Days 43 and 44 – Morristown TN to Jefferson City TN

When we woke up at Cherokee Park, we realized we didn’t really have any breakfast, so we abandoned our planned route and headed straight back to Morristown to look for food. We didn’t immediately find a promising breakfast spot, but we did find a grocery store, so that’s where we ate.

We had a short ride for the day, to Jefferson City, to visit a friend of mine from graduate school, so we continued on 11 and made it to town around lunch time. We didn’t immediately find the downtown area, and a girl at doughnut shop unhelpfully told us that the main highway was the center of town. My friend D had recommended a restaurant/coffee shop, and after using the wifi at McDonald’s to figure out I had the wrong street (should have been OLD Jefferson Highway), we rode across the college campus and found The Creek Cafe.

We parked our bikes next door in a building under renovation, and settled in for an afternoon of reading.

jefferson City bikes in doorframe

IMG_8365

Once D got back into town, we headed over to her place and did some catching up (and laundry) before bed.

We took a rest day off in Jefferson City. In the morning, our box of summer gear arrived in the mail, so we repacked our bags with exciting new items, and stuffed our winter/cold spring gear in the boxes. D took us to the post office and to the grocery store–yay for errands!

In the evening, D and her husband took us into Knoxville. The revitalized downtown seemed quite fun, and we dined with our hosts at the Downtown Grill & Brewery.

knoxville downtown

It stormed while we were eating, and we were glad to have been inside. Once the skies cleared, we had desserts, and then headed back to Jefferson City for the night.

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5 thoughts on “Days 43 and 44 – Morristown TN to Jefferson City TN

  1. How does it feel to have been on the road this long, or are you so busy that you do not have time to think about it? 44 days on the road, at least to me, feels significant! And so much more to come for you, too. As always, excited to read more about your travels. It’s so surreal to be reading your posts from such an anchored place, especially when I’m at the office. !!

    • Well, that’s a tough question to answer. We’ve definitely started to have some days where we just don’t want to get up and ride. The hot weather and possibility of bad storms has also taken an bit of a mental toll on us. I also have to say that riding in Tennessee is also taking a toll. It has been quite a while since we’ve been on a road that was ever intended to be used by a cyclist. I think Nashville is the only place we’ve been that felt bike friendly. Until recently I think I was was too tired to think about the end of this trip but over the last few days I’ve been so exhausted that I find myself frequently thinking of wanting to take a break or get back to other things. I am glad we left this trip open ended so we can stop riding when the time is right for us without feeling that we didn’t reach a specific destination.

    • Elizabeth’s comments are actually at day 55 (we are so behind on blogging!), and what a difference 1-2 weeks can make. Bike touring is strange, because your mental experience does vary a lot: sometimes you need extreme concentration and sometimes its extremely repetitive to the extent you either don’t think at all or you have lots of time to ruminate. The whole experience also swings between being quite novel and being very redundant and repetitious. Little things (a comment, a moment) can tip the balance, as can things beyond your control like the terrain and the weather. You are busy and not busy at the same time–your time is devoted to pedaling, eating, drinking water, unpacking and repacking, figuring out routes and lodging, oiling your chain…I think both of us can say that while the biking is enjoyable, it is also excruciating at times. Because of this, the best part of our trip has been the people. And sometimes we wish we had even more time for visiting and exploring.

      • I love reading about the trip. The longest tours I have done have been two weeks at a go so yours is quite inspiring, though I do wonder about the various mental obstacles as well as overall physical fatigue over the span of time you are doing. Thanks for all your posts. They are AWESOME, and it’s great you are taking time to do them for your family as well as people like me who have a fondness for bike touring.

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