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TENNESSEE is a narrow state wedged between eight other southern states and connecting the Appalachians to the Mississippi River. It turns out to be a convenient corridor for my journey west on Interstate 40 that travels the state's entire length connecting Knoxville (its first capital) to Nashville (its current capital) and Memphis, its largest largest city. That's a journey of four hundred miles traversing a single state!

Knoxville's Sunsphere  

Knoxville's Sunsphere  

On leaving the mountain environment the first metropolitan center I encountered was Knoxville, Gateway to the Smokies, located on the Tennessee River and home to the University of Tennessee. Any skyline of the city is not complete without the 266' tall Sunsphere that commemorates the 1982 World's Fair that was held here. Although the big event is long gone, you can still enjoy a pleasant stroll exploring the World's Fair Park.

Tennessee "Volunteers" football

Tennessee "Volunteers" football

Mtn. Dew Hillbilly Style

Mtn. Dew Hillbilly Style

During the Civil War Tennessee was a much contested battleground and Knoxville was headquarters for both the Union and Confederate armies as each side prevailed for control. Actually, Tennessee furnished more volunteer soldiers for both sides of the Civil War, as well as the War of 1812 and Mexican-American War, so it eventually became the "Volunteer State." You may have heard of a local boy, Davy Crockett, a legendary frontiersman, soldier, and politician, who embodies that Tennessean character and spirit. That independent spirit even made its way to soft drink products that were originally produced here.

In later times Knoxville transitioned from an agricultural to a commerce-oriented economy, and became home to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) that fostered regional economic development and flood control, and the Oak Ridge Facility's Manhattan Project which developed the nation's first atomic bomb during World War II. 

The local optimism with its cultural music and southern charm was a delightful change from the eastern serious, fast-paced life style.

Miles 3688,  Week 43,  Weather 78F☀️ 

Posted
AuthorRich Monroe