Knoxville & Wartburg
July 29, 2006
Our visit to Knoxville was limited to a drive through of the downtown and a lengthy stop at the Knoxville Zoo, where we once again took advantage of the free admission reciprocal agreement we have as members of the Miami MetroZoo.
The Knoxville Zoo was a pleasant surprise, small but well maintained with some excellent exhibits. Our favorite was the really interesting display of naked mole rats. These hairless ugly creatures live in the same sort of communities as bees and termites, with one queen and a colony of mole rats to assist her. The zoo had two colonies on display in a clear sort of habit-trail design that allowed you to see them as they went about their lives. They have a live cam where you can log on and watch the mole rats if you care to see them. The zoo staffer Megan, seen below with Kathy, was extremely knowledgeable and helpful in answering the myriad of mole rat queries we had.
Kathy & Megan
The zoo had excellent black bear and primate exhibits and they had my favorite animals, prairie dogs as well. All in all it was a fun day at the zoo.
We left the zoo and decided against following I-40 towards Nashville, opting instead to drive a smaller back road through Oak Ridge into the Cumberland Mountains. We saw a sign for Frozen Head State Park and drove over to inquire about camping. We were thrilled to find the campsites virtually empty. We had our pick of the sites. We set up camp and were going to drive to the Fork River Bluegrass Jamboree held each Friday night in Wartburg, but found it was canceled due to the Relay for Life event going on in town, so we went there instead. We ended up seeing Bluegrass and then some as most of the community turned out for the Cancer Cure fundraising event. We met all sorts of fun locals, including those pictured below; who it seems will go to great lengths to raise money for the cause.
Relay for Life- Wartburg
This is a beautiful area, full of great people. The park is in the hazy Cumberland Mountains and has over 50 miles of hiking trails. We plan to do a little hiking today if it ever stops raining. It rained pretty hard most of the night. Thankfully our tent did an excellent job keeping us warm and dry.
View Naked Mole Rats Live cam at the link below:
View Naked Mole Rats Live cam Here!!