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2019-04-22 – Airstream Caravan Travels – Traveling from Chattanooga, TN to Lynchburg TN, and Jack Daniels, and on to Huntsville, AL…

We prepared to leave for traveling to Lynchburg, TN, this morning.  Then we realized that Lynchburg is in the Central Time Zone and we were still in Eastern time in Chattanooga.  So we had an extra hour to kill.  But we left relatively early, and had a nice drive across Tennessee.  (The highway even dipped south for a few miles into Georgia before it turned slightly north back into Tennessee…)

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We soon arrived in Lynchburg, and …

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This is their fully restored antique truck, from all the way back in 1980…

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Signage on this truck shows Jack Daniel’s motto:  “All Goods Worth Price Charged.”

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The tour began by hearing an explanation of what Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey is:

The law defines Tennessee Whiskey as: a spirit manufactured in Tennessee; made from grain that consists of at least 51% corn; distilled to no more than 160 proof (80% abv); filtered through maple charcoal prior to aging; aged in new charred oak barrels; placed in the barrel at no more than 125 proof (62.5% abv); and, bottled at not less than 80 proof (40% abv).

Except for the filtering through maple charcoal, this defines Bourbon.  In other words, Tennessee Whiskey is Bourbon filtered through maple charcoal.  Jack Daniels calls this process “Mellowing”.

We started at the Rick House, where they burn the sugar maple; we moved on to the water source, deep inside this cave:

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Here is a statue of Jack Daniel standing on a granite boulder; you know, Jack on the Rocks…

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This building was the headquarters office used by Jack Daniel’s up until 1958; it was here, in about 1905, that Jack kicked the company safe one morning, broke his toe, and died a few years later from gangrene, at the age of 61.

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The owners of the company in 1958 (four brothers who had inherited the business) sold the business to Brown-Foreman for $20,000,000.  It is still owned by Brown-Foreman today.  Brown-Foreman also owns Early Times, Old Forester, Woodford Reserve, Canadian Mist, GlenDronach, BenRiach, Glenglassaugh, Finlandia, Herradura, Korbel, and Chambord.

This is the Still House; it contains four giant 90′ tall stills, which produce the clear corn whiskey:

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The sour mash waste, after it is distilled, is piped over to this facility, where it is sold to local farmers as cattle feed; it still contains 6-8% alcohol.  Talk about contented cows!

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This is the Mellowing House, where the clear whiskey is dripped, drop by drop, over a 10′ tall stack of charcoal, a process called mellowing…

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The bottling lines are always my favorite part of these tours… This is a small line dedicated to their Single Barrel Whiskeys.  It dates from 1970 and seemed to me to be very non-automated – there is a lot of work done manually, like putting on labels, hanging tags around the neck, and putting the bottles into the cardboard boxes…

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Finally, the tour over, we head to the educational part of the tour:  the tasting.  This is strictly for educational purposes only, since drinking whiskey in this county is forbidden…

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We were given five sample with which to get educated.  It totaled about one ounce; we were told about how each type is made and what the differences are.  The funny thing was that both Lynda and I found the Rye to be terribly sweet, yet the “honey” version had very little taste at all.  Our guide checked it out and found that the two samples were switched!  It mattered little – we didn’t like either of them… I found that I liked Gentleman Jack, while Lynda preferred the original…

After the educational portion of the tour we walked through one of the old barrel rooms…

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After the tour we could return to the Visitor Center.  While you cannot buy whiskey in this county, you can buy souvenir bottles here.  The bottles were filled with some sort of brown liquid…

We walked 1/2 mile into downtown Lynchburg, and enjoyed lunch at Bottle House BBQ:

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We returned to the Villa and drove to Huntsville, Alabama…

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They are building McMansions here, too…

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We parked at an RV park at NASA’s Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville…

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The RV park is very nice.  And cheap!  I wish we had RV parks in California like this for $20 per night…

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For dinner this night we met up with friends we met on the Nor’ by Nor’ East Caravan; they will also be joining us on the Kentucky caravan in a few days…

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Dinner was great!  Pork Belly appetizer and Crawfish Fritters, with a nice bottle of an Oregon Pinot Noir!

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-04-17 – Airstream Caravan Travels – Chattahoochee Hills, GA to Columbia, SC…

We woke up in the Villa on the farm outside Serenbe… it was cold!  The Villa was cold!

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We walked to the hamlet of Selborne and had a tasty breakfast at the Bake Shop, called Blue Eyed Daisy.

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Walking back to the Villa we passed these pastoral scenes…

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We hit the road, trying to avoid the traffic that is Atlanta.  Soon we were heading east on the 20, heading to Columbia, SC.  And there we were…

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We are visiting Lynda’s sister and some of her family here in South Carolina.  Soon we arrived in Columbia and set up in the RV park…

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We left for Maria’s sister’s house about 2:00 and enjoyed an afternoon of catching up and a lovely dinner…

And that was about it!  No touristing today; maybe more tomorrow…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-04-16 – Airstream Caravan Travels – Tallahassee, FL to Chattahoochee Hills, GA…

We left Tallahassee in the morning and headed north.  it wasn’t long before we were in Georgia; we pulled in to the Visitor Center for a brief stop…

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We continued on.  For about 4 hours Georgia looked like this…

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We arrived at Chattahoochee Hills by mid afternoon.  We drove down this dirt road…

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We ignored the Private Driveway signs and proceeded in, hoping we were in the right place and that we wouldn’t find a dead end…

But it was OK – we arrived at this large clearing with a lovely house and pool…

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We parked the Villa off to the side and called our friends, who live nearby…

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Our friends arrived and we walked about 1/2 mile to the village of Serenbe, more specifically, the hamlet of Selborne…

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Serenbe was designed and developed along the lines of Neo-Traditional Town Planning similar to Seaside.  Unlike Seaside, which is a holiday town, by the sea, Serenbe is a place meant for full-time living, on the outskirts of Atlanta.  While Seaside is relatively dense and compact, all on 80 acres, Serenbe is hundreds of acres, with four hamlets separated by rolling open space.

It was delightful.

We met up with our friends and hung out at the pool for awhile.  Dinner and wine was consumed, and we ended the day on the balcony, overlooking the streets below…

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We were transported back to the Villa on their golf cart…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

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