2013 Tour Final Report

One of the requirements of the Marshall Award is to submit a final report of the project. Today, I sent my report to headquarters. While my inaugural leadership tour is history, I hope that there will be other leadership tours, mini-tours, and journeys in my future.

If you want to review my report, click here.  It is also listed on the References page.



Chanticleer Inn

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.

signsteps in 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.

roomThey didn’t prepare my bath, but they left me a friend and bath salts.

duckyThe grounds were beautiful even though it was the end of the summer. Their logo is a rooster, and I liked the weather vane.

weather vaneBreakfasts were fantastic, and there were teas, cookies, and dessert in the evenings.  There was a nice seating area in the main building where we could relax.

seating areaHowever, I preferred the lights on the outside deck.  Actually, after I learned to use bug spray in the evening, I enjoyed it.

flaglooking inoutdoor lightssign at nightI 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.


Burgess Falls State Park

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:

Trip 2: Visiting a Foreign Land

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.

Trip 2: From Nashville to Knoxville

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.

Trip 2: Franklin, TN

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.

Tour continues in September

In the last few days, we have been trying to organize the last part of the leadership tour.  Here is the tentative schedule:

1:  Fly to Nashville2:  Something in Nashville
3:  Nashville State (in the Nashville area)
4:  Pellissippi (Knoxville; with Roane State and Hiwassee)
5:  Walters State (Sevierville campus with Northeast)
6:  Cleveland State (Chattanooga and Georgia)
7:  Chattanooga (Aquarium & Lookout Mountain)
8:  Drive to Columbia
9:  Columbia State or Motlow State (invite Alabama)
10: Dyersburg State @ Covington (Southwest)
11: Madisonville CC in Western Kentucky
12: Jefferson.Comm.&Tech.College (Louisville, KY)
13: Jefferson.Comm.&Tech.College (Louisville, KY)
14: Things around Louisville, KY
15: Drive to Cleveland
16: Cleveland-Cuyahoga CC (Parma, OH)
17: Columbus State CC (OH)
18: Cincinnati State (OH)
19: Gateway Community and Technical College (Florence, KY)
20: Bluegrass Community and Technical College (Lexington, KY)
21-22:  Something fun somewhere
23:  Somerset CC (KY); drive to Nashville
24:  Fly back to Eugene

Paris Landing State Park, TN

This is a huge lake with a marina on the west side of the highway and the majority of the park on the east side. The highway rises up over the water to allow for boats to pass underneath. Since I am not a water enthusiast, the park didn’t thrill me. There were a lot of bugs that seemed to want to hover in my face. I later heard from two military personnel that a hen and juvenile turkeys were in the area, but I missed them.

The most interesting things I saw were:

  • An older woman an son (maybe grandson) who had obviously been there for a while.  They were picking up pebbles down by the water and putting them into a bag. They sorted through pebbles, but I have no clue what they were hoping to find. There was no beach, and the pebbles appeared to be average rocks (not gold or agates), so that was interesting.
  • Two heavyset women wearing swimming suits, sitting on a structure, and fishing. I have seem women fish before, but I have never seen them do it in swimsuits. Also, I am used to fishing people having a more active role rather than sitting passively.

    Fishing at Paris Landing State Park

  • There was a sheriff patrol car sitting there the entire time I was watching the lake (about 15 minutes). I noticed several other patrol cars with officers in them simply sitting. That also makes me curious, and it is no wonder that everyone exceeds the speed limit.

Paris Lake State Park in Tennessee

Paris, TN

The first thing I saw was the welcome sign with a fish on it. I proceeded to Downtown because my online research indicated the architecture was good–it was. I walked around a bit. The time was right before 10am, and many of the stores were not open yet. That was probably a good thing. The courthouse was beautiful, and the statue of the Confederate Soldier looked very worn. In fact, the soldier appears to be missing his entire face. The flora was beautiful, but my knowledge of the plants is severely lacking.

Confederate Soldier

When I returned to the car, I remembered that Dave told me that I had to find the big catfish. My efforts to search online with my phone weren’t too helpful because there was not a specific address given. I headed back towards where I thought the reviewers mentioned (south entrance to the town), and from downtown, I could see that the “big catfish” was the fish I had already seen.

The “big catfish” of Paris, TN

From there, I tried to find the Eiffel Tower. In Paris, France, the tower is dominant in the skyline and easy to locate. Google maps had a more difficult time. The journey took me through a residential area (actually several), and I saw the Paris water tower up close. The setting for the Eiffel Tower replica is in a park near a small swimming pool. It was cute. There was no one around to take my photo with it, and I was in no mood to try the timer on the camera, so off I went.

Milan, TN

The locals call this Milan (with a long I sound), so it is not pronounced the same as the Italian city. Construction crews were working on the main route through the town, so it was awkward to get around. One funny thing was the guy driving the road cleaner. Up the hill from him were 3 women who were behind their vehicle smoking (I believe). One woman was sitting in a folding camp chair with her oxygen tank. The guy with his nasty dirt stirring machine drove up towards them, and then he backed down the street and made another pass. The second time, he came closer, and the women scurried. It was an odd way to ask them to move so he old clean the street for the construction crew, but then again, that was an odd location for them to be chatting.

Street cleaner approaching three women.

The other interesting things in Milan were the desolation near the railroad tracks, a vehicle outside the tattoo shop, and an outdoor revival area. Yes, you Southerners probably think that I am strange, but I have only seem outside revival tents in movies, like The Blues Brothers. The only thing better would have been if there had been people there.

Outside revival (according to the sign nearby)