RootsRated Road Tour: Knoxville

Jake Wheeler
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We kicked off the second stop of our five month journey across the United States on Monday in Good Ol' Rocky Top, Knoxville, TN. Taken in by a friend who put us up at his place right along the banks of the beautiful Tennessee River, we couldn’t have asked for a better view. Our adopted home-base set the stage for what turned out to be a fantastic Knoxville experience.

Tuesday morning found us rising before the sun and rushing to Remedy Coffee in the Old City to pick up the caffeine for our morning trail run. A few road blocks and road construction detours later, and we were pulling into the gravel parking lot of the  Ijams Nature Center , just as the sun was rising from behind the trees and the morning fog was rising from the waters in Meads Quarry.

We teamed up with KEEN and River Sports Outfitters and churned out a four mile group run along the super smooth singletrack of Ijams' urban wilderness, with a lush springtime canopy towering overhead and fertile woodlands sprawling all around. About halfway along the run we stopped to check out Knoxville's newest crag, currently being cleaned and established in the wilderness area. Whether you’re looking to run, bike, paddle, or hike, Ijams is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby Knoxville.

Post-run found us back at Remedy, where we set up shop and returned to reality, replete with its everyday blur of social media posts, emails, and story publication.

Eventually, after running around town getting everything together for the evening’s festivities, we made our way over to River Sports Outfitters to set up for our pint night, which conveniently coincided with Cinco de Mayo. With Mariachi music and sombrero-wearing Pomeranian puppies setting the scene, we couldn't have asked for anything more.

The turnout for the party was impressive. We had folks waiting in line almost an hour before we tapped the kegs, laughing, talking, and rearing to go. The Sweetwater IPA flowed freely from the taps, and it was impossible not to enjoy ourselves as we poured beers, talked up RootsRated and raised money benefitting Catalyst Sports.

May the good times continue.

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