Scheduled trip: Knoxville, TN - Home
Actual trip: Knoxville, TN - Home (300 miles)
How we escaped the Lynching Mob and lived happily ever after
Even though our motel was situated close to the airport, the planes hadn't disturbed our
sleep. After checking out, we went to a local Waffle House and ate a wholesome breakfast.
This was our last day so we might as well enjoy it while we could.
We crossed the picturesque Great Smokey Mountains and before long we found ourselves back
in North Carolina. However, we were determined to make the most of the day so our time of
sightseeing wasn't over just yet. Somebody had the bright idea of visiting a nearby
amusement park. Soon we discovered that the entrance fee was a bit steep and the rides
were mostly oriented toward kids. It wasn't worth it we agreed and went for a Cherokee
Indian Reservation instead. We stopped in a small town, which certainly didn't provide the
right Indian feel. Mostly the town consisted of gift shops, offering plastic
replicas of various Indian paraphernalia, and refreshment centers.
Marco discovered that the
Mustang was leaking what seemed to be transmission fluid, a dire sign considering we where
still a long way from home. Later we had a mechanic look at the Ford. The transmission
fluid level was far too low; several quarts were added. While the mechanic worked, each of
us called home to notify our host families that we were on the way. After the short
service stop the Mustang seemed to function normally.
We were back in Greensboro around 6 PM. Even though we were close to home there was
general agreement on stopping for food. Finding a fast food restaurant in America isn't
particularly difficult. However, this evening we ventured into a part of Greensboro
neither of us knew. Finally we came across a McDonald's. The Mustang parked on one side of
the restaurant while the Camaro had to circle to find a vacant parking space. As Dave and
Niels got out they noted that some of the other visitors started to behave in a bizarre
way. Mark came around the building, saying we should leave right away before hurrying back
to his car. Apparently someone had thrown a beverage at the Mustang and it was quite
obvious that we weren't welcome in this neighborhood. As we drove out, more people had
gathered in the parking lot to see us off. How strange things turn out! We had traveled
through some of America's largest cities without incidents, but then, right in our
backyard, we found trouble. All of us were a little shaken and on the way back to
Burlington we tried to reprimand each other for what had happened. In truth none of us
were to blame for anything. Besides, nothing except our pride was hurt.
Back in more familiar surroundings we stopped for food. It was with mixed feelings we
realized that our trip had come to an end. We no longer had to sleep on the floor every
other night, average close to 350 miles per day, or worry about whether the cars could
make it back or not. Nevertheless, all this seemed a small price to pay for such a unique
experience. Not only a score of pictures had to be developed in the following days, each
of us had to process all the impressions that the trip had provided.
Dave was dropped off at the Barefoots' and the remaining three travelers quickly became
two as Marco drove Manuel back to his home in Mebane, while Niels exited the Interstate
with a final flicker of his high beam.
See more photos from June 6.
Go to the last page of the Diary (Epilogue).