Day 1: November 23, 2006
Into the Hills.
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I-75, KY I spent a lot of today on the expressway and it seems a lot of other people did, too. The picture is of I-75 in southern Kentucky. It's not overly crowded but it is busy. At one point, hunger and boredom prompted me to move onto US-25 and look for a breakfast stop. Of course, every independently owned place I saw was closed and it eventually sunk in that Mom & Pop were more likely to be home getting Thanksgiving dinner ready for Junior & Sis than waiting for my breakfast order. I settled for a Cracker Barrel.

US-25, TN US-25, TN US-25, TN Just over the Tennessee line I once again felt the need for two lane and exited at the town of Jellico. I don't know how many times I've sped by that exit; Not hundreds but dozens, I'd guess. Barring darkness or a real press for time, I'll never do that again. Even with bare trees, the drive is a real treat. Both the frustratingly few pull offs and the low winter sun hinder photography and the shots here capture very little of what I was seeing. The road winds through the hills with rock walls often shooting up on one side and a sheer drop to the Clear Fork River on the other. Active CSX train tracks follow the river's far side. The third picture offers a glimpse of the river and the rail road and a sign marking the spot of a 1944 troop train derailment that killed 36. With the engine barely distinguishable through the trees, here is a picture of the train that rumbled along during my drive today.

La Follette, TN The scenic drive ends at La Follette and US-25 rejoins I-75 a few miles later. In La Follette, this super-sized meal and the building that holds it are for sale.

Ciderville Music Store Ciderville Music Store Ciderville Music Store After a half dozen miles of piggybacking, US-25 again leaves the interstate and so did I. This exit was actually preplanned as I wanted to check on the airplane gas station in Powell. I recognized the Ciderville Music Store from some BabyBoomerBob photos and pulled in for some picture taking. Like just about everything else, the store was closed today but I did get a bonus when the Chevy pickup pulled in. The driver was busy on his cell phone but gave a big nod to my mimed (point to truck, point to camera, look hopeful) "May I take a picture?" He even rolled the window down part way as if for conversation but he kept right on talking on the phone so maybe opening the window was so I could get him in the picture. The sign on the truck says "Ciderville Music Store". Is this the owner or someone else I should recognize?

Powell (airplane) gas station, Knoxville, TN Powell (airplane) gas station, Knoxville, TN The Powell station looks about the same as when I stopped here in 2004. This would be a terrible thing to lose but, as you can see, it's currently hanging on with a wing and a crutch.

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