the great american road trip take 3 - charleston, knoxville, mammoth cave, owensboro
A day late and a dollar short - that's how today feels.
I missed yesterday - mostly because we spent so much time on the road. (It took us 2 hours to get through a 20 mile section of the Smokey Mountains, because we were following a triple-long semi carrying a long-range-ballistic missile - yeah we saw it, and yeah we all freaked out.)
Despite the long drive (and the 'holy crap' feeling of following a nuclear warhead down a winding mountain road) there were some nice stops along the way:
*A roadside peach shop, where we ate fresh South Carolina peaches, cider, bread and salsa. The kids were amazed to discover what a real peach tastes like.
* A sidetrip to Asheville, North Carolina, which I loved nearly as much as Savannah, Georgia. We stopped at the Woolworth's Walk - which had been converted into a funky artesian shop. The old soda fountain was still in full swing, and we stopped at the counter to share a chocolate egg cream.
* We camped at a Red Roof Inn outside of Knoxville, Tennesse, where we had our 5th pizza of this trip.
Today was more eventful.
After a 3 hour drive in the backwoods of Tennessee and Kentucky, we arrived at Mammoth Caves National Park. We all agreed that the short tour would be plenty for us (especially since no strollers are allowed, and we knew we'd have to trade off carrying Yoda the entire hike). After our tour, we all agreed that it wasn't enough (despite the fact that Yoda fell asleep in her carrier and I had to carry her myself the whole time). The portion of the cave we saw was unbelievably HUGE. The tour was peppered with just enough cool history and creepy facts to keep everyone wanting more. But the best part was when the guide turned off all of the walking trail lights and we were immersed in complete darkness and total silence. It was one of the strangest sensations we'd ever experienced.
Almost three hours later, we pulled into our hotel in Owensboro, Kentucky.
Tomorrow we head back to St. Louis and The City Museum. the kids have been waiting for this museum since the day we embarked on this journey. We better catch some Zzzzs.