Hilton Head, Day 8
Day 8: Hilton Head to Berea, KY
Saturday was the first leg of our long drive home. We packed up the car and drove off the island. Though we do enjoy Java Joe's in Hilton Head for our daily espresso, it's mostly for the convenience (a two block walk from the condo) and not necessarily the taste, which is actually nothing out of the ordinary. So before we left I looked up coffeehouses in the broader vicinity, and saw a listing for Corner Perk in Bluffton, the first town on the mainland. What a terrific little place - cozy (actually, like Java Joe's was at their former location), very good espresso, friendly and helpful staff. And we picked up a bag of locally-roasted coffee beans to take back home. Highly recommended.
I-40 between Asheville and Knoxville is the most spectacular stretch of interstate highway I've ever experienced. It rams right through the Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests (on the North Carolina-Tennessee border) and is filled with twisting, anxiety-inducing curves, sheer rock walls (many sheathed in steel mesh to keep falling boulders off the road) on either side, and soaring, tree-covered mountains that were just turning to fall colors as we passed through. It's actually a fairly short stretch of road (maybe 20 miles) that feels much longer with the white knuckles it often brings on. After that we stopped for dinner in Knoxville before continuing north to Berea, Kentucky, for a much-needed overnight stay.