Rocinante slept in the hotel’s garage, lucky her. Breakfast was one of the best ones of the trip at Pete’s! University of Tennessee seems like a great place and I had a great chat with Prof. Nuria Cruz-Cámara. It looks like the especialist in Siglo de Oro is retiring soon, so I must keep an eye on that situation.
From there it was back on the road. I took a detour to explore the mythical Smoky Mountains for some awesome riding. When you are riding in the turns it requires 100% of your concentration. You need to see where the turn is going, your speed and banking have to be in synch with the turn. Too slow and it’s boring, too fast and you hurt yourself. So there is a sweet spot. While you are there you can’t be thinking about the layers of narration in Don Quixote.
There I am, on the zone, linking the turns, enjoying the riding, climbing into the Smoky Mountains, when right there is the biggest baked bean factory, I’ve ever seen. Bush baked beans, amazing! I stopped to check out the museum and gift shop. After a deer mom and her baby decided to cross the road right in front of me I returned to the highway, for the rest of the day. Lunch was at Davy Crockett’s birthplace! Delicious pulled pork sandwich. They had a TV going with Fox news going nuts over an earthquake somewhere in Virginia. I love the alarmism. A few miles down the road I actually had to stop for a siesta. Riding through Virginia was impressive, hills and mountains all around for hours and hours, it actually is a bit of a strange feeling, somewhat disquieting.
With no humidity, it cooled down in the evening. I put on my jacket and even my baclava. The last hour approaching Charlottesville was freezing, I had to alternate hugging the engine with my hands for warmth.
I finally made it to University of Virginia. It is beautiful, Jefferson designed the campus which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! I’m excited about my meeting tomorrow, but sad it is my last visit.