Taking A Walk

Walking Down US Highway 11 – Winchester, Virginia to Louisiana

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Day 32 – A 20-Mile Day

October 22nd, 2008 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips

Today we walked through Jefferson City, New Market, and Strawberry Plains, Tennessee.

Note: Not all of the towns in Tennessee have two words in their names; it just seems that way.

The weather again was chilly – 40 degrees F in the morning and 50 at quitting time. We did indeed cover 20 miles – the first time we hit that distance. Conditions were just right (or just wrong depending on how your feet feel) to cover that distance today.

Route 11E returned to being a four-lane divided highway. Sort of the Interstate for this area of Tennessee. As such, it pretty much bypasses the towns. I think we “missed” several towns along the way that we never saw any evidence of their existence.

Jefferson City is a good example. Route 11E is a Golden Mile on the edge of town. Wal-Mart, Lowes, gas stations, and every national fast food chain is on it. Off to the left was the town, and we only had a glimpse of it now and then. That is a shame.

New Market wasn’t much better. We saw a couple of gas stations on the side of the road. We did eat our lunch at a roadside park in the New Market area. It was nice to sit at a picnic table, eat a sandwich, pop a few blisters, patch them with moleskin…no wait, that isn’t a good lunch time topic. The sandwich was good.

I put a photo of the New Market Post Office on the town’s Wikipedia page. Why would anyone use dark brown letters on dark brown bricks? See the photo to understand my displeasure.

After New Market another “See Rock City” barn. Great stuff. I love it.

Note, Rock City seems to be more famous for the barn advertisements than for the place itself. Over 900 barns in 19 states were painted with this type of advertisement. Well, I have seen two of them.

The countryside for most of the day was beautiful. There was a few hours in the afternoon when I was strolling along, feeling the sun, feeling the breeze, listening to my iPod – just great to be out here. I am sure some people would find this boring, but I love it.

We ended the day at Strawberry Plains – a great name for a town. We even pulled off the highway and drove through what we thought was going to be a town. A few old houses and a school. This reminded me of my high school – Loranger High School in Loranger, Louisiana. K through 12 is all in a few buildings in one spot. There is a football field with bleachers that could hold maybe 200 people. Yes, just like my high school. Funny thing is that the area around my high school is known historically as a strawberry-growing area.

I put a photo of the Strawberry Plains Post Office on the town’s Wikipedia page.

Tags: Hamblen County · Jefferson County · Tennessee

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