Friday - 9.1.00

We managed to get up around 10:00 AM for an "early" start. We started the day off by going down to the convenience store and getting some coffee and soda (this convenience store at least had clean spoons…).

(Click for more pictures)

We then went over to the Tennessee Capitol Building. Since the Capitol was only a block from our hotel, our first real mission of the day in Nashville was to find the Parthenon. That's right, the Parthenon. We found it in a park on the west side of town. It's an exact reproduction of the real Parthenon in Athens. We figured this one was a lot easier to see than the real one in Europe. After taking more pictures, we finally got out of town around 11:30 AM. For lunch, we stopped at an Arby's in Cookville, TN. I know, there's nothing special about Arby's, but the sign indicating they served pasta intrigued us. Kurt went with the pasta trio and I had the lasagna. After lunch we continued East on I-40, turning off in Monterey, TN. We had to take small back roads to get to our next destination.

The back roads were tough on both of us; Kurt and I got a little car sick driving through the mountains and negotiating 160 degree turns. However, the scenery was beautiful with all the trees and hills. We also went through quite a few towns and saw a bit of the real Tennessee; pick-up trucks, 4 wheelers, Baptist churches, old men on porches and countless trailer homes

We finally made it out of the mountains and stopped for gas in Lake City, TN. We continued on towards Cumberland Gap, again through the mountains but this time without the gruesome drive. Kurt and I were at first stumped by the crops along the way, then we figured out that it was tobacco.

(Click for more pictures)

You don't often see tobacco plants in Kansas. We arrived in Cumberland around 4:30 PM and were surprised to realize we would have to camp in Virginia. We never even mentioned Virginia when we planned this trip! We located the campground entrance and then back-tracked to Tennessee and the Cumberland Tunnel to find a grocery store for sandwich stuff (dinner). We discovered that the North end of the Cumberland Tunnel is in Kentucky while the South end is in Tennessee. Yet we were camping in Virginia - all within an area of about 2 square miles. Wow, that was confusing! So we picked up some food and headed back to Virginia from Kentucky through Tennessee (confused yet?). We found a good spot and had the tent set up by 7:00 PM (Eastern Time now). We then found a hiking trail and hiked 1.5 mile out to a place called Skylight Cave. The cave was pretty neat - it was 40 ft high, 30 ft across and about 60 ft deep. We were smart and brought two flashlights on the hike, so we were able to go spelunking for a bit. Kurt and I ended up hiking back in the dark since we spent so much time in the cave.

We got back to our nice little campsite around 9:00 PM. We dined on our sandwiches and made plans for the next few days. At about 10:00 PM a father-son group with about 30 people pulled into the campsite right next to us. They were so loud and irritating that we picked up our stuff and moved across the road half an hour after they showed up. We got to bed around 11:00 PM. Finally, it was nice and cool. (Day 8)

| HOME | 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 8 | 9 | 10 |
09.25.2000 -