Things I learned today:
Indiana has lots of corn and it's really tall and healthy. The dense fields look like the kind of corn jungle Steven King might write about.
There's a lot of bean fields too and the plants are only slightly shorter than the corn. In fact, Indiana bean fields might make a good setting for the next King novel.
They are that dense and robust.
This morning, Dave and I left the 'Natti and passed through state after state. This is weird to a Floridian because you can travel almost 800 miles in Florida and never leave the state ... start in Pensacola and drive to Key West.
After Indiana, we slipped through Kentucky. I did not see any bourbon bushes or race horses, but I hear both come from Kentucky. We did see some pretty hills, but just as they were becoming mountains, we passed into Tennessee.
Tennesee's mountains completely blow Kentucky's hills out of the water ... if there were any water in this middle kingdom.
Out of Knoxville, we picked up US-129 and cruised along Tellico Lake and into the gorgeous mountains. I was digging this stretch because I recognized it as a stretch my family and I took when we dashed up to see snow one winter.
Dave had driven the entire way from the 'Natti along hundreds of miles of relatively straight I-75. Sometime after seeing Tellico ... at the dam actually, he said, "Hey, you had better drive some and get used to the Solstice before we get to the really curvy mountain roads."
I agreed this was a good idea, as I had not driven his sporty little ragtop yet and there were hills and curves to come. So, we switched seats and I took over on 129 in a relatively flat gently curving section of road.
This lasted approximatley 45 seconds as we went around a bend and the "nice" road transformed itself to a slithery snakey thing with a curve ... a sharp curve ... about every 3 minutes.
"Wow", we said in unison. "I wonder what the Tail of the Dragon is like if this road is so radically curvey?"
A dozen white-knuckled bends or so later, we started seeing cops on every other bend. Then the photographers showed up on the bends between the cops. The photogs all had dot com signs out and were obviously taking pictures of everyone who came through.
And then it dawned on us ... we weren't traveling to the Dragon ... we were on it!
My buddy Dave had handed over his car to me to practice with at the bottom of the Tale of the Dragon with it's 318 sharp curves in 11 miles.
The white- knuckles I mentioned above were his as he watched the greenhorn flatlander take his precious baby through tight curve after tight curve.
We did NOT crash and burn and it was so much fun that when we reached the top, we refreshed and then headed back to the Dragon, this time with Dave getting to drive his car through the dragon twice.
The big ride is tomorrow with almost 60 Solstices and Saturn Sky's doing the big road ralley.
Dave relaxing at the Fontana Village Resort.
Right now, we're sitting in the lobby of the Fontana Resort, chilling out after a great day on the road.
For a different take on this day, skip on over to Dave's blog.