This was one of those state park signs that I followed. There was an admission fee, but I explained to the employees at the entrance that I just wanted to drive through quickly, so they let me in. It is located in the southeastern part of Indiana, and is really large.
One of the fun things that I did while in Louisville was to walk across the Ohio River on the new pedestrian bridge. It was a beautiful day, and it was very calming. If you Louisville and have time, do this.
I am sure there are more rural areas than I have visited, but I like what I have seen. For several days, I have traveled through miles of farm land. While they seem familiar to me, I know there are differences. It is much warmer (and humid) here, but there’s more than that.
- People seem less rushed and less stressed. I can no longer count the number of times that someone pulled out in front of me and then casually got up to speed. Related to that, travelers in the rural areas came up behind me (they had been going much faster), but they did not take the first (or often any) opportunity to race around me. Of course, as I neared more urban areas, people did race around me even if I was already exceeding the speed limit.
- Perhaps one reason they are less stress is that they have porches with chairs where they sit in the afternoons and evenings. Yes, they do that. I have seen it repeatedly. I have been tempted to stop and ask to experience it, but that would be weird.
- The small of freshly mowed or baled hay here does not bother my allergies. I am confused a little about how they make hay because there are no bales. Instead, they have a lot of big rolls of hay. (So, why is is called baling?) Apparently they don’t put the rolls in the barn (they probably don’t stack well), but instead, they appear to collect the rolls at the edge of the field. That’s just what I’ve observed, but I really don’t know. I did see two barns with the rolls inside, and they did not look easy to move.
- I am impressed that people here create pools for their cows. I saw a lot of pools that didn’t seem clean enough for human bathing, and then I saw cows soaking in a few ponds. I first saw this on my way to Chattanooga, and I thought that I was mistaken. But since then, I have seen cows submerged up to their backs in water in several ponds. Obviously the cows were cooling (or chillin’) in the pools, but I wonder what Temple Grandin would say about pools for cows.
- I have seen more riding lawn mowers than I thought existed on this planet. I think nearly every family has a riding lawn mower. I have seen heavy set men, youth, and little old ladies mowing their enormous lawns. People here seem to take pride in their lawns, and they keep them well groomed. Many people also have entrances (lions, stones, bricks, angels, etc.) to their residences, and I think that shows pride in their homes.
I enjoyed my journey through Tennessee, and now I hope to see what I can find in Kentucky.
Chanticleer Inn is a gorgeous bed and breakfast on Lookout Mountain south of Chattanooga, TN. The B&B is actually in Georgia, and everything about the place (except the mosquitoes), was beautiful.
When I arrived, I was greeted by the evening hostess and shown to my room (cottage #8). My room was very comfortable. They had my room ready with the lights on, the cookbook I pre-ordered wrapped as a gift, and ice in the ice bucket.
I want to go back when I can truly relax and spend more time. On Saturday while I was there, I worked on my dissertation. It was time well spent, but when I return, I hope to have someone with me to share the experience.
On the advice of a complete stranger, I visited Burgess Falls. The first sign I saw said something about it being a strenuous 3/4 mile hike and appropriate shoes were required. I figured that I’d go as far as possible in my dress and sandals, and that I would turn around when it became too strenuous.
I made it the entire way.
And then the sun created this:
Until about a year ago, Cummins Falls was on private property. I found the web site online and decided to visit. I was hoping to present on Nashville State’s campus, so I was wearing a dress and sandals, but the presentation could not be scheduled. Nevertheless, I wanted to see the waterfall. There were two routes:
I decided to go to the downstream trail, but that was silly because it was actually quite a strenuous route.
So, at the next fork in the trail, I went to the overlook. Here’s what I saw:
It sounded wonderful, but I could not really see it from the “overlook.” At that location, I did meet a man with a Rottweiler puppy that loved me. The man said that I should check out a few other falls: Burgess Falls and Falls Creek.
The motel had visitors who spoke many languages. That has never bothered me. I don’t yet know Spanish, but people may speak without me becoming paranoid. There were people from India and the Middle East, and I had no desire to eavesdrop on their conversations.
There were two dining tables at the motel, and so people share. It is polite to at least acknowledge those you sit next to. This morning, an older woman was seated at the middle of the table, and someone’s things were across from her. I asked if I might sit at the end. She looked at me with surprise and confusion. I said again, “May I sit here?” I could not understand the words of her reply, but she nodded yes. I put down my things and went to get breakfast.
At the counter, an older man was helping a young man with the waffle maker. The man had a southern accent that wasn’t like any I had heard, but he spoke clearly, and I could understand what he was saying. When I turned to put my coffee on the table, I saw that the woman had moved down. I figured she was from another country and found my behavior too aggressive. Lord, I might try to speak with her again.
After I sat down with my scrumptious (sarcasm) breakfast, the man sat opposite the woman. I thought it cute that he had a bride who knew little English. They spoke now and then, but there was no in-depth conversation (you know how older couples get). I wasn’t really paying attention, but then it struck me that he was speaking to her in English, so what was she speaking?
It took great effort for me to finally figure out that she was speaking English, but she had a very different accent. I was immediately taken back to the time when I stopped at a beer tent in Northern Bavaria. When the music stopped and people started talking, I was lost. There were brief glimpses of German, but otherwise, unrecognizable. I gave up trying to figure out what she was saying. It would take more time than I had. Interesting, though.
As I write this, I am sitting at a rest area off I40 about 122 miles west of Knoxville. It would be nearly ideal here except for the diesel trucks that are running. This is an interesting pit stop because both east- and west-bound travelers go to one rest area on the north. The cicada are loud, and I see that many people travel with their dogs. (Just as an aside, I see his dog and her dog, and I wonder how many couples use their dogs to avoid their spouses.)
Highlights thus far include:
- Mystery Starbucks in an obnoxious mall in Mt. Juliet. I couldn’t find it. Apparently it was inside somewhere, but this was a long mall. (“Your destination will be on the left”–Where?) I am used to Starbucks being tucked into malls, but there was no external signage. If McDonald’s can have signage above the treetops, Starbucks should have the logo outside, at least.
- Dumbest driver yet. This young person (female, I believe) passes me on the left. (So far, so good.) The car in front of her moves to the right lane to pass a small truck towing a small black car on a dolly. The small truck is passing a cement truck. The first car passes on the right and cuts back in. Too late for the 2nd car. She slams on the breaks (road rage, I imagine), and then she tries to cut behind the truck as soon as his rear bumper goes by her. It was close, but she jerked back just in time to avoid hitting the car he was pulling. I do not understand how she could be so unaware since she just was behind the guy.
Added later: I took some detours and visited two waterfalls. I then drove through Sparta, TN on my way to Knoxville. I will post information about the two waterfalls separately.
This was a mixed day with some ups and some disappointments. Since it was Labor Day, many places were closed. My first experience in Franklin was that the downtown was blocked off because of a foot race. I got there just in time for it to be ending, but the place was still quite a mess. There were canopies, so I thought maybe food, drink, or craft vendors, but there were none of those. There were elementary schools soliciting, a radio station, weight loss groups, exercise vendors, and some type of zombie something.
I visited a few cemeteries only to find that several of them were in severe disrepair. I was the only one there, and I wonder if other people ever visit. The big touristy houses had many cars in the parking lots, but I didn’t go there because of the admissions fees. I visited a bookstore that advertised maps and posters, but the selection was laughable.
For lunch, I found a local BBQ place, BB’s BBQ. It was good and only a little over $10 for lunch. The only thing they could have done better was to provide napkins. (Seriously, who doesn’t provide napkins with BBQ?) I had white beans rather than baked, and I had vinegar slaw rather than mayo. Both were excellent choices.
On my way back to Nashville, I took back roads, stopped at Crockett Park, and saw some amazing homes in Brentwood (not California). At one point, there was a sign about a one lane underpass, and I was glad that I was following someone because it was right there at the 90-degree turn to the right. Bam! One lane. It went under whatever and there was another 90-degree turn to the left. Whoa!
The funniest thing that I saw was a caution sign for a church. I’m not sure why it was there because churches here are a lot like Starbucks in Seattle.
Finally, I went to the grocery store to find food for dinner. I went to Food Lion or Lion King or some big store. The young woman at the checkout was not enjoying her job. She was nearly rude to the three people before me. She asked to see my ID and had trouble finding whatever she was looking for. She handed it back to me without saying much, and I asked if she looked at the photo. It seemed to surprise, her that I was talking. She looked (it’s really bad). I told her that I prepped a lot for that, and she laughed. I think that I changed her day.
Photos of the day are posted on Shutterfly.
At the Portland airport, I spent a long time in CC McKenzie, but I didn’t buy any clothes. There was a silk top that I loved, but they didn’t have it in my size. Several clearance items caught my attention, but they were more attractive on the rack. Shoes were on sale, but fortunately, the colors were not what I was wanting. There were adorable sandals in silver that I nearly bought, but they were rather expensive.
Since they changed my flight at the Eugene airport, I was assigned an aisle seat for the 4+ hour trip (so much for my vigilance to check repeatedly for my window seat assignment). I looked at the seating chart, and there were several middle seats available, so I knew the flight wasn’t full. Next to me was a large couple with a 7-week old baby. On the other side of me was a woman with a slightly older baby in a baby seat.
I should mention that there are 2 small dogs in carriers on this flight. On the packed flight from EUG to PDX, a tall, lanky young man had a large service dog. The dog was crammed in on top of his owner’s feet. They tried to fit a large crew member next to the man, and it was painful to watch. I am not sure where they moved the crew member, but they did. I know it’s a short flight but a big dog should not be squished in under the seat.
On my current flight, my row must have looked quite uncomfortable because the attendant asked me if I wanted to move. The baby to the right was crying, and the man to my far left needed at least 1.5 seats. I didn’t want to seem rude (like I hated babies), so I told the woman to my left that I would move to give them more room. She was quite happy. They wanted to put me in an aisle seat, but the two back rows were completely empty. Yup! I had a window seat with no one next to me.
According to the attendant, pets in carriers must remain there throughout the flight. Service dogs, on the other hand, may be on leashes based on those I have seen. The little dog in the row in front of me continues to whine, and the dog’s owner ignores it. (I’m reading Temple Grandin’s book Animal Make Us Human, and I wonder what she’d say about this.)
Because it’s the first of the month, Alaska Airline’s menu changed. They heated pulled pork sandwiches, and the aroma made my stomach growl. Being in the last row, I figured they would run out of semi-decent food, which nearly always happens when I want to purchase something. She told me they still had sandwiches, and she grabbed mine right from the oven. Yum! Maybe the best airline food I’ve ever eaten (or maybe I was hungry).
Feet up. Little chatter, babies crying, or whining dogs. Lots of reading and relaxing. It was hazy outside. I could barely see the Rockies, and what I did see lacked snow. I suspect the haze could come from forest fires, but I am not up on that. When we were about 30 minutes west of Atlanta, it seemed like overcast (well, there were clouds beneath us). When we landed, it was raining. Hot, but raining.
Photos are posted on Shutterfly.