Trip Start Apr 03, 1996
11Trip End Apr 04, 1996
Allow plenty of time in the interesting town of Oak Ridge -- this former Secret City, site of the WWII Manhattan Project, now tells the Energy Story. A mural of Einstein looms over the American Museum of Science & Energy; fascinating walk-through exhibits trace the construction of the city of 75,000 that was not on the map, and the weapon that forever changed warfare. The rest of the museum focuses on energy sources and peacetime uses, with displays that dazzle and hands-on buttons to push.
Return on Hwy U11 through Lenoir City, where many rivers come together; nearby Melton Hill Dam backs up the Clinch River, Fort Loudoun Dam the Tennessee, and Tellico Dam the Little Tennessee. In historic Loudon there are vineyards to visit. Most of the state's 15 wineries are clustered in the Tennessee Valley region; two are described on this Trip, seven on other Trips. The wineries invite you in to tour and taste; they'll explain grape growing, or viticulture, and how to select the wines that suit your taste. Even if you're not an oenophile, you'll enjoy walking and picnicking on the lovely grounds overloking the river at Loudoun Vineyards, or the sweet smell of grapes at harvest time.
Down the road is the world-famous Lost Sea in Sweetwater, the college town of Athens, and historic Etowah and Englewood. Stay a while, keeping in mind that I-75 is handy to speed you home when traveling time is done.