We got up EARLY and made breakfast. We tried to drink the rest of the milk, but ended up giving half a gallon to the dogs, who also got some butter and the last of the eggs. They rolled in the sun on the edge on the porch and sloshed when they stood up. I packed the last half gallon of vanilla almond milk and the rest of our cold stuff.

We got on the road just after 7 and it was not until Stephenson, AL that anyone had power. Gas station lines were snaked in every direction and the grocery store there was covered over. We heard on the news that one tornado was a mile and a half wide. We sat silently as we marked off 1.5 miles. We counted houses and cars in a mile and a half and stayed quiet for a while.

Chattanooga had some power issues, one exit would look like a ghost town, the next, like a normal busy intersection. Every Wal-Mart we passed looked like 2 days before Christmas. People were loading wood into trucks at all the Home Depots we passed, too. We got off the Interstate at Cleveland, which had also been hit by a tornado. They were back in business in the area we went through and we stopped for lunch at Burger King. Bolstered by hot fries, as any good American child will be, we got back on the road and started calling around to see if we could find a place to stay. we thought Tellico was spared, but it was not. Caney Creek Village, our first choice, had no power. We called KOA. They had a kamping kabin-the very one we have stayed in a dozen times already-and they gave us a discount and did not charge for Zeppie.

We got everything settled on the phone and decided to take our time getting there. We passed the sign for the turn to Reliance and it was just 6 miles down the road! So, off we went and Daddy was not wrong! It was beautiful.

We played in the Hiawassee River most of the afternoon, then drove the back route to Tellico Plains and got signed in. The kids got in the chilly pool and we were finally able to check in with friends online-what a relief it was to see all the Roamies had weathered the storm!

We had hot showers and went looking for food. The Beach was backed up like mad, so Jake and I snagged some pizza in town and it was a hit! With full bellies and clean bodies, we went to bed early.

The view from DAR near Scottsburo, and a baby groundhog below.

Reliance, TN:

This is VERY like the stream near Big Bill Mountain in Montana. I have a few rocks from there and was certain it was the only place that had rocks in so many different colors. I was so excited to see the bed here was made of the same mixture of hundreds of colors, most shot through with mica, it was beautiful. The above pic is a snail, that striped shell in the middle of my head.

Found this one already arranged. Not sure if someone left it for me to find or if it washed around like that.

The boys floating down the little rapids.

Zephyr was horrified by the water. She swam to the edge and climbed out into an area I could not reach from the streambed. She made some small effort to save herself, then laid down to die. I had to climb a muddy bank and haul her bodily out by her collar until I could get something more substantial and she was limp and flopped her head. She went from totally vibrant dog to bear bait in about 90 seconds. We were a little worried!

Chan finally donned her suit and went to float down with the boys. Next time we run away from a tornado, we have to remember to bring tubes.

Zep was so happy to have this little dog sidewalk. She trotted and barked at cars and generally had a wonderful walk across the bridge!

The river is stocked with trout. We have watched men fly fish for years now on our trips to Tellico and I have never, ever met one who caught a trout.

Yeah, I took 2 pictures of the same building, one from the van and one walking on the bridge. I liked them both.

I liked the dog.
We stopped in here at the Webb Brother's/post office and picked up drinks and a small bag of salty chips! Then we walked around behind it and sat on the stone wall and looked at the river for a while. It was a great afternoon.
When we got back to the van, we were watching what we all thought was a hawk until it got closer and we saw the size. Then the bright white head! An eagle! The first one we have ever seen in the wild, despite going on eagle watches and driving to Guntersville in the sub-zero weather to look for them.

Matt read us the story of the long haired man, a local legend of a man who stole 17 people from Reliance, TN over a period of years starting back in the 1800's. It was gruesome and more than a little scary. I thought about it the next day when I lagged behind on the trail! Eep! It sounded very Blair Witchesque with children being stolen and dragged off never to be seen again or found hanging in trees.

View from the overlook on the road to the dam. Which you can drive all the way back to, but can't actually see.

Above is the view from behind the store. I don't know why it's so far down here in the pics, but I am too tired to mess with moving it. ha!
There is a train you can ride that goes over that bridge, I plan to be on that thing at some point! Maybe I can take Daddy! : )

This one is to be called Pool Monster