Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Flooded marble quarry at Ijams Nature CenterAfter the fun we had in downtown Knoxville, we decided to spend Sunday exploring the outskirts of town.  We took a Sunday morning drive on one of the half dozen “Dogwood Trails” – mapped drives through Knoxville neighborhoods designed to highlight the best of the neighborhood gardens, the dogwood and azalea blooms.  Maps are available from the visitor center and online, and the routes themselves are well-marked with signs and pink stripes and arrows on the pavement!  The dogwoods and azaleas cooperated fully; the blooms were spectacular. 

In the afternoon, we visited the Ijams Nature Center, hiking their trail loops for the day’s exercise.   The quarry loop was my favorite – the old marble quarry is striking, filled with green water. 

When we got home Sunday afternoon, Odel noticed a spot of fluid under Scoopy’s engine.  We set a container on top of the spot overnight, and collected a tablespoon of light yellow oil by morning.  After an internet search and a few calls, we were off to a repair facility, Covington Power Services, Allison transmission specialists. 

Boardwalk along the Tennessee River at Ijams Nature CenterThe leaking fluid turned out to be hydraulic fluid, solved by replacing a hose.  While there, we had a few adjustments made to our transmission, too.  It was one of those unusual excellent repair experiences – lots of education for us, and we were kept well informed of progress during diagnosis and repair.  We recommend Covington.

By the time the repairs were finished, it was 3:30 pm, so we headed back to Raccoon Valley RV Park (read our review here) for one more night.  We awoke to sprinkles in the morning, but kept to our schedule and hit the road.  After heavy rain for our first 80 miles, we’re on dry roads just outside of Chattanooga, heading to Huntsville, Alabama.  Unclaimed Baggage Center, here we come!


  1. While you're in Huntsville, you should be sure to stop at the U. S. Space and Rocket Center. A former colleague of mine, Al Whitaker, is the Media Relations Director there.

    I enjoy reading about your travels, and your current route through Huntsville brings back some fond memories of my time there as that is where I met my wife and also where our son was born.


  2. Be sure to eat a big breakfast before going to the Unclaimed Baggage Center if your like us you're going to be there awhile.

  3. I've always wanted to go there. Will be watching for the report.


  4. Found you on another "Dreamers" site... love your blog!

    If you are still in Alabama and willing to head over to the northwestern corner, I'll treat you both to another item on the "100 Foods" list here in Bama... the Harvey Milkshake at The Palace here in Tuscumbia! It is an awesome little drugstore - the bathrooms are wallpapered with (old) original prescriptions from when it was a "real" drugstore! The building was originally a hotel in the 1800s. Cool place. Great architecture! Helen Keller's birthplace, and the oldest commercial building in AL are here also. Neat little town, beautiful park.

    Hope you found lots of baggage to "claim"! Never know what you'll find at that store...

    Kerri in AL :-)