1998 Knoxville TN

Knoxville & Tennessee
My high school friend, Bob Luedeka, the progenitor of BNEA to a large extent, disappeared from my life until he resurfaced in Knoxville. Bob and I took my very first road trip when we stole his dad’s car and drove to Houston to visit his girlfriend, away back in 1968. He came over to my house and asked me if I wanted to drive down with him. I took a can of Right Guard, a carton of Marlboro’s and off we went with a Pure Oil (before Union 76) credit card and 20 bucks in cash. I wrote my dad a note saying that I’d gone to Houston with Bob and would be back in a week. Bob, however, forgot to tell anyone and soon we were dodging the cops because the Pure Oil station where he worked thought he stole the night receipts.
The BNEA Connection
Anyway, fast forward to 1998 and it’s “ROAD TRIP!”  time again. With nothin’ up our sleeve, presto… we’re on the way to Knoxville to visit Bob. He cannot let an occasion such as this go unembellished and the next thing we know we’re trespassing and scaring the hell out of a security detail at a nuclear power plant. 
Sounds good right? But wait… there’s way more high points than that, the greatest of which was Bruce catching his first fish (I got to drive the boat, drink Diet Coke, smoke okedoke cigars and never moped). However, getting smoked by a troop of Mennonite school girls on the go-cart track at Pigeon Forge was wayyyyyy up there, too. Also, Bruce the Human Fly was pretty funny.  “Bruceeee…. he’ll try anything!”

Photos of the things we saw are below the attraction list. The appropriate website link is the title.

The Fishing Saga.

Bob had a boat. He also had to take us out on it. He also had to book a cabin in the lee of a nuclear power plant and a damn dam. It was a nice cabin but before I post the photos of the cabin I have to find them. Enjoy the river and the heartwarming tale of a man who never thought he would fish.

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I'm the chief Chronicler of BNEA trips and here I'm starting the video recording of the river.
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I got to drive the boat and watch the guys fish. Got to smoke a cigar without hiding from my wife, too.
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The story behind this happy fisherman with his first catch of the day will stick with you for a while.
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Bob is an avid fisherman who owns a boat that he was eager to show. Naturally fishing ensued.
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Bob shows off his angling prowess.
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He either caught this or it was bait.
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This man is an angler.
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Looks great in the hat. I thought that the vision alone would entice the fish to bite.
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You would never knoiw that this is his first time behind a fishing rod
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Remember the stick? Now he caught an actual fish! His first, and last ever.
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This is the sight from the cockpit. Uninspiring at the least.
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I love fog. It is the best light for photography.
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A water sprite! Came out of no where and went somewhere just as fast.
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The river is deceptively calm. We are motoring along carefree and footloose.
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Then quiet again.
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Yep. It is a boat in a tree.
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Real Estate.
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"Bye George, is that a moose in a tree?"
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Have no idea what this is. You make up your own caption.

Chattanooga Aquarium

We have been here twice. BNEA specializes in aquariums and we have been to more than a dozen. This is in the top best gin the country and we encourage you to visit. It is unique among aquariums in the display.

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Chattanooga Aquarium is one of the favorites of BNEAdventures. We have been there twice. Check out the 2018 Knoxville trip for more details.
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Jelly fish are always fascinating.
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You take the escalator to the top then walk down through the various ecosystems on the Tennessee River.
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We never tire of watching them.
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Alligators are also intriguing.
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Cool Ducks!
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Not sure how long Bruce has had Moze but it's a Red Slider like this one.
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The boys watching something. Love the reflection.

Pigeon Forge

Without question, the highlight of the trip! The highlight of the trip. Did I make it clear? It was the highlight of the trip. Starting with the ride up the mountain in the gondola (with the girl who was the highlight girl of the trip) to a string of events I never thought I would see out of Bruce, to his trouncing on the go kart track by a group of 13 year old Mennonite girls on spring break. It was heartbreaking. However, intrepid as ever, Bruce tried to outrun a rubber band and he flew like a Velcro eagle. If you only have time to see one section of the trip, these are the photos to look at.

Watts Bar Dam

Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant

Bob booked a cabin off Watts Bar Dam and tied the HMS Bob to the dock. Somewhere there are photos of us escaping a bee but gratefully they haven’t appeared as yet. The river photos were taken on the way to and from the dam.

No question, Highlight of the Trip 2. (Cue Rod Serling) “Imagine, if you will, the guard at a nuclear power plant. It is a slow, quiet day when the peaceful and serene environment is shattered by three men in fishing clothing asking for a tour.” Yep. That sums it up. (Remember that was 1998, long before 9/11 and today’s world.) Every time I think of it I chuckle. Havc to. We were chuckleheads after all. Great captions for the photos.

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We saw this from afar and had to check it out.
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This is the control room.
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This is the reactor diagram.
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Watts Bar Dam is where we stayed in a nice cabin with a dock to tie the HMS Bob.
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A normal person who reads this would turn around and leave. Not us. It must have been the fishing clothes that affected our brains but we went in anyway.
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We thought this deer glowed in the dark.

The Lost Sea

A Must See place if only for the absolute darkness and the blind fish. Since you’re going to be near there anyway check out the website. The photos give you just a glimpse of what it is like but digital camera performance was a fraction of todays so the quality isn’t great.