Tuesday, August 17 – 2021
Have you ever been so close to something that you could taste it? That’s the way I felt when I woke up on this morning. I wasn’t looking forward to another 10 hours on the road but the end of this road held our destination: Knoxville, TN. When we completed this last section of our 2,200 mile journey, our new adventure would really begin.
There was a sense of excitement in the air.
Even though we got to Steve & Mary’s fairly early compared to the previous stops, we stayed up late talking and enjoying each other’s company. Tori & I decided that we were going to sleep until we woke up. We wouldn’t be getting into Knoxville until late anyway so getting a later start wouldn’t make that much of a difference.
The night at Steve & Mary’s was invigorating. It felt good getting a decent amount of sleep. Rested, freshly showered, fed and caffeinated, we got back on the open road. My eyes were bright and if I had a tail, it would have been bushy.
Being the last leg of the journey to the South, we were able to take in more of the countryside. Missouri, Iowa & Kentucky were beautiful. We already knew that Tennessee was gorgeous as we took a trip down there last April. So the fact that we hit Tennessee in the dark was all right.
We crossed the Missouri, Mississippi and Ohio rivers on this day. What a sight!
Around midnight we passed Nashville and hit I-40 East to Knoxville. The rest of the drive was uneventful and serene. Knowing that a nice bed would be waiting for us at our extended stay hotel was a bonus. Being in Tennessee felt natural.
We got to the hotel around 2am. Putting our feet on the ground in the state of Tennessee really drove some points home:
- We left Montana and aren’t going back.
- We’re not on vacation.
- A new life awaits us here.
- Technically, we are homeless.
My only lament on this stage of the trip was not taking advantage of the opportunity to pee in 4 different states in 1 day. I may carry this regret to the grave.
(Photo by: Tori Close)