Clifton TN to Pickwick Dam TN

Trip Start Oct 17, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Thursday, November 8, 2012

We reluctantly left the Bear Inn and repeated the last three miles from yesterday and headed toward Savannah, Tennessee. Not sure but we think our trepidation was shared by our having been enamored with the Bear Inn, and by the fact that we knew the first three miles was a slow uphill climb and, ... we knew that near the end of that climb we would have to pass by a corrections facility and, ... yesterday they were laboring on the roadside and, ... who knows .... Well, we made the trudge to our destined turn toward the south. The landscape was breathtaking, rolling hills and the fall colors were like a never-ending painting. Something else that we've noticed for the past few days is the clarity of the water in the streams and rivers that we pass over, clear enough to want to walk down and scoop up a cupful of that cool, clear water. Some of these waterways have rock bluffs that we would never associate with this part of the country. It is also something we wouldn't have noticed if we were not on bicycles. Soon we were at SR 64, our turn for Savannah and we were making record time.
Having just pulled into town we were eyeing for a 'local' spot for a quick bite and as always to pay into the local economy, when a car honked and someone waved at us. Not too many of those since we started our trip but sure makes for a good feeling and a smile. A couple of blocks later we pulled into a parking lot to regroup and what a surprise!, Bruce & Lori, the couple that we met in Parsons at the laundry who told us about Bear Inn. They were in town returning and picking up a furnace for the house they just bought. We talked again about their move to Tennessee, from Illinois they found this area by looking on the Internet. They really love the area and remodeling the house is a labor of love. They left behind twelve grandchildren (and they look like they're our age!)! Eventually we had to move on because we needed to have lunch and we still had about 10 miles to Pickwick Lake State Park.
After giving up our search for a sandwich shop we found a fish house, which down here in Savannah, the catfish capital of the world, is fried catfish and hush puppies, mmmm. Must admit we do love the coleslaw in the south and decided the reason it tastes so good is that they shred AND chop the cabbage. We decided to start ordering dessert as long as our only options for meals are deep fried, we figured what the heck! We're starting to feel like all our efforts are for nought. We'd hate to see the inside of these people's arteries! Very rare to find dark greens of any kind offered in small town restaurants; that's not as we thought it would be and much to our chagrin.
The last five of the ten miles we had left were difficult to say the least, feeling terrorized by semi-tractor trailers followed closely by pick-ups, ...s c r e a m i n g by, filling us with a fear that was telling our better senses to get the h-e-double-toothpick off the road, where sometimes there was not much if any room to pull off before possibly sending us down an embankment. We would then have to stop, pull off in the grass and let the line of traffic pass, then remount our bikes and ride on. If we had stopped any more than we already had it would have slowed our progress to the point we would have been on that road past dark; and that, we decided, we didn't want to happen; notwithstanding the dam and bridge over the Tennessee River that was ahead at the end of our route! We certainly become spoiled by those 8-foot wide shoulders that we almost forgot that some roads are narrow and winding with absolutely no shoulders. Those last five miles would have had us with no nails left at all, not even a nail bed if we hadn't had our nails dug so deep into our handle bars that we had to pry them out! Finally, we saw the 'pot o'gold', the dam. It was graced with a welcomed raised sidewalk and we couldn't help but notice that for some unknown reason, along here the cars would move over into the oncoming lane when passing by us?
After we got to the lodge and for the first time on this voyage, we took advantage of their swimming pool and soothed our tired muscles and tensed bodies while allowing ourselves to luxuriate in the water. Just then Larry swam by and said, "I can't say that we're practicing for an Iron Man, but then again, I can't say that we're not!" Times up! We're off to the lodge's restaurant for yet another catfish buffet dinner!
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