Eastern Tennessee - Knoxville - Atomic Bomb!

Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by giradman, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. giradman

    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    Hi Andrew - plenty more to come, but we were rather SHOCKED by the quality of the seafood this far inland. The first night we 'tried' Shucker's Raw Bar & Ale - we had 4 different oysters on the half shell (shared a dozen & a half), along w/ a delicious shrimp ceviche & a tuna sashimi salad - cannot remember where the oysters were from but vaguely recall Blue Points (Long Island), Malpeaque from PEI (Prince Edward Island), James River, and another one (maybe Chesapeake Bay).

    Second night, we ate at a seafood chain called Chesapeake - started out sharing a dozen oysters (3 different ones) - I had the grilled swordfish; Susan had Crab Imperial (w/ plenty of fresh crab, shrimp, cheese) along w/ a side dish called Baked Spinach Maria (spinach, macaroni , and more cheese - I had a few bites - DELICIOUS!).

    Third night back to Shucker's, started w/ a dozen oysters (4 types including one from the Pacific Northwest - love oysters from the west coast of the USA!), dozen steamed clams, and simply repeated the same as above.

    Last night, we tried a French bistro called Cafe du Soleil (Menu) - we both started out w/ the Duck Confit Salad (below); Susan had the rabbit dish & I the veal stuffed pork tenderloin; then shared a lemon tart w/ some fresh brewed coffee - great way to end a nice trip! Dave :)

     
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  2. giradman

    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    University of Tennessee - Quite a Campus!

    The University of Tennessee's 'flagship' campus is in Knoxville along the Tennessee River (see map & pics below; arrow on football stadium). The school started out as Blount College (of course after William from the previous post; in fact, his daughter was the first coed graduate from a college in the United States) but was chartered as a public college (later University) in 1794 (third oldest public university in the country after Georgia in Athens, GA, 1784 and U of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, 1789).

    This is a LARGE campus which Susan & I love to roam - we met on the University of Michigan campus, so brought back many memories (and boy the students looked young!). There are 27,000+ students (both undergrads & grads) - the Vol Trolley routes through the campus, passes the Sunsphere & Knoxville Art Museum on its course through the downtown area (perpendicular to the other trolley routes).

    The McClung Museum is on the campus and a recommended visit (gem attraction in AAA guide of TN). The museum is not large and concentrates on ancient cultures (nice small Egyptian exhibit) and those of the pre-Columbian natives of the area; also has an anthropologic emphasis w/ another small exhibit on the evolution of man.

    Finally, the football stadium is HUGE - called Neyland Stadium (see pics for a perspective) and w/ a capacity of over 104,000 spectators (one of the top 10 in the USA for university stadiums; the largest is actually where I went to school, the University of Michigan w/ 109,900 seating capacity!). The U of TN nickname is the Vols (w/ numerous men & women sports teams), shorten for Volunteers (after the state's nickname) - presumably relates back to the War of 1812 when so many men from TN 'volunteered' to fight, especially w/ Andy Jackson @ the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. Dave :)
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  3. giradman

    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    Knoxville's Environs

    Knoxville is strategically situated with a number of 'day trips' w/i an hour or less to enjoy!

    I'll be discussing the following in the next posts: 1) Museum of Appalachia; 2) Green McAdoo Cultural Center; 3) Oak Ridge; and 4) Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Dave :)
     
  4. giradman

    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    Museum of Appalachia - A Must!

    The Museum of Appalachia is located about a half hour north of Knoxville and is now part of the Smithsonian Institution - their website HERE - founded by John Rice Irwin contains numerous historic buildings from small cabins to larger log houses, workshops, and a wonderful building called the Hall of Fame, which is stuffed w/ thousands of artifacts and stories of the peoples and cultures of the Appalachian area (Susan & I spent nearly 2 hours in the building but even a whole day would not be enough).

    Their story (short version, of course) is quoted below from the link above. A wonderful gift shop is on premises w/ many mountain crafts, foods, etc. on sale - also a quaint restaurant serving food of the region, so a nice lunch stop. I've added a bunch of pics, some are mine including Susan walking out the Hall of Fame (also pic of a portion of the mountain instrument collection) - as stated in the title, if you happened to be in eastern TN, then a must stop! Dave :)

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  5. giradman

    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    Green McAdoo Cultural Center

    Clinton, Tennessee is now part of the greater Knoxville metropolitan area but in the 1950s was a small town in the midst of a segregation issue, i.e. busing black students who had finished grade school into Knoxville to a black segregated high school (HS) there, apparently a long and miserable 2-way trip daily on poor roads of the times.

    Desegregation of schools seemed to receive more attention in Arkansas & Alabama in the mid-50s, but according to the quote from their website HERE, Clinton HS was the first to integrate a publicly supported high school in the south. The small cultural center is located in the old Green McAdoo grade school which the students involved in the integration attended.

    A visit involves a short video followed by a self-guided tour through several rooms that illustrate and discuss the civil rights issues of the times and also the destruction of the HS on Sunday, October 5, 1958, when the school was blown apart by three massive explosions. Pics below from the web; several of the current Cultural Center w/ the statue of the twelve students (and a view of the town of Clinton), and a number of B&W images from the exhibit, including one of the blown-up high school - what happen after is yet another story. Dave :)

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  6. giradman

    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    Oak Ridge - The Atomic City!

    Oak Ridge, Tennessee is just west of Knoxville and was instrumental during WWII in development of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan - quote below is a brief summary (Source). Again another MUST visit if you are in the area. One of the main attractions is the American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE) which is a wonderful place for adults & kids.

    Below are pics of a map showing the closeness of Oak Ridge to Knoxville and an aerial view of the town; followed by several historic roadside markers and also a large road sign from the time of the war; the last pics relate to the AMSE - love the final one of a girl w/ her hand on a Van de Graaf Generator (completely harmless) which produces static electricity causing you hair to fly out! Our visit there was a while back but I'm sure Susan & I likely touched it - I remember one in high school science. Dave :)

    P.S. Next will be the Smokey Mountains and the National Park!

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  7. suenc

    suenc iPF Novice

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    Being on a college camps made me want to go back to college and take the courses I missed the first time around, picking up books for a brand new class. However, I would have to find a way of skipping exams (I don't miss those!)
     
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  8. scifan57

    scifan57 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Your posts are just as good as any of the travel shows I see on TV. Keep up the good work.
     
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  9. suenc

    suenc iPF Novice

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    I am ambivalent about this attraction because I possess a streak of pacifism and am not proud of bombs.
    [
     
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  10. suenc

    suenc iPF Novice

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    I've seen countless old Southern buildings, but I've nevert seen anything like the Hall of Fame. Not only were there endless artifacts but they came with photos and bios of the artisans and descriptions of how the objects were made, all provided by the amazing Mr. Irwin. A standout for me was the real, working banjo made from a toilet seat. :)
     
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  11. giradman

    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    The industrial nature and cleverness of the Appalachian mountain people astounds in the Hall of Fame - the collection is phenomenal and reflects the nature and personalities of the 'local' peoples over centuries - we would certainly like to return!

    But just to expand & illustrate the statement in bold above, the musical instrument section of the museum was pretty astounding, not only for the number of artifacts in the collection but for the ingenuity & cleverness in using a lot of everyday materials (remember these were poor people and had to often due w/ what was available); and the humor often shines through these instruments.

    Some pics below of just a few of the innumerable instruments of all sorts found in the Hall of Fame; the Bedpan Banjo (notice the name - ;)); a Hubcap Banjo; and a Toilet Seat Guitar! Finally, for those not familiar w/ banjo music, a fairly recent CD w/ Steve Martin (YES, the comedian BUT a superb life long performer on the banjo) - we saw him last year w/ the bluegrass group, the Steep Canyon Rangers. Now I own dozens of mountain/country instrumental music w/ banjos, guitars, etc. recordings - both historic & modern, but Martin's CD is still a nice place to start for those interested. Dave :)

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  12. giradman

    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    Hi Scifan.. - thanks! When I used to put PPT lectures together for my radiology residents, I likely ended up learning the most - and at my age, helps me to remember where I've been! ;) Dave
     
  13. giradman

    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    Smoky Mountains - Gatlingburg - Pidgeon Forge

    The title of this topic relates to several popular tourist towns near the Gatlingburg entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which will be discussed in several posts. The park contains over a half million acres of land and is about equally divided between TN & North Carolina (see more details quoted below - Source), and is the MOST visited National Park in the United States. There are three main entry points, Townsend & Gatlingburg in TN and Cherokee in North Carolina (where the Blue Ridge Parkway terminates); these are underlined on the map, along w/ several other towns and cities, including Knoxville which is nearby.

    The name derives from the oft seen misty clouds in the valleys, especially at dawn (and shown in several of the pics below); now this occurrence is not limited to just the mountains inside the park; I've shown mountainous areas in North Carolina appearing similar in several of my other travelogues, but there seems to be a more frequent abundance of these smoky views within the park boundaries, in my experience. I'll continue in the next post w/ some more discussion of the Great Smoky Mountains. Dave :)

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  14. scifan57

    scifan57 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Great shots, especially the last one.
     
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  15. giradman

    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    Smoky Mountains National Park (continued):

    The Smoky Mountains provide an abundance of natural beauty and mountain activities during all seasons, including skiing in the Gatlinburg area in the winter. Some of these activities include hiking, water adventures, such as rafting, camping, and the numerous attractions in the adjacent towns mentioned in the previous post (which I'll discuss later). But regarding hiking, the famous Appalachian Trail, which begins in Maine (near Canada) and extends about 2,200 miles into northern Georgia is popular w/ experienced hikers who often are out in the wilderness for days - below is another map of the park which shows the Trail passing through the middle of the park (red broken line), pretty much following the state lines of TN & North Carolina; also, I've put red arrows of just two of the most famous attractions, i.e. Cades Cove & Clingmans Dome.

    Cades Cove
    is briefly described in the quote below (Source - there is a loop through the valley which is a beautiful drive that we did a while back - saw mainly deer, including fawns. The pics immediately below the map show other views and attractions along this 11-mile drive - definitely worth a stop near the Townsend entrance to the park. The other images portray some of the natural scenes in the park, including streams and waterfalls. Finally, a climb to the observatory of Clingmans Dome @ 6,643 ft (third highest peak east of the Mississippi River; the other two are in North Carolina) - more information below from HERE.

    Next onto Pidgeon Forge & Gatlingburg - Dave :)





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