How wonderful to have had two weekends as beautiful as the last two. Although just a wee bit cold, they were the kind of winter weekends we all dream about after a week at the office.
One of the most enjoyable things about my “job” these days is that I do a fair amount of traveling (the fortunate or unfortunate nature of the current market) and I get to see parts of the U.S. that I may not have seen otherwise. I spend a fair amount of time in airports and on airplanes, but it is the time driving in the car that I value most. I try to arrange my travel schedules to allow extra time to get out and travel the side roads of America. My blog – Postcards from My Miss-Adventures – is a direct by-product of my travels. I saw it as a way to keep in touch with clients and friends, as well as, share my visual travel experiences.
If you are like me, when going from A to B you do so as fast as you can. We generally do not drive the country roads and in doing so bypass small town USA’s with their unique character and real Americana. We just do not allow time to stop anymore to smell the roses.
With such a beautiful weekend predicted, I headed out Saturday up Hwy 72 finding myself at days end in South Pittsburg, TN. On my way up I reflected back to the days when Hwy 72 did not by pass South Pittsburg. Instead Hwy 72/27 ran right through the heart of downtown. I remember how excited I got each time when greeted at the state line with the Tennessee welcome sign and the many firework outlets all touting great deals.
As I approached the city on Saturday, I decided to locate Hwy 27 and see how it had changed. The welcome signs and buildings are all still there to greet you but due to the lack of traffic many of the businesses have closed and the fireworks moved to the interstate. Downtown looks allot the same just a little more freshly groomed.
One of the most notable icons of South Pittsburg is the Shelby Reinhart Bridge or the “Blue Bridge” as most of us affectionately call it. With all my travels to Chattanooga, I have never taken the time to stop and photographic this majestic icon of the city. With the sun setting I thought what an opportunity to finally do what I should have done years ago. I found some side roads and spent the rest of the twilight capturing the beauty of this magnificent structure. Attached is one of those splendid moments.
If you find yourself heading east and past South Pittsburg here are a few tips to make your trip more enjoyable.
A) Take the side road Hwy 27 in to town and stop at the Lodge Cast Iron factory store where they sell the finest cast iron cookware. Lodge has been in business for over 100 years.
B) If traveling to Chattanooga, instead of taking Hwy 72 to I-24 head across the “blue bridge” taking Hwy 156 through New Hope. It is one of the most picturesque and scenic mountain top roads, not to mention a thrill ride of curves. You will end up at I-24 and Big Daddy’s Fireworks.
C) Third and most important, mark your calendars for the last weekend in April (24 & 25) and join in the festivities at the 14th annual National Corn Bread Festival. http://www.nationalcornbread.com/
Best regards …..