the parking lot. Of course, all of their heads turned when we pulled in. My wife was driving, so she smiled real big and waved as we drove by.
At Ingle’s in the parking lot, with the Mini Coopers in the background.
When we finished getting groceries, it was already 5pm so we decided to go to Nate & Nicks Pizza in town. There is nothing like great pizza and the Nantahala Brewing Co. Dirty Girl Blonde Ale to wash it all down.
SMB parked at the Bryson City old courthouse (now a museum) parking lot.
Walking across the bridge over the Tuckaseegee River…they have nice planters along the streets.
At Nate and Nick’s Pizza…aahhh, the beer finally comes...
If you are in Bryson City, NC go to the Nantahala Brewing Co. They are the local brewery and have a wide selection of beers. My favorite is the Dirty Girl Blonde Ale. I also love their catch phrase, “Water is for Quitters”. If you are lucky, you can buy one of their shirts with this phrase on the back of the shirt. Every time I try to get one they don’t have my size or they are sold out.
With our stomachs full, we headed back to Tsali campground. We pulled into our site and raised the penthouse and settled in for the evening.
I texted Subluxation to let him know that I could grab a site for them. Subluxation texted back and said they would be there Saturday around 2pm, and thanks for grabbing a site. I checked the forecast and radar and saw that a big line of storms were getting ready to roll in at our location. It started to rain about 9pm and did so solidly through the whole night. We were sure glad to be in our SMB instead of a tent.
When we woke up on Saturday morning at 9am, it was still raining. We brought mtn. bikes with us and wanted to ride. There were a few people riding in the rain. I would have ridden then, but I thought Subluxation would want to ride when he got there. Plus I knew if I got wet and muddy, my wife would not let me back into the Sportsmobile. So, I decided to wait until Subluxation arrived and rode then.
Subluxation arrived a little after 2pm and guess what, they brought the sun with them (Yeah). We decided to get ready and ride. Subluxation, his son, and I rode and the trails were still wet and muddy. We wanted to go to the Rivers End in Wesser for dinner before they closed, so we decided to do the short 4-mile loop and return to camp to change to go to dinner.
We had great food at River’s End. I got my usual, the Wesser Burger with fries and of course a Dirty Girl Blonde Ale. After dinner, as we were walking back to our SMB, we noticed a mini cooper was parked right next to us. Mini Coopers seem to be attracted to our Sportsmobile. It is like a scene out of the Cars movie. When we were in Flagstaff, AZ one parked nose to nose with our van.
Does this happen to anybody else?
Somebody has Sportsmobile envy...
In July at the Beaver Street Brewery in Flagstaff, AZ
Sunday morning, Subluxation was gracious enough to fix us a breakfast of meat (Yeah Baby). We ate up and went out to ride. We decided to do the Thompson Loop trail. It is 7.5 miles long and has an awesome downhill at the last mile. It is one of my favorite trails at Tsali.
Subluxation grilling up the meat... I don’t know what my daughter and wife are looking at??
Meat is for dinner, I mean breakfast.
Taking a rest on the Thompson Loop Trail.
Group photo of us. Notice, no mud. It was drier Sunday.
Subluxation and I rode the Thompson loop again while my wife took the kids back to camp. When we all got back at the campsite from our ride, it was 2pm. Subluxation and his son had to head back to Cincinnati on Sunday since his son had school on Monday morning. But before they left, Subluxation brought a pre-cooked brisket with them and was willing to share it with us. In previous conversations, we learned that he grew up in Kansas and was a big fan of Kansas City barbecue. With all this meat he brought with them, I was wondering if he has some kind of a secret grill master barbecue chef thingy going on. With our stomachs full again with meat, it was time to say our goodbyes.
We really had a great meetup.
Thanks Subluxation for taking us up on our offer to do a meetup! We really had a great time.
86Scotty - wish you could have made it since you are so close to the area, but we understand. Maybe next time it will work out with schedules. We would like to meet you and your family sometime.
Our campsites. Two red Sportsmobiles!
My daughter playing with Bacon. Yes, that is the dog’s name.
Subluxation packing up.
VW vans camped across from us. They must have liked us...
Subluxation, his son, and Bacon the dog.