Tennessee, next to last state. We need to get half-way across to visit an old friend of Jean's. We got underway at about 10:40. Weather was sunny and cold, the front has finally passed us. We arrived in Tullahoma about 5:00. We began off the interstate, and never got back on. What a relief! No trucks.
We went through farm country (cotton and soybeans) and small towns. We don't cover as many miles, but it is more relaxed.
Having arrived at a reasonable hour, we could settle down for lots of conversation and a home-cooked meal (fairly rare on a trip like this).
Next morning, our hosts took us to an old mill which has been converted to a good restaurant for lunch. After a pleasant meal (the women had Mimosas, the men were driving) we walked out and saw the pond and the flume --- the turbine has been removed and is displayed in the parking area. Then we bid them our fond adieus and headed northeast to catch up with Gene's brother and his wife.
This part of Tennessee is hilly. It makes for more pleasant driving.
We didn't get back on an interstate until just before Harriman (where brother Mike lives). To begin with, we got a late start, then we crossed the last time zone (immediately lost an hour), and then we got turned around a little in Harriman. So we finally got together with them at Cracker Barrel about 8:00 o'clock. More conversation, to the point that we closed the place down. Mike and Heidi went home and we stayed in the Cracker Barrel parking lot for the night.
Rain overnight. After having breakfast in the restaurant, we headed out on the last leg home. The last leg always seems to be the longest. It didn't help that we were in and out of rain all day --- and it was cold. We saw that the trees were beginning to change; it was definitely time to get home.
After a late lunch in a rural Subway, we drove into the yard at 6:27, home at last.
This is actually being written on October 9, so we wish you all a Happy Leif Eiriksson Day.
Some statistics for those that may be interested:
Total number of days: 45
Miles driven: 10,193
Fuel consumed: 543 gallons (priced from $3.29 to $4.89)