On Tuesday, May 14th, we took another Day Ride. Our destination was lunch in Sparta, Tennessee.
We left our home in North Knoxville at 10:30am. The temperature was 58 degrees Fahrenheit but the skies were clear blue and heading toward a warm up into the mid 70’s. Because of the cool morning, we wore our leather jackets, our Olympia “Best Gloves Ever” and HCI Pilot helmets. We also packed our chaps and neck warmers in the saddle bags just in case it was cooler than we thought. And we took a second pair of warmer weather gloves for later in the day.
We rode north on Clinton Highway, stopped to top off our tanks, and then continued on Clinton Highway, taking Edgemoor Road West to Solway and in to Oak Ridge.
In Oak Ridge, we took 58 South to Kingston.
From Kingston, we took 70 West to Rockwood where we stopped for a snack and soda. In Rockwood, we continued on 70 West through Crab Orchard. The sights along these back country roads always make the ride and it’s fun to stop and snap a photo when we get a chance.
Wonder how many pickers have inquired about the “PURE” sign over the years?
Crab Orchard led us into Crossville. We rode through downtown Crossville and then continued on 70 West through Pleasant Hill toward Sparta. Right before Sparta, we stopped at a roadside scenic overlook.
Roadside scenic overlooks are usually well marked and make a great opportunity to stop and enjoy the day.
We left the overlook and drove the remaining five miles into Sparta. Sparta, Tennessee is the home of the late bluegrass artist, Lester Flatt.
Downtown Sparta is quaint. The next Liberty Square Lester Flatt celebration takes place on October 5, 2013. If you are a bluegrass buff, it might be an event to put on your calendar. You can find more information HERE.
We walked around downtown and took a few photos.
We asked one of the locals about a good place to eat and he directed us to Yanni’s which was just a couple of blocks away.
As we entered Yanni’s, staff greeted us and took us to our table. The service was great and the food excellent. Jeff had a hamburger and fries, and I had the daily special- a steak sandwich with fries and creamy cauliflower soup. I’m a soup lover and that soup was some of the very best I’ve ever eaten! Everything tasted homemade and fresh including the chocolate pie. If you are ever in Sparta, put Yanni’s on your list.
After lunch, we took 84 North, heading toward Monterey. Out of nowhere, 84 was shut down for repairs, forcing us to take Mill Creek Road.
Mill Creek Road turned out to be a scenic, rolling back road along Calf Killer River.
Mill Creek Road is curvy and lined with dense foliage. After about ten miles of wondering where we were, the road finally brought us out to 70, just before Cookeville.
We took 70 due east into Monterey where we stopped and filled up our tanks at a small station that offers full service. How often do you see that? The fella who waited on us was a biker and a very nice guy.
After gassing up, we rode through downtown Monterey and then took 62 East to Clark Range and on through Lancing where we stopped to get a cold drink. The place was closed but they had drink machines on the front porch, so we scraped together some change and split a diet coke.
By this time, we had been on the road for about six hours and still had a couple of hours to go. Jeff took advantage of the bench, but just briefly before we got back in the saddle.
We continued on 62, then took 27 heading south toward Wartburg.
From Wartburg, we continued on into Oliver Springs. We rode Oliver Springs, took 61 toward Clinton, and stopped at the Gibbsferry Park on the waterfront to look at the beautiful views.
We left the park and rode into Clinton, took Clinton Highway and rode back into Knoxville and then home. We arrived home at 6:30pm and our total ride was 238 miles.
You can view our entire list of DAY RIDES by CLICKING HERE.