I rolled out of the motel to fog hugging the top of the hills, and cool temperatures. Every time the sun tried to pop out, a big, black cloud covered it up. I went through the town of Harriman, and then out into the country. Nothing new, rolling roads, dense tree cover, lakes, streams, hollows and hills. With the size of the hills, I was fortunate to follow streams, travel through gaps, ride along lakes, and every once in a while, climb over a hill from one watershed to another.This went on until I was turned out into the Oak Ridge Parkway. Suddenly, I had a newly paved, divided four lane highway, that went on for about 11 miles, into the town of Oak Ridge. I stopped at a bike shop there and bought a tire, because my front tire was showing some serious wear and tear. I don't want to get stuck in those mountains that are ahead, so I am erring on the side if caution. The shop owner was swamped, had no help, and didn't seem to be working too hard. When I asked him if he'd be interested in changing the tire, GE said he was too busy, then proceeded to bs with me for longer than it would have taken to change the tire. I strapped it onto the back of the bike, and off I went, through the town of Oak Ridge, until GPS girl had me out in the country roads again. I didn't argue with her today, and I have to say, with a few exceptions, she did a good job getting me where I wanted to go. Tennessee also does a good job keeping their back roads in good repair. I was only on one or two roads that weren't in good riding condition. Even though I really wasn't on any main roads except the Oak Ridge Parkway, there was always population around, and I never felt like I was in the middle of nowhere.
Eventually I picked up US 25, and it brought me on a roller coaster into Northwest Knoxville. The whole time I was in that town, I saw nothing that really impressed me. I was on residential roads, that fit between the freeways. North Knoxville was old where I was, and a little run down. I went pretty close to the Knoxville zoo, but never saw it. I picked up US11, and that road was a treat, with wide shoulders and gentle rollers, unlike US25, that I came into town on. All good things have to come to an end, and eventually US11 headed off to the north, where I've seen it near Hagerstown Maryland, and near Harrisburg, PA. I was once again on US 70, which continued it's shoulderless, rolling ways. GPS girl kept taking me away from it, and I let her do it, unlike other days in Tennessee. So, it was back into the country for the final leg of the journey, into Dandridge. When I got to my motel, right next to I 40 again, I was lucky to get a room because of a big bass fishing tournament, and a car autocross in the area. There were fishermen and gear heads everywhere. I walked down the hill to Wendy's, had supper, and checked out all the boats and cars before crashing.
|The day started off with fog hanging over the tops of the hills|
|I had plenty of water, surrounded by hills to look at|
|A Tennessee Valley Authority power plant near Oak Ridge|
|There is Baptist Church next to Baptist Church around here. It's been that way all through Arkansas and Tennessee|
|A mural under an overpass in North Knoxville|
|This was my only view of downtown Knoxville|
|My first view of the Great Smokey Mountains|
|One of the narrow back roads I was on. Still nicely paved though.|
|All the fishing boats in the motel parking lot.|
|Nice muscle cars too!|
|The mountains were still looming in the distance|