After we left Ft. Myers, FL, we wanted to get to Nashville in 2 days and needed to put some miles on the coach. We got as far as Tampa on Wednesday evening and “dry-camped” (no hookups) in a nice Cracker Barrel parking lot just off the highway. The parking is free and meals are always easy at Cracker Barrel. After breakfast, we got back on Interstate 75 and continued north toward Georgia. It was our first time to drive north through Atlanta with the RV and neither of us were looking forward to the traffic in the coach with the toad (car we tow) behind us. No matter how I try, I always seem to get into a big city at rush hour and this was no exception. There are a couple of constants in Atlanta: tons of traffic and road construction. They have so very many roads and highways there and they are always, always crowded!
Tail lights, police rushing to accidents, drivers cutting across all the lanes, and, of course, drivers who pull out in front of the RV. I always leave a couple of car lengths between me and the car in front; it’s just safer. But there are always people who feel like that open spot belongs to them and in they fly. With the toad behind me, I do not like to have to lay on the brakes that hard and wish people would give me the space! Even though there are so very many highways around Atlanta, every one of them is always crowded and between 4:00 and 7:00 every night, it is much worse. They are building a new baseball stadium just north of Atlanta and, of course, are building new highway lanes to accommodate that traffic……road construction is a constant here!
I found a campground just north of Atlanta on Alatoona Lake and we pulled in around 6:30. I took a water/electric only site to save $$ and we parked looking towards the water. The road in was a windy little thing with a railroad crossing, but once in the campground, it was lovely. The site was a good size, it was shady and cool near the water. Tall pine trees shaded everything and campfire smoke began to fill the air. Ahhhhhhhhh…….easy to relax.
The next morning we headed out to drive to Chattanooga and then west toward Nashville. Another reason we have avoided the Atlanta route is the mountains around Chattanooga. We have not really had the coach in big mountains yet and didn’t know what to expect. In this time line, though, this was the shortest and fastest way to Nashville from Tampa. We learned that the RV has an engine brake (not a Jake brake) and used that to manage the drive down the mountains around Chattanooga. It held the engine in check, did not require Barry to used the brakes, and kept us a nice slow speed down the other side. Nashville here we come!