Oak Ridge was more or less “on our way” back from Alabama, and the riding in eastern TN is always something to look forward to.
The American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge, TN, while touting the area’s history and modern research applications and nuclear technology, is mostly the Manhattan Project Museum.
We missed getting a spot on the bus tour for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is first come first serve, so I expect we’ll be back sometime, as that will definitely be worth the effort to see. The museum itself was also worth the stop, at least for the Manhattan project history; we really enjoyed the photos, and the exhibits do a great job of impressing upon the scale of the project.
After the museum, it was time to start making our way home, although we did our best to drag it out and enjoy some twisty roads in the mountains for another day.
Obligatory moto trip food photo from a notably excellent lunch – “The Other One” in Oak Ridge, TN is highly recommended:
Camp photo from the night before:
I typically love twisty roads, and I definitely enjoyed the Devil’s Triangle, but it also might be the scariest road I’ve ever ridden. A mild fear of heights, along with lack of shoulders or guardrails on a tight, twisty, poorly marked road with steep drop offs did not make for a good combination. Seriously, I didn’t stop for a good photo, but the road just drops off the cliff in many places. There really isn’t a shoulder, and often the white line, which is supposed to be the edge of the lane, was literally crumbling away down the cliff. Lazy drivers who cut the inside of turns beware on this road. There were no guardrails at all, in general, TN doesn’t seem to believe in them.
The photos never capture how steep, tight, and twisty a road or trail really is in person. The log truck above at least shows how he couldn’t make the turn without taking up both lanes.
A quick rest stop at Norris Dam
While the south east coast of the US was bracing for wet and stormy weather from Hurricane Mathew, we enjoyed remarkably good weather on this trip further inland: sunny and 70s-80s most of the time. We saw a small amount of rain and clouds on the last day, just enough to make packing the tent up in the morning a bit wet.
Oak Ridge, TN marked the last destination on what would end up being a busy 8 day trip. We arrived home the evening of day 8 in fairly tired condition. Why is it that we always need to a vacation to rest and recover from our vacations?