I began the morning by finding my way downtown. I traveled along the River and landed on the outskirts where the University of Tennessee begins. A little further on I cruised through downtown and found my way to a parking lot where I felt safe enough to leave the vehicle unattended and unpaid for. The Art Museum was directly across the street, but alas, did not open until noon. It was a little past nine.
I began walking. I immediately walked into The Worlds Fair Park and stood under the Sunsphere that shines its golden reflection sun splash on the city. The city itself was totally void of any one walking! I found my way to the River and a marina walk way. I only encountered one lady pushing a baby carriage and a long gray bearded man peddling a bicycle on the pathway. The woman was dressed in a fur lined suede coat. That made me smile, as it was in the high 40's at least! Southerners!
There was a huge slab of rock resting behind the statue of the Knoxville founding fathers. Chiseled on that smooth surface was a first hand account of a traveler who stumbled into Knoxville on Court Day in the late 1700's. He was shocked at the depravity displayed by the frontier inhabitants of the River town. They were drinking whiskey and peach brandy, they were dancing on Sunday! He wrote that the devil grew weary of traveling and upon finding Knoxville decided to settle down among friends.
I came up out of the River walk, climbed a steep hill and found the fort that James White first built on a bluff overlooking the valley below, now a crisscross of intestates, and to the East, the River. The fort itself was so old and weathered, a beautiful antique on display at the outskirts of the city. The wood harvested from surrounding forests in 1786. The top portion of the trees sharpened to alarming points to discourage the Indians. I reached out and touched the old gray wood wondering how many other hands, long gone, had touched this fortress.
I enjoyed the venture into downtown, past the courthouse and into some sort of Mall area. It was being decorated for Christmas. A small sampling of the local inhabitants were milling and venturing outdoors now that the sun was higher in the sky and the day was warming to a sultry 50+.
I found myself taking photograph after photograph and thoroughly enjoying the day away from work, away from cares, away from Lexington.