July 19, 2007

Road Trip

It's still 5 months way, but the road trip I'm planning with my oldest daughter is really giving me something to look forward to.  Yesterday I bought a primo Rand McNally and it even had a copy of "Land of the Free", a booklet of 75 free places to visit while road tripping.  I have decided on two must stop and sees so far, both in Oklahoma.  I want to visit the Memorial to the victims of the 1995 Alfred P. Murrah Federal building bombing in Oklahoma City.  Just a little south of there, in the town of Norman, Oklahoma is a statue I am dying to see.  Now, don't laugh, but it's a statue of my all time favorite actor who grew up in Norman, James Garner.  I have loved that man since I can remember and since I will be so close, I'm gonna go see it, a pilgrimage you might say.  Thanks to those who gave me ideas of what to see along I-40 and I-20, keep them coming...Bunny

Posted by: Bunny at 07:00 PM under "Just For Fun"
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1 At Asheville, NC, if you've got a day to spend, the Biltmore house and grounds are worth a look.

I-40 between Asheville and Newport, TN can be a great or not-so-great drive, depending on the weather and day of the week (winding road through the mountains-- spectacular scenery, but there can be lots of truck traffic. There's also a couple of miles of construction on the west edge of Asheville.

Taking I-26 north from Asheville to Johnson City, TN adds some miles, but it's less heavily traveled and there are some spectacular overlooks (with parking). Pick up I-81 westbound and follow it to I-40, or take US-321 down to Newport if you like scenic mountain driving.

Alternate southern route is to jump off I-40 west of Asheville and take US-441 through the Smoky Mts. Park. OR: pick up the Blue Ridge Parkway east of Asheville, bypass Asheville to the south, and take it right to the park entrance.)

Of course there's all kinds of touristy stuff in the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area to the north of the park.

You're also within shouting distance of the Cumberland Gap Park... take US-25E north from Newport, TN. There's not a lot to see at the park itself, but it's a pretty drive and there's a fun old-fashioned roadside cafe (with spectacular views) at Clinch Mountain Overlook, which is about 23 miles north of the I-81/US-25E junction. Try the vinegar pie! (Road construction north from there to Tazewell, TN.)

Driving note: I-40 between I-81 and Knoxville runs VERY fast and has lots of traffic.

(I travel this area going north/south about twice a year.)

Posted by: Old Grouch at July 20, 2007 08:02 PM (92326)

2 C.G. Hill just visited Biltmore.

Posted by: Old Grouch at July 25, 2007 03:54 PM (lLq3R)

3 And the day I left Asheville for Knoxville, there was a nasty truck accident on I-40 which blocked traffic for three or four hours.

It's true: 40 runs very fast between Knoxville and 81. Be prepared for 75-80 mph just to keep people off your tail.

Admission to the OKC Memorial itself is free, though it costs eight bucks to visit the Museum (a block to the north). (Personal note: I live about four miles from the Memorial, and yes, I heard the bomb go off.)

Posted by: CGHill at July 25, 2007 09:14 PM (bVW+e)

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