So I’m on the road again, this time with my husband on a photo trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  If you are here and you see some guy with lots of camera equipment, and a girl with a pen and notebook sitting off to the side somewhere, say hi!  It might be us.

As we were driving East on I-40, I realized Interstate starts with an “I,” and there was some pretty interesting stuff flying by.  We couldn’t stop because we wanted to get as much shooting time as possible in the Park this week, so I thought I’d catalog some of the things I saw driving the entire width of Tennessee.

The first thing I noticed when crossing the mighty Mississippi into Tennessee was a huge pyramid.  The Memphis Pyramid has been used as a sports arena and entertainment venue, and is currently being remodeled as a Bass Pro Shop megastore.

By Jeremy Atherton (Jeremy Atherton) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Memphis Pyramid, Jeremy Atherton

I-40 between Memphis and Nashville is known as the Music Highway.  I didn’t realize until I looked it up how much music history, Country and Rock and Roll, occurred along this 200 mile stretch of road.

We left the Interstate briefly in Nashville to buy some hiking boots for my husband at REI.  For once, I wasn’t the one who left the essential item sitting on the living room floor when we left on a trip.  One needs hiking boots if one is going to hike.  We also picked up a lightweight campstool for the trailside shooting stops.

Driving by Nashville, I saw signs for some interesting historical/architectural sites: Belle Meade Plantation and The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson’s home).  A sign for the Joe L. Evins Appalachian Center for Craft also piqued my interest.

By Collage by Kaldari [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It may be obvious, considering our destination, that we enjoy the outdoors.  There were some very enticing State and National Parks signs along this stretch of the Interstate, including the following:

Between Nashville and Knoxville, more Parks.  A couple that sounded interesting were:

I have to mention just a couple of the great town names I saw on the Interstate: Bucksnort, Crab Orchard, Rugby.  I’m dying to make up an extended list for this, but when you have to be in the park before sunrise to take pictures, well, let’s just say that pillow is calling my name.

We arrived at Great Smoky Mountain National Park early enough to get some shooting done before sunset, thanks to that great Interstate!  I’ve driven on enough back roads and state highways that the ease, speed, and comfort with which we traversed the entire state of Tennessee made me very grateful for the vast road system that connects these United States.

  1. Ann says:

    Sounds like a wonderful trip you’re having so far. The Smokey Mountains are so beautiful, aren’t they?

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