Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: American Double 2014

A small town with a big name

We repeated the previous day's successful experience of breakfast at McDonald's and briefly returned to the hotel to attend to final packing and checkout formalities. With a total of around 200 miles to cover, we set off at 8:30 and I took the wheel for the initial 90-mile stretch to Lynchburg - a tiny town (village, really) that nevertheless has  its name displayed throughout the world on bottles of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey. (I had previously been under the misapprehension that the man's name was Daniels, and only realised the truth shortly after arrival. Every day's a school day!)

We managed to get ourselves booked onto a sampling tour, the most popular choice and very much our preference over the more basic option. The tour, despite largely taking place in freezing conditions, made for a pleasant and enjoyable way to spend just under two hours. If you think it's a little strange that one of the world's best known brands hails from a settlement with a population of less than 400, consider this: Lynchburg is situated in Moore County, which is officially 'dry'. Other than in the distillery itself, which has been granted an exemption, the world-famous product is not available for miles around its own home!

We emerged into bright sunshine at the end of the tour for the very short drive to downtown Lynchburg (such as it was!), where we enjoyed a basic but tasty lunch of spare ribs at the unassuming, down-to-earth but Chowhound-recommended Barrelhouse BBQ.

LEFT: Our Chowhound-endorsed lunch stop
RIGHT: Lynchburg's tiny historic district

After lunch, Bruce drove the final leg to Chattanooga, where we easily found the Read House Hotel after exiting the freeway. This was a reasonably charming historic hotel, but one where the words 'faded glory' quickly came to mind. It had recently dropped its former Sheraton branding, but unusually remained in the Starwood group as an unbranded property. We were given an upgrade to a junior suite. Our arrival being a little later than anticipated, we headed back out for a curtailed version of our planned introductory walk. In the failing daylight, none of it was suitable for taking photos.

Later in the evening, we enjoyed cocktails and a selection of smaller plates in the rather pleasant bar section of the in-house Porter's Steakhouse.

Thursday 13 Nov

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