USA Road Trip: Week 9

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North America » United States
August 5th 2019
Published: August 6th 2019
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Asheville is a “rare liberal enclave in the conservative countryside” (LP, Georgia and the Carolinas, 2019, p. 288). We had some great North Carolina meals here - including barbecue, hush puppies, banana pudding and sweet tea. I didn’t say it was healthy, just that it was good. Asheville’s nickname is “Beer City” because there are several microbreweries in the city.

Nearby is a town “Cherokee” - which is the “home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians - the descendants of those Cherokee who managed to hide in the mountains rather than be expelled from their homeland along the Trail of Tears” (LP, p. 302). This wasn’t one of the better moments in US history. Andrew Jackson was the president at the time, and he had “gotten Congressional approval after gold was discovered in Georgia for the forced relocations of five Native American tribes. The relocated peoples suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route to their new designated reserve, and many died before reaching their destinations” (

Although it was sunny and hot in Raleigh, the rain returned in full force, off and on, as we drove the Blue Ridge Parkway into Tennessee, and the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. The maximum speed limit on the Parkway is 45 mph (about 73 km/h), so with that, the pouring rain and the heavy fog, you don’t get anywhere very fast. The Smokies “are packed with clifftop viewpoints and picturesque drives and forested trails that wind past rocky streams to thundering cascades (LP, p. 315). We just enjoyed the viewpoints when we could, when the sun made its rare appearances.

“No matter your politics, it’s hard not to fall for the nation’s capital” (LP, USA, p. 266). We didn’t spend much time in DC (we realized half-way through this trip that we were not spending much time in cities; we were enjoying the landscapes and nature of the countryside, but we had little patience for driving around cities, or looking for parking. Anyhow, we did do some driving around DC. I went to the Lincoln Memorial, and did some pondering. We went past the Washington Monument, and the Capitol, where the House of Representatives and the Senate meet. After a few tries, we found that if you look closely, you can see the White House way behind all that security. If you plan ahead, you can visit the White House and the Capitol, but we weren’t all that prepared. I did some research as we were driving to DC, though, and found a Swiss bakery and got some really great chocolate.

Mileage driven after this blog, from Seattle: 12,990 miles, or 20,905 km.

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