On the Road Again
Alright, the plan for today was clear: take US 421 into Kentucky, go over to London, and then down to Knoxsville.
Stream running through Bristol, TN. Interestingly, the city, or at least State St, is built over the creek as if it weren't there...
US 421 North!
We didn't have breakfast, yet we're on our way to Kentucky, hopefully... We just need to continue north on US 421 and everything will be fine.
Still no breakfast, but we're still wondering through the mountains down US 421 looking for Kentucky...
See the Golden Arches? It's the sign of breakfast!
Breakfast in... Town
Okay, we're driving down US 421/58 when we come into a beautiful valley and see a McDonald's to have breakfast, yet we don't know what town this is...
Well, we came 44 miles from Bristol to... here
According to the woman behind the McDonald's counter, this is Duffield, VA!
I was starting to look forward to seeing Cumberland Gap (Bottom of sign, 53 miles).
Just still driving north on US 421 / west on US 58... Have I mentioned how beautiful and wonderful it is along these US highways through the mountains?
That annoying DHL truck...
That Annoying DHL Truck...
Finally, US 421 diverges from US 58! Only problem: This is not the way to Cumberland Gap... Oh well
Finally the DHL truck and I go our separate ways in some small town.
Come around the bend and over the hill and... We finally made it to Kentucky!
So we finally made it through Virginia and into Kentucky... Next stop: London!
So, this is Kentucky...
What was at first just like Virginia, soon turned to be a landscape I've never seen before. I've heard about cutting into the mountains for the highways, but I've never seen it... 'til this day.
We drove north on US 421 when we discovered the city of Harlen, Kentucky. Before we knew it, the town center was just to the right of the highway and we had the itch to see it all. At first the one-way streets were quite confusing, as a street of several blocks may, for no apparent reason, be one-way for a block or two. It was wonderful to be in an urban area with mountains peering down the streets and over the houses.
Okay, maybe it was a waste of time that could have been spent on getting to wherever we were heading, but it's just fun to randomly wander through an unknown city...
Down US 421
Just continuing north on US 421. We had lunch in Manchester, KT and then we had to get onto the "Parkway" towards London.
In the valleys, the highways usually lay on the banks of a creek such as this.
Well, we finally made it to London! But one question: When did we leave the mountains?
We got off the parkway at the first "To I-75" signs. I then noticed that this road would just take us around London! So we got onto KT 80, here, to at least see London...
Well, this is the center of London on US 25...
Can you see it? Only 85 miles to go down I-75 to Knoxville!
Driving down I-75 when we start to see mountains again, as if we hadn't seen any an hour ago... Then suddenly, as we climbed higher and higher, we ran into (not literally) a "Tennessee Welcomes You" sign!
Do you know what it's like to drive for several miles along the top of a mountain ridge?
Do you see I-75? This is from the only exit possible on I-75 on top of the long mountain ridge. They were buidling a new exit to the north, though, but I don't know how. This road we're on appears to go no where, except down the sides of the ridge. (I got off to hopefully find petrol/gas.)
We finally made it to Knoxville, TN! We had no idea where to go or what to see or anything about the city. We drove around downtown looking for a place to park and then started to wander.
Driving south on I-75 as we approach I-40 and downtown Knoxville. The exit for US 441 takes people into downtown. (Actually, it's more like along the boundary of downtown.)
Driving north on Gay St. over the Tennessee River.
As we walked down Market St, we came to Krutch Park, a half-block walkway lined with trees, bushes, and homeless on benches.
We also went into this nice courtyard of a federal courthouse.
Nature vs Civilisation
Wandering around Knoxville seeing the city take over the forest, or is the forest taking over the city?
16:00 Exploring Knoxville
Alright, I'll admit it, I edited this picture to blur the background... The background just wasn't blurred enough in the original...
Night in Knoxville
So far, I have posted 178 pictures out of the ~750 from the trip.
The Tennessee River at night, on the southern boundary of downtown.