We started in Norris by loading the truck with 5 people and eventually met up with 2 more at our first destination. An hour and a half drive on a beautiful spring day is always OK with me. This one though also had good company, laughs, many stories and even some "oldies but goodies" singing.
Our first stop was Muddy Pond. This is a little Mennonite community near Monterrey. We followed the GPS directions and bypassed the first sign, opting to obey "Penelope". There was a bit of excitement as we wound around the skinny, gravel road but sometimes these off the beaten path adventures produce little gems as this one did. We drove by farms that had goats, horses, sheep and even a large bird that we never did figure out what kind it was.
The trip is already a success with me since it had the critter factor but we continue along and arrive at the Muddy Pond General Store. The first floor of the shop was filled with jams, flours, spices, soup mixes, butter, cheese and meats. The second floor was for all of the crafts - quilts, wooden chairs, doll cradles, baskets etc.
Our next stop was lunch. We asked some fellow shoppers if they knew of a local place we could try out. They directed us to the Pour House in Crossville.
This was a wonderful recommendation. It is small but very unique. It shares it's space with a small dress/tea shop. The restaurant part has rustic wooden tables and a chalkboard to show the specials of the day. The "pour" part of it's name comes from the local beer and wine they offer. Lunch options ranged from paninis to blts to hamburgers.
Since we were in Crossville we couldn't leave without stopping by Little Blessings quilt store - especially since a few members of the group had never been there.
Now that could have been the end of our road trip since we not only had the critter factor but the fiber factor too! But no, there's more.
An alternate route back to Oak Ridge ran us right along the road Loose Threads is on. Woo Hoo ! Two quilt stores in one trip.
It certainly was a mega trip - lots of fun and new things to explore.