The following are excerpts from rider blogs during their stay in
Maryville. You can follow their journey and read more blogs at
Univ. of Pittsburgh School of Med
On her stay in Maryville: "As trivial as it may seem, one of my biggest triumphs was learning to hammer the nails that go into the porch/stairs. They were extremely pliable and would bend at the slightest off-square stroke. We ended up with a large nail graveyard on the porch, but the porch itself was beautiful ? On many evenings in Maryville, I was able to just sit outside and enjoy the sunset, the hills, the greenery, the quiet; I love the peace that I felt ?
Christopher Clark, a.k.a. "Clark the Shark"
James Madison University
On the road sign at the bottom of the climb from Cherokee, N.C., to Newfound Gap: "This sign, at the bottom of the climb up to Tennessee, started off the demise of my soul." The sign reads: Warning! Steep, Winding Mountain Road Next 35 Miles.
On the new library: "Its our last day in Maryville, and Im writing from the Blount County Public Library, which is one of the coolest libraries (nice architecture, DVD rentals, coffee shop) Ive visited in awhile."
University of Virginia
On reaching Memphis: "Friday we have a day off in Memphis, only 270 miles from here. And I am getting a massage! Ive been planning this since before I left (Maryville)."
On a souvenir store near Cherokee, N.C.: "The very old man in the store (the owner) started talking to me about our trip or something when I asked where the bathroom was, and somehow he mentioned how much he loves women, and did I ever meet a man who didnt love women?
So then of course I pushed the button, saying, Well, gay men dont love women.
"They should be shot."
That is what he said. And I was like, All right, well see you later."
Mary Olive Jones
On turning south at Gatlinburg: "It meant that we didnt get to go through Pigeon Forge, the home of the one and only Dolly Parton and Dollywood! Ill certainly come back here just to go to Dollywood, but it was heartbreaking to get so close and not even catch a glimpse of the bronze statue downtown. Instead, I confessed to the group my deep love of all things Dolly and regaled them with all sorts of Dolly facts and songs for most of the night and next day.
University of Virginia
On the Habitat ReStore: "I lived my dream this morning: thrift clothes as far as the eye can see!"