Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Walking Southern Towns: The Clinton 12

Clinton, Tennessee, sits on the eastern slope of the Cumberland Plateau, a bedroom community north of Knoxville.   It was originally named Burrville, but it changed after Aaron Burr was charged with Treason.  It was renamed after Goerge Clinton, Burr's successor, who was Thomas Jeffersons Vice President. 

I have wanted to do this walk for a long time.  Clinton is home of the Clinton 12.  The first 12 blacks registered in a white segregated high school in 1957 in Tennessee.  The school was bombed in 1958, but all Clinton Schools were integrated shortly after that.  On a hill overlooking the town is the old colored school named after a Buffalo Soldier that worked in the courthouse, Green McAdoo. 

The harsh reality of the Jim Crow is on full display in Clinton.  If you look at both schools, it was the epidemy of hypocrisy; the fact was separate but completely unequal.  This hypocrisy we live with today in some respects.  There are a lot of people here in the south that would like to turn back the clock on this.  It's not going to happen, and sadly, they will take this to their grave. 

The hill you walk up to the school is called Freedman hill, which overlooks the town of Clinton; life seems to have stopped in Clinton.  There seem to be two separate downtowns, my guess originally one black and one white.  Antique shops fill the section off the town square. 

After the 5K walk, we ate at Haskins Drug; it was like stepping into the 1950s.  Terri got her quilt shop visit in a great example of an original soda shop and pharmacy.  It was a great visit and a walk in a unique southern town.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Motorcycles Roads: Tennessee State Road 30

At least once a year, we like to ride down to Chattanooga to see our son and our daughter-in-law who live there.  After spending a couple of days there, we like to ride the great roads that the Blue Ridge Mountains, we wanted to ride the Cherohala Skyway. It wasn't going to happen this year because of the weather.

Instead, we headed west, home to Clarksville over an expanded route. After riding to all 95 Tennessee Counties, I thought that I have ridden every motorcycle road that this state had to offer. After Tennessee 30, I realize now that I have so much more left to do. 

This is one of the Top 10 motorcycle roads in the state of Tennessee.  A ride that crosses 2 mountain ridges through a Glacier carved Valley.  With 2 mountain climbs and 2 descents that contain tight switchbacks that will thrill anyone on a motorcycle.   Add in a thunderstorm with hail; it will definitely make you feel alive on this earth.

It's a short blast from Chattanooga up to Dayton, US Highway 27 is four lanes of fast.  With the Cumberland Plateau on our left and the Blue Ridge on our right, we make the left turn on TN 30.  We pass by the Rhea County Courthouse home to the Scopes Monkey Trial.  The famous trial where a teacher was prosecuted for teacher evolution which was against state law at that time.

We begin the long climb up the Plateau with fast and slow switchbacks during the accent.  As we make the climb, we can see a small storm cell to the south, moving across the top of the Plateau.  The radar shows we are supposed to miss it.  Once on top, we ride the 5 miles on top of the Plateau to the drop into the Sequatchie River Valley.

On the way down, we run into some thunder, rain, and hail.  We were lucky it was mostly a long incline with just a few small turns. Once out of the storm, we quickly enter the Squathie River Valley.   We pass through the town of Pikeville. Then we make our way to make the climb to Spencer then back down the other side to McMinnville.

Once through McMinnville, we catch US Highway 70 to finish our trip back home to Clarksville.  TN State Road 30 a great motorcycle road one that is worth the ride.

TN 30 Dayton to McMinnville