Friday, February 28, 2014

If It Ain't One Bucking Thing It's Another

Really? I guess Tennessee's winter is just like North Carolina's. We left Sister Sister-in-law Cindy's home in King with snow on the ground, shivering like two lizards lookin' for a hot rock. By the time we reached Saddle Up! 2014 at Clabough Campground in Pigeon Forge, it was 77 degrees. Flashback to Moonshine Run in Kentucky last year: There was a front moving through and with it came warnings of straight line winds and flash flooding. My nervous disorder was shot to shet again. Determined to make it in time for this year's Meet & Greet, Thelma put the pedal to the metal. Bella's new, ass tattoo may have had something to do with it:

The new tat went to Thelma's head so she drove it like she stole it.

We checked in at the campground office under the name Denise Pritchett, Site #C2. Who is Denise, you ask? 

Cindy to Desk Clerk:  We're registered under the name, Pritchett.
Desk Clerk: Yes, I remember you from last year. Did you have a good trip here, Denise?
Donna:  Say again?
Cindy:  That's funny. Y'all had me registered under Denise Pritchett, but I know it was changed to Cindy when I made reservations for this year.
Desk Clerk: Oh, well we can correct that right here and now. Okay, so, how do you spell, Denise?
Cindy: C-I-N-D-Y.

I peed my pants.

We located our site, and the first thing we noticed were tons of dry gravel, a far cry from the year before when we shared a site with a makeshift flamingo duck pond.

There was only one problem with the nicely laid gravel; it left evidence whenever we hauled likker over state lines. The po po would be able to trace bootlegging right straight back to our trailer.

Little did we know this was just the beginning of what would be a night of one bucking thing after another. Not that stabilizers would keep Bella grounded in the path of a tornado, but if we had remembered to pack them perhaps Cindy and I wouldn't have felt so seasick every time we stepped into the trailer. Bella rocked with the least little movement.

First on our list for a Walmart run was a pair of stabilizers, when, CRASH, I knocked our only lantern over and shattered the globe. "Add lantern globe to the list, Thelma!"  The impending storm forecast included a 90% chance of rain overnight so we elected to set up Bella's outside d├ęcor the following morning. All there was left to do was hook up the electricity.

"Thelma, our power cord doesn't fit the campsite outlet. It's a two-prong, not a three-prong. Shet." Adaptor would be next on our list.

Luckily, Cindy was able to purchase an adaptor from the campground before we were to join the Sisters at the pavilion for the evening's festivities. Even though Bella is as noticeable as a new saloon in a church district, we needed to leave the lights on at Motel 6 to find our way back after drinks with the sistahs. We could have followed the cooler trail I left, but I broke the damn lantern. Buck.

First, at Saddle Up, was to share a dinner comprised of dishes famous to each Sister's town and/or state. Representing the Mid-Atlantic/Appalachian Region, the Sisters who attended hailed from Florida, Maryland, Arizona, Illinois, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, and Georgia to name a few.

Bama Pride

Jalapeno Apples. Yum-O, but hot enough to scorch a cub bear's butt.

Gluten-free desserts from Kentucky and Moravian goodies from Old Salem in North Carolina.
 There were fo-corner'd nabs from North Carolina and MoonPies out of Tennessee.
Home of LANCE Products
Originated in Chattanooga, TN
 Didn't haf no grape soda so we warshed it down with apple.
Shine strong enough to make a muley-cow grow horns.
Tired as a ruttin' bull-cat after an all-night prowl through the mud, me and Denise saddled up and rejoined Bella for the evening...or so we thought.  We took another good look at the forecast before settling in. Neither shine, nor forecast, nor pills, nor Calamity Cindy was going to make me feel comfortable enough to fall asleep.

The brunt of the storm was expected to pass through Pigeon Forge at 3:45 a.m.

Sister Annie Oakley attempting to load her pistol. Don't ask.
Once Cindy Denise found all the bullets she dropped onto the floor, I wondered did she think a pistol would calm my fear of the storm. Just shoot the tornado, Cindy. We'll be fine.

For over an hour, we tossed and turned in an already unsteady, unleveled trailer. We got a tap on the door from our Saddle Up event coordinator, Kaytu, telling us to gather necessary items in case of an emergency.
Kaytu's get-the-hell-outta-Dodge attire.
Gurll, I was already one step ahead of her on that. A short while later, she returned to notify us that the campground residents were indeed being evacuated to a nearby motel. Oh buck.

Our bucking troubles had only just begun...