Published: November 20th 2008
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We woke to a light rain. As we began packing the essentials back into the truck, there was a little sunshine. We were preparing to backtrack to Charlottesville to see Monticello. We had planned on a stop there before the truck acted up, so we had had to pass it by. Once we got to the Interstate, it began to pour rain! We passed a Wal-Mart distribution center that had to have had at least 200 Wal-Mart trailers! We didn't mention it, but there have been Wal-Marts all over every place we've been. The new truck is behaving like a dream - quiet uphill, quiet downhill, and very quiet idling. Rich is NOT going to add an after market NOISY exhaust to this truck! As we went over the mountaintop, there were yellow lights recessed in the road on the yellow line and on the white line on both sides of the Interstate and on the right side of the exit lanes. They were foglights to help prevent accidents. There wasn't any fog when we went over, but a readerboard sign said Fog Ahead, so there was some earlier in the morning. We got to Monticello in the rain, walked Daisy, and bought tickets for a tour. A shuttle bus took us up to the house from a beautiful, new Visitor's Center. You can't see the house from the road or the Visitor's Center. It didn't rain very hard during our time on the mountaintop. Oh, it was a glorious tour. Thomas Jefferson is another one of Nancy's heroes, as a founding father, a thinker, and a scientist. The house he designed and his ideas in and around it were fascinating. He inherited his farm from his father and he came into more from his father-in-law. There was little cash used in those days, and one's prestige was based on one's acreage. Rich commented that on our trip, we have taken a peek at American history, short and sweet in each place as through rose-colored glasses. Back at the Visitor's Center, Rich played a trick. He told Nancy that the downstairs area behind a set of double doors was a hospital. There were two wheelchairs by the doors, so Nancy said, "You mean it's a clinic for people who get hurt here?" "No! It's a real hospital." "No way! Why!" "If you don't believe me, go read that sign on the door." The sign said, "Director of Visitor Operations". We had a snack at a Cracker Barrel on the way back. Rich asked the manager about the antiques and guns used for decorations. He said that there was a whole town, Lebanon, Tennessee, that was filled with businesses devoted to the Cracker Barrel. There was a warehouse filled with the antiques used to decorate their over 500 restaurants. There was someone who raised and milled the corn for corn muffins. There was someone who made honey. Someone else raised the hogs. One man found and restored old stoves for the gift shops. He also told us that a taxidermy school in Washington lets them have the deer heads over the fireplaces. The students have worked on them for practice. They need to be replaced every 6 to 8 years because the fireplace heat and soot wears the heads out. He said that usually, the heads look fine when they arrive, but sometimes the eyes don't look quite right or the nose isn't quite right. Those particular students need more practice! Today, diesel is down to $2.77 and regular is at $1.83.
We went to sleep thinking of what amazing people our
Part of the KitchenPart of the KitchenPart of the Kitchen

He designed seven charcoal burners in order to prepare many special dishes at once!
founding fathers (and mothers) were. Thank goodness!

Additional photos below
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Fish were caught in the river and released in the pond until needed for a meal.

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