While 8-10 lane "super" highways dominate a better part of this country, certain parts of the states still very much depend on that traditional 2-4 lane highway. You know the roads I speak of; those sprinkled with little towns and interesting attractions. And with every new highway I ride around East Tennessee I get to see just that... I experience how it is in yesteryear. Yes from the largest underground lake (The Lost Sea of Sweetwater TN), to the busiest state park in the country (The Smoky Mountains).
This throwback to a simpler time is a big part of what keeps me so attracted to this well kept secret of the South-east known as Tennessee. The people are friendly and not afraid to walk up and share their story. Take for example a recent run with my good friend Paul on the motorbikes up past Oliver Springs Tennessee.
We stopped at a little gas station for some much needed refueling of both riders and our cycles. While waiting to eat, an older gentleman with his wife and grandchild struck up a conversation with me. "Triumph ay?" he said while pointing at my jacket, "yes sir" I replied proudly as I have grown a strong passion for the brand. "I had a 1956 Triumph TR6 back in the day, great bike but always havvin' to keep those spokes tight" he shares with a grin on his face. You could tell he missed those open-road days.
Those are the people that make me smile. They are okay with keeping things simple. Non-existent are the traffic jams of Southern California as I remember. Nor are the maniacs cutting me off to get one whole car ahead of me in that very same traffic jam.
Does this "big city boy" miss the shows, the diverse food, or even scuba diving in Malibu? Of course, but I can always visit and get my fix on all of the above. I gave it all up for the friendly people, that road less traveled, and the lack of stress in my life. Because at the end of the day the overall quality of life is what matters most.