1. Visiting Knoxville when University of Tennessee is not in session
Traveling in parts of the country you’ve not seen before doesn’t calculate what websites don’t tell you……there are good times to visit a town, there gooder times to see a town, and then, like our stay in Knoxville, there are times not to be there.
It was a walking ghost town, except for all the old white men who are homeless. We decided to get an overall view of the city by taking all three trolley loops. One to Old Town, one to UT and one along the waterfront and the Coliseum.
Needless to say, the center of the campus is the Vol stadium. I can imagine how jam- packed the stadium is in the fall, and how the entire town would come alive.
A river runs through it…..
At NO point along the three separate trolley rides did we see anyone other than construction workers and homeless white guys. One man shaking so badly and scratching himself, I’m sure he was coming down off some opiod high.
So, we bailed on Knoxville. Drove 7.5 hours to Little Rock, along a horrible stretch of I-40 West. Two lanes. Very old. Winding. Trucks passing in a hill, oh my, it holds up the whole line.
The blue sky here is deceiving. It went from blue to deadly downpours in a split second, the squalls short lived but so brutal it was impossible to see.
People driving east were hung up for miles, an overturned truck on fire.
The worst leg was from here, over the bridge from Memphis into Arkansas. 40W in Arkansas is nothing but pot holes, a road that looks unchanged since it was built. The towns from the Tennessee border into Little Rock are the true definition of the Middle of Nowhere. We stopped for gasoline about twenty miles outside LR in a one-station town and the poverty hit us over the head. You could feel and see how poor the people were who came into the station. It was tough.
Hope you all had a good day.