North Carolina and Tennessee
Blue Ridge Parkway
The 755 km long panoramic road led us along the Blue Ridge Mountain range from North Carolina to Virginia. Hundreds of kilometres high green walls to the left and right. A bit like on the Transamazonica in Brazil, just tarred. In between viewpoints worth their name. Unusual for America: not one traffic lights along the whole way.
Little goes in America without memberships
Which means wide ranging discounts.
AAA, Automobile Club of USA - KOA, camping franchise - Good Sam Club – membership card of department store chains (Walmart, Kroger etc.) which connect to customers by offering discounts on the card.
Due to a positive coincidence, we are now owners of a US Senior Pass.
This grants us high discounts on camping in national parks, national forest camping and state parks as well as army corps camps and many more. Normally up to 50%.
Hook-ups on campsites in the USA
A must for the often oversized XXL American mobile homes. Most of the campsites offer a 30 or 50 Amp 110-volt power point and water connection for each site. Sometimes even an additional black water point onto which the black water as well as the grey water can be directly drained and disposed of. Otherwise this has to be done at the respective disposal stations.
To be able to also use our electrical appliances like aircon, microwave, etc. in the middle of nowhere we bought a handy 3kw generator. To run or to charge the little consumers our RAM has a build-in 110 volt station in the centre console.
Driving and parking in the USA
There is nothing easier than driving on the generous, multiple-laned, broad roads of America. Junctions are regulated by light signals or stop signs, just like virtually everything in this country. Without an explicit interdiction, it is allowed to turn right at a red traffic light, after having stopped shortly and by adhering to the yield rules. Speed limits are well signposted. We additionally saved them on our navigation system.
Huge free parking spaces without height limits make it easy to reach the shops and malls. Everything is concipated generously. There is still space left. We only saw a few parking decks.
Our RAM as well as the der Cirrus Truck Camper have keyless access. I carry the remote of the Ram on my belt. All in all, a very comfortable affair. But there is this little red button. This should only be pushed in on very special occasions. It is marked with Panic! I was indeed panicking when I pressed the button and did not know how to switch off the very loud car alarm again.
On-board vehicle computer
The many possibilities of the on-board computer, which is also connected to the internet are virtually endless. One app for example shows fuel stations with name, distance as well as the current fuel prices. Speaking of fuel prices: a litre super fuel currently costs around 50 cents.
It is really comfortable to be able to start the car via remote control and to let it cool down before we climb in. At the current 38˚C a real treat.
Signposts in the USA
Oversized advertising signposts can be seen en masse.
By now we know that the ABC signposts don’t have anything to do with schools, but are actually liquor stores.
On the highway information signs show food, camping, shopping and accommodation, always indicating the number of the exit road.
After having read countless Karl May books as a boy I had a certain perception of the Red Indians. The facts today are completely different. The place Cherokee is a huge conglomeration of shops, amusement stalls, casinos, just America pure.
The guided tour in the Red Indian village and the depicted dances were simply embarrassing.