Last Saturday we went to visit the Lost Sea in Sweetwater Tennessee south of Knoxville. I am not that big into caves myself but this is an underwater lake with planted trout so Bill was interested in going. It is listed by the Guiness Book of World Records as being the largest undergound lake in the US. We stood in line to get in for more than an hour. It was so hot that the management had an employee go around passing out ice water and they had a large fan blowing near the doorway. Of course, once we did manage to get into the cave area it was a wonderful 58 degrees, the temperature it is year around.
There is a room in the cave called the "Tavern Cavern" that actually used to be a bar that produced and served moonshine during Prohibition. The part of the lake that visitors see is 4.5 acres but the actual size has not yet been discovered as there are rooms that divers were not able to get to. The trout were planted in the lake to see if they would be able to find an opening, which they didn't. They ended up being kept in the lake as an attraction for visitors. With the $16.95 adult admission I voted this attraction a thumbs down but because of the fish Bill voted it a thumbs up. This is a picture of the man made opening to the cave as all of the pictures taken inside were too dark to see.
Knoxville is the third largest city in Tennessee and is the home to the University of Tennessee. Orange is everywhere. The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame is located here mostly due to the success of the women's college team. At one time Knoxville was know as the "Underwear Capital of the World" because of the more than 20 textile mills in the city. Although south of the Mason-Dixson line, Knoxville was an abolitionist and anti-secessionist city during the Civil War Era. In fact, although Tennessee voted to withdraw from the Union in 1861, there were factions that attempted to align Eastern Tennessee with the North. Some of the people who list Knoxville as their hometown include country singer Kenny Chesney, author Alex Haley, animal expert Jack Hanna, quarterback Chad Pennington, director Quentin Tarantino, and Wendy's founder Dave Thomas.