It’s the EMAZING original writer………Emily! That’s right I’m back! I have returned!
The 10 days that we “lived” in Tennessee, our family came to the conclusion that TN may not be the state for us to call home…not even for a little bit. If you read our last post then you know the trouble we had with our rig and the freezing (10 degree) weather. Exactly a week later, we were faced with another natural occurrence that left us, shall we say, Retty2Roam RIGHT OUT OF TN! Before we moved from Mountain Glen, we had to check Fall Creek Falls State Park. There, we took a nice relaxing hike and discovered some amazing waterfalls and cute little streams! It was gorgeous! Of course, if you know my sister, she had to bring her camera!
When the time came for us to leave Mountain Glen, we were not hesitant at all. We were very much ready to get out of there; and though the campground was nice, we were ready to move on. Little did we know that we were only headed towards more trouble…
Not everything was bad though. For instance…When we pulled into our spot in Nashville, I got a surprise text from Mrs. Brittani, my old Sunday school teacher in NC. Mrs. Brittani and her family had recently moved to Kentucky and was, at that time, only an hour away from where we parked. So, we made a plan to meet her at the Opry Mills mall for the day. It was so great to visit with her and little Christian! I missed her so much and sometimes it’s hard to be away from all our friends, but I know getting out of our comfort zone to take this journey is so worth it! We also got to explore the city of Nashville for a little while, but with it being the weekend, we didn’t care to stick around for long, if ya know what I mean;)
After hiking to some amazing waterfalls and discovering cute little streams, we were awestruck by the beauty of Creation, and were pleasantly surprised when we found that our new Nashville campsite featured a brook right behind us. Unfortunately, that beauty turned into a beast, and what happened a few days later was something we pray we will never go through again.
It started Wednesday. We had already been camping at Montgomery Bell State Park for a few days. There was a cold front moving into the state and with it brought some pretty powerful storms. It rained all day and Mom was growing concerned about the stream as she began to get warnings from the weather emergency center on her phone. Dad got home from the Nashville office around 6:30ish and we ate dinner right away. While we were clearing the dishes, there was a knock at our door. The park ranger said we had to get to a safe place immediately, there was a tornado coming down SR70, and that we only had 10-15 minutes to get out. As you can imagine, we grabbed our raincoats and shoes, pulled in the bedroom slides (just in case any tree limbs decided to fall, we wanted to reduce damages) and went down the road (leaving our rig) to the nearest Walmart. Mom figured she would grab some much needed groceries while we were there, and when Dad figured the threat was gone, we started to make our way back to the camper. Only we couldn’t…the only entrance we knew about had flooded, and we’re not talking about standing water… the rain levels had gotten so high that there was now an extremely powerful current flowing over the road. We had to find another way; we couldn’t drive through the whitewater rushing over the road without being thrown into the woods. Eventually, we learned from some folks also trying to get into the park that there was a back entrance, so we whipped out our GPS and followed them to what we hoped was a way in. We were all amazed at how fast the roads had flooded, and were not at all prepared for what we were about to witness back at the site. We drove through the extremely long back entrance and finally got to the campground area, and our worst-case-scenario became a reality. The creek that was once a peaceful babbling water feature, was now a terrifying, raging river; and in the middle of it all was our home! Our. HOME. was. in. the. middle. of. a. flash. flood…. and it was only getting worse. Dad got out to inspect behind the coach, to see if it was really as bad as it looked. We knew it was bad as we saw him start wading as fast as he could back to the truck shouting “We have to get out of here NOW!”. Next thing we knew, us kids were sitting helpless in the truck as Mom and Dad were frantically tearing things off of our rig so we might be able to reach safety.
At this point all the stress, comotion, and fear that comes with a natural disaster was tripled. It was raining pretty hard, we were all praying HEAVILY and I was (of course) panicking and hyperventilating. I mean, could you blame me? The creek levels weren’t getting any lower, and our house and parents were in the midst of all this. Because of God and God alone we got out of there safely. Congrats to Mama for her first time hitching up the rig in the middle of all this! She demonstrated grace under pressure very well:) We found a pull-over picnic area, in the campground; it wasn’t ideal, but it was higher ground and safe. After the shock and tears of what had just happened subsided, we finally got some rest. The next morning we retrieved our stuff that miraculously clung to various trees and picnic tables throughout the campground, and got as far away from Montgomery Bell as possible. We also learned from a park ranger that it was supposed to rain more that afternoon, so that sped up our recovery effort. The Retty’s were completely done with what Tennessee had to offer, and decided that it was not our favorite state!
Whew! That was a long one! Listen, we aren’t writing this to complain about our misfortunes. What went down in TN was just part of the adventure we signed up for with this lifestyle. It isn’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows, and we realize that. I think this also taught us as a family to stop taking for granted things that could be taken away from us in an instant, like our safety or our home. Coming close to that happening at least made me a whole lot more grateful for the things I’ve been blessed with. I don’t think I’ve ever been that comfortable in my bed in my life! So, with that being said, I’m going to go enjoy some DRY weather, thank you very much!
Sorry for the false alarm email!! We pressed Publish before it was ready:(