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  • Writer's pictureWine & Whiskey

Nature in Knoxville

Knoxville was the primary destination for our October trip. Whiskey attended a conference as a member and was also a presenter. This gave me the opportunity to plan a trip around this.

Ijams Nature Center

After 1000 miles, and three overnight stays, we settle in at Knoxville Campground in Clinton Tennessee which is more of a parking lot than a traditional campground. It suits our needs since we aren't camping, we use this location as our hub for four nights. The campground has everything we needed, water, electricity, sewer, and laundry facilities. In addition, they have a propane filling station, which is extremely convenient for RVers.

One fact of RVing for more than a few days is that laundry accumulates. Sheets need to be laundered and changed; towels and clothes laundered and folded. That's my job and I get it done early in the morning when the facilities are not busy. I score and get three washers and get the task done in a timely manner.

Whiskey has one free day before his conference gets underway, so we go out and about to see some sights. Since we have Bell, we find places we can go with her. We spend time at Ijams Nature Center. This is a lovely place on the Tennessee River.

Dogs are welcome at Calhoun's on the River. Bell joins us for lunch. She is such a good girl. She just watches the activities and doesn't react at all even after a dog and his human sit at the bar.

The conference is at the Marriott downtown; the drive into the city is straightforward from the campground. Friday and Saturday mornings I dropped Whiskey off by 7:30am for meetings. I went back in the evenings for cocktail reception on Friday evening and then for the banquet on Saturday night. Whiskey has been a member of this organization for twenty-seven years. Over those years, we have made friends with many; and sometimes seeing these friends more than family over the years.

While Whiskey is at the conference during the day, I explored a bit. One location that I was really interested in was the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum.

What a disappointment that was. I went on a beautiful Saturday morning. I knew that their office is closed on Saturdays, but the grounds are open dawn to dusk, I anticipated that there would be people walking and enjoying the outdoors, but I did not see one person. As an outsider in an unfamiliar place, it felt creepy, so I did not stay long. The grounds were not beautiful either. So that location fell flat.

I then went downtown and did a bit of city walking on historic Gay Street and browsed Mast General Store.

I have come to realize that I am not a "city person" and that I prefer open space and countryside. After my downtown walk, I found a little country park named Mountain View Park to visit that was quiet and gave Beel a bit of playtime and zoomies. The downside of RV life with dogs is that they have to be on a leash most of the time and this makes it hard for them to run. (We avoid dog parks.)

Tennessee has beautiful hills and a lot of open space. As we drove to Kentucky, we see mountains and fall colors.

After three days in the Knoxville area, I felt as though we covered the highlights. There is more to see and do with other interests such as college football, live music, and shopping.

Maps and GPS make travel easy. Easy to navigate, and easy to explore and search for places. I drove on back roads to avoid the highway and it was very enjoyable to see locals and off the beaten path.

We are grateful for safe travels as we cover a lot of ground. It has been a pleasure to visit this part of the country. Next up is Lexington Kentucky where my sister and brother-in-law join us for camping and bourbon tasting.


Before we got to Knoxville.

Our travels from Abingdon Va to Knoxville went through Bristol VA which is considered to be the birthplace of country music. We stopped and toured the museum. The town is attractive, and I think there is much to do there if one were to visit for a couple of days.

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