When the halls of the residence hall start to get quieter and when the school parking lot starts looking empty – homesickness will slowly creep in. To escape this emptiness on campus, Zena and I decided to hit the road and travel. Our ultimate goal is to hike the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. (It took us forever to remember the right spelling of Tennessee.)
Since it was a long drive there, we took two stops, one in Cincinnati (another spelling struggle) and one in Nashville. Our experience during the two nights in Nashville lived up to the expectations of a Music City. My favorite part during our stay in Nashville was the trip to Honky Tonk Street. As we walked along that road each night to look for somewhere to eat, we could hear music pouring out of each bar. It wasn’t just the type of music you’d hear from the speakers in Michigan bars – this was live country music. Although I’m not really familiar with this genre, I enjoyed the music and food very much. There was a display of genuine love and appreciation of good music from the way the audience and performers interacted with each other during the performances.
Another memorable event during our trip was hiking the Smoky Mountains – or natively known as the Smokies because of the fog that lingers over these mountains. The highlight of this 8.1 mile round trip was the peak of the Charles Bunion mountain at an elevation of 5,565 feet above sea level. Since it raining that morning, the ground was muddy and slick. At first, we were trying to not get any mud into our shoes but eventually we embraced the mud. After all that mud and sweat, we were finally rewarded with a breath-taking view of a never-ending sea of mountains and trees.