Sunday, June 29, 2014
Hanging Out In Knoxville, Tennessee
We celebrated being “BooniePeople” for one year on June 18th. Hard to believe it has been a year already. Looking back was exciting in many respects. The joy of finally getting started. The sorrow of realizing we wouldn’t be seeing our kids for the longest period since their birth. The excitement of not knowing what was around the next bend in the road. Meeting new people as we traveled down the line we drew on our map. People that are acquaintances, and not really friends per se, as these relationships only last a couple of days, or maybe it is a week before we wish them a safe journey as we head off down our path. Oh, we have collected some email addresses to stay in touch but the odds of physically meeting up with them in the future is probably very slim. Our path remains a long line spanning the next few years and we are enjoying the moments.
We have been hanging out in the hills just north (9 miles) of Knoxville, Tennessee, in a nice Escapee park named “Raccoon Valley”. We haven’t seen a raccoon yet! Life is plenty slow here. The local folks are all very nice. We have been here since June 5th and haven’t determined our departure date yet. The back air conditioner decided to take a dump this past week and the local Camping World took us in for repair. Just a capacitor this time. If you have followed our travels you know - it’s always something!
There is plenty to do around Knoxville actually. Oak Ridge, Tennessee is 15 miles up the country road. Known as, “The Secret City”, it is the place where the scientists enriched the uranium for the Manhattan Project in 1942. There is a decent museum there – The American Museum of Science & Energy.
Clinton is between Raccoon Valley and Oak Ridge and is famous for its antique markets. Tennessee is antiques. Contemporary would be novel in Tennessee! Actually, I’m getting used to antiques . . . because they are more like us. Antiques!
Downtown Knoxville is right on the Tennessee River. Old paddle-wheelers for dinner cruises, etc. U of Tennessee is connected to downtown. Beautiful school with the school colors (Orange) showing everywhere. A big football stadium is customary in the south.
Old downtown Knoxville is centered by the “Market Square” which is refurbished into a bunch of museums, T-shirt shops, cocktail joints, and restaurants. Plenty of structured parking charging a buck an hour. It is worth it here. Live jazz music outdoors on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in the Market Square. Sidewalk restaurants are nice in the Square because the traffic has no access. Of course there are pigeons around the statues!
About 20 miles east of Knoxville are the three major tourist towns of Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Sevierville is famous as the birthplace of Dolly Parton, and Pigeon Forge is where “Dollywood” is located. Gatlinburg is the gateway town to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. You can also buy moonshine (100 proof) in Gatlinburg along with a new T-shirt if you need one!
Soon we will start moving back towards the western U.S. Like I said, undetermined departure date at this time. But our next destination will be Nashville for three to seven days followed by three to seven in Memphis. Yes, “Graceland” is on the calendar along with a dinner boat river cruise on the “Mighty Mississippi”. Being an Elvis fan, Janet is very excited about seeing Graceland. From Memphis we will be heading into the Branson, Missouri area for at least a week. Branson is in “Tornado Alley” and we will be watching the weather reports and basically staying there day-to-day.
We continue to enjoy the road. Give us an email if you have a question about something you read.
Regards to all.
Dave & Janet
Travel Blog: www.booniepeople.com