Saturday, September 13, 2014

Random Road Trip Day 1 (13 Sep 2014)

In celebration our 25th Wedding Anniversary, Mary and I are taking a totally random road trip.  You are probably asking yourself what exactly is a totally random road trip.  We are rolling dice to see where we will go.  Really.

Actually, we draw a direction tile, N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW.  Then we roll a six sided die to see how many hours we will drive in that direction.  The only other rule is that we will not double back on the same road we have already traveled.

Dice Roll Number One

4 Hours North
So Mary got the honors for the first dice roll.  The result was 4 hours North.

We decided to stick with two lane roads as much as possible.

Our first stop was the James Polk House in Columbia, TN.

Mary at Polk House

The James K. Polk Ancestral Home, also known as James K. Polk House, is U.S. President James K. Polk's only surviving home other than the White House. It is located at 301 West 7th St., Columbia, Tennessee.

Sisters House at the Polk Compound

Mary Being Touristy

James K. Polk
James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795 – June 15, 1849) was the 11th President of the United States (1845–1849). Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He later lived in and represented Tennessee. A Democrat, Polk served as the 17th Speaker of the House of Representatives (1835–1839) and Governor of Tennessee (1839–1841). Polk was the surprise (dark horse) candidate for president in 1844, defeating Henry Clay of the rival Whig Party by promising to invade and annex Texas. Polk was a leader of Jacksonian Democracy during the Second Party System.

Polk was the last strong pre–Civil War president, and he is the earliest of whom there are surviving photographs taken during a term in office. He is noted for his foreign policy successes. He threatened war with Britain over the issue of which nation owned the Oregon Country, then backed away and split the ownership of the region with Britain. When Mexico rejected American annexation of Texas, Polk led the nation to a sweeping victory in the Mexican-American War, which gave the United States most of its present Southwest. He secured passage of the Walker tariff of 1846, which had low rates that pleased his native South, and he established a treasury system that lasted until 1913.

Polk oversaw the opening of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Smithsonian Institution, the groundbreaking for the Washington Monument, and the issuance of the first postage stamps in the United States. He promised to serve only one term and did not run for reelection. He died of cholera three months after his term ended.

Scholars have ranked him favorably on the list of greatest presidents for his ability to set an agenda and achieve all of it. Polk has been called the "least known consequential president" of the United States

Marble Table Given to President Polk by an African Country

Jack Churning Butter

Mary Admiring the Spices

The Garden at the James Polk House
We enjoyed the tour of the house and property by Leigh and John.  After we departed the James Polk house we continued our trip North. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for lunch.

Next we headed to the Factory Shopping Center in Franklin, TN.  The main purpose of the stop was to see "Rusty Mechanism",  but the Shopping Center was very cool.  Lots of artists and cool little shops.

Rusty Mechanism
After our visit with Rusty, it was time to roll the dice again.  This time it was Jack's turn.

The verdict was 5 hours east.


5 hours

We decide to jump on I-40 and made it as far as Knoxville, TN before we decided to stop for the night.  We could have gone further, but we both wanted to watch the Alabama - Southern Mississippi Game.  We will drive the remaining 2 hours East tomorrow morning.

After checking in at the hotel, Mary and I decided to grab some food at a local restaurant. The entire restaurant was decked out in University of Tennessee decorations.  Mary and I joked about her wearing an Alabama shirt.  When we got back to our hotel with our food, we discovered that her sandwich was missing the chicken.  A coincidence?  I think not.

Relaxing and Watching Football - Roll Tide
At the end of the day, we covered 285 miles.

Day One Map - 285 Miles
Next Day 2

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