5/11/2011 – Day 35 – Nashville to Dandridge – 226.2 Miles

We reluctantly bid farewell to Christa and Casi and drove away from their warm, friendly home.  We drove down Hwy 40 through what seems to be an unending forest of beautiful trees covering hill after hill.

I know driving in the desert can be monotonous, so can the miles of I-5 through San Joaquin and Kern counties, but I’m beginning to think it’s also possible to get a tad bored with all this verdant terrain.  I’ll tell you one thing, ALL of California is going to seem bleak, brown and dry compared to what we’ve been driving through.

We turned off at a rest stop to stretch our legs and when we entered the building, the sounds of a guitar and dulcimers poured out.  Turns out it’s National Tourism Month and Tennessee is celebrating by having music along with information available at rest stops and other venues.  I sat down in a rocking chair and listened to authentic folk music being well-played and sung by a group of three gentlemen dressed in bib overalls.  It was great!

Other than that, we had a rather uneventful drive and day, ending up in Dandridge at the edge of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.  Unfortunately there are no campgrounds at this end of the park, so we stayed in a motel right alongside the highway and turned in for the night with little fanfare.  Tomorrow it’s on to Asheville.

Jefferson County Courthouse, Dandridge, TN

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