The first two days in Knoxville,we had great weather, sunny skies and a temperature in the high 70's, the third day we woke up to about a half inch of snow on the ground and a temperature of about 28 degrees. I would have taken a picture of the snow but the camera was out in the car and I wasn't about to go out in the cold to get it.
Fortunately the first day here we did a lot of running around, we started at the Knoxville National Cemetery, this is about the 20th National Cemetery that we have visited. This one, as most of the older ones is in an older part of town and is one of the smaller ones that we have been to, also the stones were not lined up very uniform as most of them are this was laid out more like an ordinary cemetery. They did have one very nice monument as you can see on the left.
The cemetery is attached (divided by a stone wall) to the Old Gray Cemetery which is the place to be buried if you are a big shot and live in Knoxville, well you will probably have to be buried in the New (Old) Gray Cemetery a few miles away since this one is full. This one has about 40 ex- senators, governors, founders, pioneers, and a large number of early war veterans. Buried here is Captain James Roger McCallum of the famed "Immortal Six Hundred", your assignment is to figure out who or what the Immortal Six Hundred were and what they did to receive this title.
Next we crossed the the Tennessee (Holston) River, and spent ten minutes driving back and forth looking for an unmarked entrance to Lambert Overlook Park. This is were the Civil War Fort Dickerson is located, The earthworks are still very well defined and they have added a few plaques and markers explaining the forts purpose. They have placed four canons here since this was the high ground and was used to defend the river below, you can get a great view of downtown Knoxville from here and the Volunteer Stadium.
Now a little drive through some really nice neighborhoods, it's Dogwood Festival Time in Knoxville and everywhere you go they are in full bloom, over to the Ijam Nature Center. The center has four different sections and each offers miles of marked trails and exhibits, we stopped at the main center and where they have a Raptor enclosure, there are two sections and the one we wanted had a Red-tailed Hawk. This hawk is huge with a 49 inch wing-span and looks like he could kick anybody s butt that he wanted to, to me this guy looked more majestic then a Bald Eagle, couldn't get a picture since they keep you back a distance and the wire mesh enclosure.
We took the River Walk Trail, which took use through the woods down to a boardwalk that was built into the side of the rock cliffs and took you for about a mile down the edge of the Tennessee River and past the opening of an old cave.
After our little exercise we headed back to the north side of the river and the city to find Sharps Ridge Memorial Park, this is another one that you really have to be looking for to find it. It's a
very high hill and the road runs right along the top ridge so you get a pretty good view of both sides, this is also where every type of radio or cell phone tower is located, there had to be at least 15 towers up here (can you hear me now). We also found out by looking at all the vehicles parked in the pull offs that this is where you come for a date, that is if you are a guy looking for another guy, not that there's anything wrong with that. I made Cathy stand close by at all times.
OK! its lunch time and we're off in search of Fountain City and Litton's Market, voted home of the best burger in Knoxville for the last 20 years. A little hard to find but Cathy spotted it back off the main street as we drove by, it's 2:00 and it's not crowded so in we go. After waiting five minutes to be seated with at least ten tables open (we were about to leave but this is the BEST BURGER in K-town). Now we're seated and looking at the menus, glancing at the prices this better be the BEST BURGER in K-town, have you ever chewed on the tongue of your tennis shoe after running a marathon in August in the deep south. Well if you have then that was juicier and had more flavor then the BEST BURGER in K-town had, I think when they voted for this they counted the wrong dangling chads and they really meant to award it to Wendy's or McDonalds or something. K-town should stick to judging ribs and BBQ and leave the burgers to the people up north, looks like the South lost again.
Back to camp and a three day hibernation until this cold front moves through. Did I mention the SNOW!
Happy Easter to every one.