Monday, April 17, 2006

Throught the Smokies and into Knoxville

Pretty much just a bunch of photos this week, we've left the south end of the Smokies and are in Knoxville for a week. We've driven through Knoxville a hundred times and figured it was time to stop and see what was here. Of course the first thing we found was the other McKay Used Book store, this is the best used book store in the country. We had a bag of books in the back of the car so I took them in to see what they wanted and they gave us $30 credit, we probably only paid $20 for the books to begin with, with $30 credit we ended up with alot more books. I forgot to mention last week that we were at the Southeast side of the Smokies which is very different from the rest, no tourist traps, no Dollyworld and no crowds.

This is what the welcome sign looks like from Waynesville, N.C. This is what you get to after about 15 miles of one lane road with two way traffic which takes you 45 minutes to drive. There were atleast 30 switchback turns with a very large drop off into the valley, you have to slow to about 5 mph and blow your horn before you start the turn incase someone is coming the other way. We went back as far as the road would go then we hiked back into the woods a few more miles following a beautiful mountain stream. As it

turns out this was only about 30 miles from
where the family was mauled by the bear. We went back to see the herd of Elks but we got there a little to early in the day and didn't get a chance to see any, they don't come out of the woods until late afternoon, maybe next year.
So we just looked at the mountains.

We spent a day at the Carl Sandburg House and Farm. It's a 240 acre estate with a prize winning goat farm that his wife ran, she had many world champion milking goats and was a well known breeder. If you look close at the picture of his office, the little dark room, you'll see that his typing table was an orange crate tipped on its side.
His file cabineets all had Campbells or Canned corn printed on the side of them, he used cardboard boxes to store everything and his pencil holder was a beer can with the top cut off. They said that he just refused to throw anything away.

This time of year is birthing time for the goats and we got there at the perfect time, these two little guys are 8 days old and just as cute as could be.
And now back to Knoxville, after we left the book store we wandered around until we hit the river then just followed the road along side it until we came across the UT's gardens. They have a big Agriculture school here and this is the experimental garden were they test plants from around the world and try to adapt them to the Tennessee climate.

The Veterinarian school is right next door and they have this monument at the front door.

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day so we returned to the river and went to Volunteer Landing, where here is a mile and a half riverwalk with a few floating restaurants, some fountains and waterfalls for the kids to play in when its hot. There was quiet a few people down there biking and rollerblading and a few just sitting under one of the waterfalls. We tried on of the restaurants and watched the barges and paddle boats go by as we ate.

They have a lot of bridges down here, the one in the background was built in th e mid 1800's and is only one of three of this design that is still in use in the United States. If you continue down the walkway and cross another little stream you end up at Fort White which was the original Knoxville. They have restored the Fort and it's right in the middle of Downtownm there are also a few more original buildings and homes from the founding days. But the best thing in the downtown area or along the river or in the city or even in the entire state is the stadium that houses the ORANGE NATION FANS every Saturday during the fall, the birthplace of the great Peyton Manning. Believe it or not.

Next Week we go to Chilhowie VA. to conquer the Appalachian and Virgina Creeper Trails.

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