I am loving the Eastern Tennessee life. Last week we found out about “The Secret City”. The secret city is actually Oak Ridge, TN. When you think about building the big Nuke bomb, you think about the American SouthWest and you think about Manhattan. Apparently those in the know also think about Oak Ridge, TN.
Oak Ridge is where the government took the time to figure out how to actually build the core for the bomb. The story of the city is fascinating. 40 years before the city was ripped from the hands of local farmers, a man named John Hendrix began prophetically tell the community that they would lose their land. John also told them that the work that would come from the land would “shake the world”.
The city was rapidly built, and thousands of scientists and their families moved in. The entire city was indoctrinated to keep things a secret. It is estimated that 1 out of every 4 people was a spy to report on what people said. You can see some amazing pictures of the city here.
Here is a story of a kid who grew up in the city. He even talks about what happened when his parents became exposed to some of the radiation.
To this day the city is being used to create nuclear materials for weapons. It is always fun to see high security warning signs along the interstates and highways.
We spent the afternoon with some friends at the American Museum of Science and Energy learning about the city, the lifestyle, and how the nuclear material works.
While I am still unemployed we have given up going out to eat, so we brought some sack lunches with us. We hung out in the parking lot with your friends eating sandwiches drinking sodas off the tailgate of the Land Cruiser.
Next up on the tourism agenda was visiting the smallest working library in the United States. The building was TINY. The town built a normal size library next to the miniature library. They filled the library up with book discards. You can just pick up any book you want and pay what you want inside the main building. The tiny library was fun to visit, and had an interesting story. It is worth the 5 minute stop to say you saw it!
After the library our friends said they found a trail through the mountains they wanted to drive, so we all drove over to Windrock Park. The park is leased by a company from the department of energy. At the top of the mountain are a bunch of modern windmills. The mountain is full of off-road trails for motorcycles and quads. Apparently you can pay 17 dollars and take your truck to the top. I didn’t want to pay, but our friends said that if I drove then they would pay.
I was sold – I love driving my truck!
The road was mostly gravel and very steep. It was a pretty lengthy drive to the top, and the views were amazing. I did see a non-4×4 car at the top. Going up was not very bad, but going down was really hard on the truck. On the way down I had to engage the 4-low gear, put the transmission in L2, and engage the back locker. The truck still wanted to fly down the hill, but the diff-locks really helped out. I don’t want to know what the brakes and transmission looked like on that car after it got down the hill.
We stopped for pictures a few times. If you have a tough vehicle, it is worth the drive. You can do it in a car, but it will be really hard on the transmission and brakes. I recommend a vehicle with an extra heavy duty transmission and 4wheel-lo gearing. Ground clearance isn’t an issue unless you go off the main road.
I have been given a list of roads to go drive, a few of them are known to be paths that let you spot bears. I also want to make sure I go drive the Tail of the Dragon while we are in the area.
I have some job interviews I am working on right now, so hopefully in the next week or two I will be generating money again. Keep on praying that something comes through for us!