Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Day Six - Memphis to Knoxville TN

This is Peter doing all the work while I look for an artistic angle in a slightly out of focus photo which evokes the spirit of movement, travel and adventure. Hey - I must create my art dammit!

Last night we had an early call from a line of thunder showers at about 3:00 AM. The southeast US is being flooded by rain. We heard there were 6,000 lightning strikes in one hour from the storm that moved south and east of us. Poor Annie jumped into bed with me - shivering and whining. The motel was nice but the night was not too restful! By the way, we're finding good motel rooms to be fairly inexpensive right now.

Yesterday, Bobby Robinson at the Cozy Corner in Memphis told us that he went to college in Nashville. He said that if we had time, we should stop in Nashville at Monell's. It's real down home southern cooking in an old house in a nice gentrified old neighborhood. So we looked it up and made plans to stop for lunch.

We Found Monell's pretty easily from I-40 on 6th Street and parked on the street. Inside we were greeted and seated at a large communal table loaded with fresh hot food.

People are seated together. You pass dishes family style and help yourself. When a dish gets low the waitstaff brings more to the table. There's no chance of leaving hungry. As you can see, we ate until we were blurry. The menu today included pork chops with baked apple slices, baked chicken, delicious fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, fresh broccoli salad, green beans,
home made biscuits, fantastic peach preserves in a brown sugar and vanilla sauce, cucumber salad, corn pudding, savory sage dressing and banana pudding (with vanilla wafers) for dessert. There were also generous pitchers of brewed sweet tea. This isn't lunch - this is what farm folks call dinner (Supper is the evening meal).

I ate as much as I could hold and then some. Cost? About 10 bucks per person plus tax and tip. It's all you can eat - and in the style of traditional southern hospitality they encourage you to eat more. Tennessee has been very good to us. Needless to say we didn't eat supper tonight.

We followed behind the storm front that moved through Tennessee today. We dodged most of the heavy rain and it looks like we'll be in good shape for tomorrow as we head east again.

We stopped tonight in the beautiful green mountains of Dandridge, just about 35 mile east of Knoxville and were rewarded with this beautiful view and a rainbow from our hilltop motel.

I'm listening to the Santa Barbara fire coverage streaming online from KTYD and thinking of our loved ones at home who are preparing to evacuate. Not much we can do but follow along and send our best wishes to all of you back home.

Our trip has been safe so far and I feel we are being led to good people, good food and good weather. 2400 miles on the old truck so far and she hasn't missed a beat - thank you Ayers Repairs for getting us ready.

I hope the hand that is guiding us will protect our good friends and firefighters at home.

Good night from the road.

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