Ransom Family

Random Ramblings and Happenings

Andy’s Knoxville Trip

on March 29, 2010

Andy here:
Last week (March 22-25) I went on a trip to Knoxville, Tennessee for some training. The training took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I had some free time on Monday and Thursday for some sightseeing.

I got to Knoxville Monday afternoon, and I didn’t feel like sitting around in my hotel room, especially since it still felt like morning to me because of the time zone change, so I drove my rent-a-car up to Cumberland Gap. I remember reading about this place, in Daniel Boone stories, when I was a kid, so I wanted to see what it was like.

This is the cool tunnel that you go through to get from Tennessee to Kentucky. You come out by an exit to the visitor’s center for Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. The visitor’s center was closed, I wondered why they closed it so early, then I remembered it was 7:00, but a road was open that leads up to a view point.
While I was taking this picture, there were these people at the view point who were from Middlesbrough, England. This town in my picture is called Middlesboro, Kentucky.
While I was driving up the road to the view point, this deer was standing by the road. I was surprised by how unafraid it was of me. Deer aren’t a super-big novelty to me because we often see them up at my folk’s place in the mountains, but our deer don’t stand around like this.
There was an unexpected little turnout with a path leading up to this old Civil War earthwork on the side of the mountain. Apparently, the Confederates lugged a cannon up here (probably not this cannon but the plaque didn’t say) so they could blast anyone trying to enter Tennessee using this route, and the Union had to capture this position two different times during the war.
Part of the Cumberland Gap area is in Virginia. There’s a little peak, in the center of this picture, where Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia all meet. According to the plaque, I was standing in Virginia when I took the picture.
Tuesday I had training all day. When it was over, I went to downtown Knoxville. This is the Tennessee River

Wednesday I had some more training. After training, I went to look at some more sights, but as soon as I found something I wanted to take a picture of, my camera didn’t work anymore. Sorry.

Thursday I had some time before my plane left, so I went back downtown so I could visit the fantabulous Sunsphere, left over from the World’s Fair they had in Knoxville in 1982. I found this picture on the internet. (remember how my camera was broken?) Imagine this picture with no leaves on the trees, the fountain off, no water in the pond, and cloudy with a little rain. That’s what it looked like to me.
There’s five floors inside the sphere, three are businesses, one is a restaraunt, and the bottom level of the sphere is an observation deck. I got in the elevator and went up to the observation deck, and when it got to the right floor the doors wouldn’t open. I decided not to panic until I went back down and tried to get out of the elevator at the bottom. This worked, so with confidence that I wouldn’t need the jaws-of-life to get out of the elevator, I went back up to try again. The observation deck doors still wouldn’t open, so I went up higher and wandered around the other floors. A nice lady told me the observation deck didn’t open until 11:00, and she wasn’t snarky or anything about how I could have learned the place wasn’t open yet, if I had bothered to read the sign next to the elevator doors. Southern charm, you know. I waited around a few minutes and then I was able to get onto the observation deck. Oh, the panorama I could have shown you if my camera wasn’t broken.

Before long, I had to get back to the airport, turn in my rent-a-car, and get on the plane to come home. All in all, it was an enjoyable trip. I learned good things in the training, United didn’t lose my bag, I didn’t get mugged, I saw some interesting sights, and nothing bad happened to my family while I was away.

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