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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Monday, March 28, 2011

Head is Spinning--So Many States in Such a Short Time!

Yesterday ( Sunday--Day 42--six weeks!!! ) Bill says it is day 43 because I didn't count the first day which was the Sunday we left--he's right of course but who's counting?

Anyway, Yesterday started out wet and miserable so we took off into the mountains on the Cherokee Foothills National Highway, which follows the original Cherokee Trail down to Charleston from the southern mountains of the Blue Ridge. We were going in the opposite direction, planning on reaching Morristown, Tn so that we would be within driving distance of the Cumberland Gap on Monday morning. At this area and particularly in Va there is no easy way to go north-south or east-west-the Appalachians run southwest to northeast and that's how the roads must run. Makes it a bit difficult to navigate and for this part of the trip I was using three maps at a time. Getting out of South Carolina through a small part of North Carolina and into Tennessee in a way easily followed. It was a challenge but somehow we managed to get into North Carolina at a point that would lead us in the right direction in Tennessee.Although we like to avoid Interstates we did use I 26 and I 40 to get across the mountains near Ashville NC.

As I was studying the map I noticed that Carl Sandburg's home was around Hendersonville so I asked, since I'd skipped Flannery O'Connor's the day before, and since we weren't traveling very far if we could stop to check it out. Bill was agreeable and we left the Interstate to take a two lane, narrow country road in the fog, to Flat Rock. Carl spoke about that fog--it comes in on little cats feet--and so it seemed.

I remember Sandburg's narration of Aaron Copeland's Lincoln piece with the NY Philhamonic with Andre Kostelanes--I was a senior in HS--and part of it was televised. I also remember reading some of his poetry in school and saw his interview with Edward R Morrow and I always just loved him. So, though it WAS a strenuous .3 mile up to his house I am proud to say I did not call for a shuttle and just took my time and we were there. The next tour of the house, only the ground floor, was in an hour but we saw the two videos--one of which was the Morrow interview and the other an overview of his life and shots of the house and narration by one of his daughters. It more than fulfilled my wish to have another view of the man and his life. Picked up a few quotes etc for my scrapbook and took beaucoups pix and we were off. It was very cold and I decided that the sandals would be stowed once more.

On we continued into Tennessee and dinner at the Hillside Grill next to the motel in Morristown. Met a crazy lady named Nicki, who moved back home after traveling the country as a salesperson for a national chain store--which doesn't exist in New England--and then lived in Nashville which she very much misses. Her friend, Sam, whom she has known since High School showed up and we chatted for a bit more before turning in for the night.

Rained and rained some more, but at least the thunder wasn't as scary as in Georgia--I didn't even unpack my flashlight!

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