Carlsbad, NM

Carlsbad, NM

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Day One - Sunday, June 29

Our plan was to go our separate ways when hitting the Tennessee border but we were having so much fun that we ended up following each other and staying together all day. We'll see about future days later - maybe we'll split up, maybe we won't - it's great to have no real plans for these trips.
Our first stop was in Oak Ridge, Tennessee - not to see the famous "Boys" but to visit the Museum of Science and Energy where the Manhattan Project took place. (You'll see a picture from the sign in registry from 1963 - see if you see a familiar name). This is where all the plutonium and U-235 isotopes were worked on in the "Secret City" to make the Atomic Bomb that ended WWII.
We enjoyed the history of the place, but we felt much dumber upon leaving after viewing way too many exhibits with way too many seven or eight syllable scientific terms. Our favorite parts were the hands on kids activities, at least until we realized we were struggling to decipher them as well.
Our next stop was the Lenoir Museum near Norris Dam not too far from Oak Ridge. We also made the drive to Norris Dam for some Dam pictures. This dam was made in the 1930s and brought electricity to what was at that time a very primitive part of our country. Before our Dam trip we had our highlight of the day at the Lenoir Museum.
The small museum has hundreds of artifacts from Appalachia. One of them is in a photo - the first person who can tell me what it was used for will receive a t-shirt from one of the places we visit over the next week. But the highlight was the Blue Grass concert going on in the building the entire time we were there. Every Sunday "pickers" show up and play their banjos and guitars and play and sing the most country blue grass music you'll ever hear. We even heard "Chicken Man." He's a skinny old guy with a distinctive voice ranging from base to falsetto. He's been on the Jay Leno show a couple of times and won a national blue grass singers contest. His trademark song I tried to attach to this blog - I'm not great at this so I'm not sure if you'll see it. I hope it works because it's bizarre. I asked him if I could buy a CD from him and he walked with me out to his car where I bought his last one. I'll leave it in the car for GiGi - she'll love it.
We left Chicken Man and ended up in Corbin, Kentucky, where we ate at the first ever Colonel Sanders KFC. There's a little museum as part of the restaurant. It's amazing the places you bump into if you just start wandering.
We're spending our first night here - a good day of exploring has ended that also produced three good deeds. First - at an exit somewhere in Tennessee we saw a man holding a sign at the end of the exit ramp. It said he had just gotten out of a VA hospital and was trying to come up with rent money for his family. After a decent donation from the Good Deed Doers as well as a sandwich, we hope his outlook is a little brighter. Then at the viewing area at Norris Dam, we saw a landscape area that was riddled with weeds. But not anymore - we good deeders got rid of the Dam weeds. Then while I've been writing this blog at 9:00 p.m. my three buddies went to the Walmart and K Mart parking lots and helped the cart guys with what they say were over 100 shopping carts. I say they exaggerate, they say no. Still a good deed, exaggeration or not.

So Day one is over - I swear I see some green and yellow in Pee Wee's beard and Jimmy Football's hair, and Danny's ears seem to be growing. Maybe the trip to the Oak Ridge nuclear facility wasn't a good idea after all.





kathy said...

Did you find the signature of Lee Harvey Oswald, or did the museum have is turned to that page?

kathy said...

What the tool in the pic used to keep plow lines to mules from crossing?

Kara Ramos said...

Without those dam weeds you'd have a better dam view

Anonymous said...

Watch your language please

Chris Alston said...

I think it's a bull nose ring - calf weaner spike style?

Chris Alston

Jim Gassman said...

Be careful doing any more work at may be asked to join a union. The Walmart people don't need any more breaks than they already take too.

Rob Baker said...

I'm holding my answer. I've been to that museum. Great stuff.

Charles Sandusky said...

Cool stuff guys.

Laura Valentine said...

Cool, Dad!