Field notes of the adventure from Utah to Wilmington, NC
It doesn’t take you long to realize what you do not like ha! For me… it is the Midwest. Now I thought I didn’t care for California much, but that was before I truly drove through all of Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. If it wasn’t for family I would say get rid of if all. I gave it 25 hours to change my mind, and it did not win me over. Once you have seen 10 minutes….you have seen it all!
Luckily, I had my father driving halfway with me, and seeing family in Iowa and Illinois made the suffering very manageable.
After a couple of days in Iowa and Illinois, the next stop was the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I had a few more grueling hours of corn, but once I hit Kentucky all was well. Forested rolling hills and grassy horse pastures I can handle for days. It is pretty country.
With no delays or issues in my trip and being well over half way, I was bound to run into something. That something was a total of three major accidents within a 5 mile stretch about 30 miles north of Knoxville, TN. There is no other route and no exit to pull off so I was stopped with my car turned off on the highway for a good 3 hours and another hour of stop and go traffic for 5 miles; a 10 hour day turned into 14! No worries. I got out, stretched, and made friends with my new car neighbor. She is from South Carolina coming back from Ohio. She teaches science, and likes to drive her Honda Shadow motorcycle. You just have to make the best of your situation… and eat your dinner on a frisbee.
My heart’s desires were fulfilled once I was in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Wow…. just WOW!
I only had a morning so I drove around Cades Cove and ran 5 miles of trail to Abram Falls. Euphoria! I hadn’t run any type of distance for over a year and it felt fantastic. Plus, it is simply gorgeous!
I left late morning and headed through Cherokee National Forest to Asheville, NC. Put that on the adventure list, I have to make it back and explore the hills above Asheville! The rolling forested mountains are to die for, and Asheville is the up and coming craft beer capital with an awesome art scene. I think I could be happy living there, and I only spent a few hours.
It was in Asheville were I had my first real BBQ. I was lead on to the restaurant/shack of 12 Bones BBQ by my friend from the area. It was in a run down part of town, had a dirt parking lot, and a line out the door. It was legit!!
I stopped at a brewery, Wicked Weed, to grab some of the good stuff, and hit the road to Augusta, GA. I spent the next two nights in Augusta visiting a best friend and his family. No matter how little we talk or see each other, it is like we hang out everyday; love the kid, his wife, his three little girls, and of course Mama. It’s that kind of friendship that makes life worthwhile.
The last leg of my journey was the 5 hours to Wilmington, NC. I arrived and went straight to the ocean to put my feet in to mark my trek complete. Now…. lets just get this town of Wilmington figured out.