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The Bypass

So, I decided to ride up the bypass after work. It was still a stinky hot day and the air quality was bad. You’ll note that I have my little video camera mounted on the handlebar. Well, as I am a sheer genius, I didn’t put fresh batteries in it. So, no little video today.

I am still apparently an O.A.F. I mean, you could have walked up as fast as I was going! But hey, at least I was out there. I made it to the overlook above. You’ll see a nice view of Mt LeConte behind the Paramount. It’s the highest peak on the Tennessee side of the park. While I was resting, I talked to a couple. They asked me how far I was going and I told them this was it. I’ll keep doing this until I don’t feel like keeling over and then go up further. I looked at the road and thought that it looked not quite so steep. So, I said “what the hell” and pedaled up a little further. I got to the bridge around the corner and beyond that. I basically stopped at the top of the hill. I’m not sure if it’s really the top because I was thinking it went up again a little bit before the second overlook. Not much distance going on, just up.

And the best part was going down. I don’t know how fast, I don’t have a computer on the P. But, man was it a blast! Then I continued in to HQ and back to town. Must do this again!

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4 Responses

  1. What do you mean by bad air quality?
    Do you get air pollution from a nearby city?

  2. Unfortunately, the Great Smoky Mountains tend to capture all the polluted air from surrounding areas. Knoxville, Oak Ridge and from what I’ve heard it comes from even farther away! And it will just sit there. About the only time it clears out is right after a large rainstorm. Yes, we have about the worst air quality for any of the National Parks in the country. When I lived up north (Indiana) I had never had allergies. Just the asthma. When I moved down here, bam! Now I have allergies.

  3. You’re right Marla about the dirty air coming in from surrounding areas. But also, since the Great Smoky Mountains is the most visited of the National Parks, those 6 million annual visitors all drive their cars through the park. Would love to see them add trams or even an electric train that takes folks through the park instead of those thousands of cars.

    Also, another note about your allergies — while I’m sure the air quality is contributes to your allergies. Another culprit is the abundant plant life in the Smokies. The Smokies are one of the most bio-diverse places on earth because of the ice-age pushing all the plant life down into the southern Appalachians as the glaciers moved south. So all that abundant plant life is something your system wasn’t exposed to up in Indiana. I had the same problem when I moved here from eastern Virginia 20 years ago — never had allergies before and then all of a sudden they hit me when I moved here. The good news is my system seems to have adjusted over the years, so now my allergies are very mild.

  4. Kevin,
    Well, that’s a little relief! Did you see the two electric, or were they hybrid, vehicles that were donated to the park. They look like the old VW Things (like at the Yogi Bear campgounds). I think they’re made by Toyota. I guess they are using them internally. The vehicles do not look big enough to haul people:( But, wouldn’t it be great if some huge company would donate hybrid/electric buses/trolleys??

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