Huddled off the floor and away from the leaky walls we were able to stay mostly dry, but the water wasn’t my main concern. That same thunder and lightning that I had admired from the security of the shop window only intensified as the night wore on. Through the nylon tent as well as my clinched eyelids, the brightness of the lightning flashes both memorized and terrified me. The storm didn’t seem to move or pass over us all night. It simply taunted us by demonstrating it’s power and our helplessness. Like a lightning rod our metal framed camper called out to the storm and I knew at any moment our number could be called. One side of my mind justified that there had to be millions of buildings, trees, other campers(real RV campers) and objects taller than us. The other side of me repeatedly pleaded to spend the night in the communal bathrooms. But hey, we survived and immediately headed for a hotel the next two nights.
Dry and safely indoors, we decided not to venture into the Great Smoky National Park like we had planned, and instead headed into downtown Knoxville for their Dogwood Arts Festival. Live music, a string of food trucks, beer and wine tasting, what more could we ask for? The following day we enjoyed a five mile hike in the park and that night we moved back outside to the camper. Sylvester held up better in the toned down rain we endured this evening. However the floor did again take on some water. At this point I don’t know if its user error or the flawed non-water proof floor of the camper. But I guess we’ll find out as this was only our second night in the camper and apparently it rains a lot in the East.