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Old 09-15-2010, 08:53 AM   #1
Liberia OP
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Maximum routes to work in Middle Tennessee

I thought it would be fun to see how many different ways that I could make the commute into work from my home in the Fosterville, TN area to the office in Murfreesboro, TN. I'm setting some rules for myself but reserve the right to break them on occassion.

The shortest route to work actually turns out to be 2 routes. They are both exactly 16 miles in length. As I attempt to find (and photograph) as many different routes into work as possible, I have limited myself to no more than 25 miles in length (otherwise I could go to work via Atlanta and there would never be an end to this). I also have committed to each separate route having at least 25% new roads each time. I may not post a new route each day or I may post two for a day (ride in and ride back). Sometimes I may not make the communte and others I may have to take a car.

So with those restrictions, here goes.

Route 1-







Head west on Fosterville Short Creek Rd toward Liberty Gap Rd












Turn right at Fosterville Loop














Take the 1st right onto Fosterville Rd N














Turn right to stay on Fosterville Rd N


[













Turn right at TN-10 N/US-231 N/Florida Short Route/Shelbyville Pike/US-231 Scenic N Continue to ollow TN-10 N/US-231 N/US-231 Scenic N
















Turn left at Hillard St/S Maple St















Turn left at S Walnut St











Today we'll take the 2009 KLX250s.


Our driveway is a little over 1/8 mile long and we live on top of a nice sized hill. All but the last 500 feet of the drive is gravel and hard rains tend to wash it out pretty badly. So you might say that I have an adventure ride each morning just to get to the highway.


A look back up the face of our hill at a beautiful morning sky. The last (or first depending on which way you're going) 500 feet of our drive is so steep that we could not keep the gravel in place. There were many evenings when I had to park my truck at the bottom of the hill and walk up because of loose gravel and washouts from heavy rains. Finally we paved this section.


At the bottom of the drive is Fosterville-Short Creek Road. We're pretty practical with the naming of roads here. Turn left to go to Fosterville and turn right to go to Short Creek (an actual creek that has water only after rains). Today we're turning left.


Almost immediately we come to our neighbor's red barn (I always think of the Disney cartoon "Mickey and the Beanstalk" with Mortimer Snead).


Just around the corner is Liberty Gap. It's a short, deadend road that runs up a little valley. About 4 - 5 homes are in there.


Another set of red barns and a look at the hilly landscape. Mostly forest with some farming and cattle.


There's nothing that smells quite as good as a freshly mown field of hay. In Tennessee we don't really call it "bailing hay" as much as we say we have to "git up hay." I grew up in very rural areas and love the simplicity of country life and the poetic way people have of talking.


On the right, just before we get into metropolitan Fosterville we come to the Fosterville Cemetery. Almost every small community in Tennessee has its own cemetery. Many are neglected now but this one is well kept.


The Fosterville Volunteer Fire Department is the central hub of activity ever since the post office was closed earlier this year. Local volunteers meet and train weekly in order to be prepared for local fires. I'm not sure that we've had one in the 7 years that we've lived here but it's nice to know that people care enough to continue training.


Until the postmaster retired earlier this year, this was the Fosterville Post Office. There was no delivery through the Fosterville Post Office (that was done through the Bell Buckle Post Office) but there were about 30 - 40 wall boxes inside and local people could have a post office box. Now everything is handled out of the Bell Buckle Post Office.


Not to be outdone by the big cities, we have our own Welcome To Fosterville sign.


I forgot to take a picture of the railroad crossing in Fosterville. The Fire Department is on one side and the Post Office is on the other. It is the most contentious thing in Fosterville because there are two side by side set of tracks where trains from opposite directions were able to pass. The problem was that the first train to arrive would intentionally block the crossing while waiting on the next train to arrive. Sometimes you would have to wait 20 minutes or longer. People finally complained enough that a sign with an 800 number on it was posted so that you could call when this happened. Now we don't have that problem any longer.

About 3 miles into the communte I arrive at US 231 and take a right (north) toward Murfreesboro.


It's a nice, split lane highway which is mostly straight but with some rolling hills that it crosses.


One of the big deals out in the country is the location of the garbage transfer center. You don't have garbage pickup out where we live (the 3 mile long road I live on has only about 20 homes on it). So you have to carry your garbage to these centers. Ours is only about 3 miles away.


There's a saying in our county that we only have one rock, but that it runs all the way across the county. You can tell that there's not much soil on top of most of the rock when you look at the cut-throughs along the roadways.


Another view along US-231. It really is a nice commute with pleasent views.


Amazing! Another red barn.


This is the school zone for both the Christiana elementary and middle schools. I was coming in late this morning so it was already over. But each morning there are two crossing guard nazis here who will stop 100 cars on the main highway if they see one car approaching on a side road. I have seen 1 student actually crossing the road in 7 years of commuting.


Since the rain frequently washes out our driveway I have to work extra hard not to covet the county's gravel pile at their rock quarry.


Partway into town is the M. T. Bottle bar (what my father would have called a Jute Joint). It's frequented by a lot of bikers although I never have gotten the "driving to a bar on a motorcycle for drinks" thing. We have a hard enough time not being run over by cars when we're diligent in our riding. Add a little alcohol and I would think our chances of being squashed would go up.


Approaching the outskirts of Murfreesboro.


A fairly meaningless photo except to say that it is Barfield-Crescent Road and my optometrist has his office down there. He's Brandon Sanders and his practice is Sanders Eye Care. He's a great young guy and could use your business. If you live around here give him a try.


Just into town (before Interstate 24) is the Indian Hills golf course.


We discovered Sonic when we moved to Tennessee in 1977. They have absolutely nothing that is healthy and I haven't eaten at one in 2 years, but they have great tasting food and it's a drive-in. Some of the car hops even use roller skates.


The South is the home of Waffle House. They are literally everywhere along the interstates. There is one on each side of the interstate at this exit and the same is true at the next exit 3 miles away! Travellers like them because they have always been open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.


It's about 8:45am when I cross I-24 and it's still fairly busy. At 7-8 in the morning it's really pretty crowded.


Turn left to go West to Nashville or right to Chattanooga. I've always thought that Interstate 24 should have been a North South road but they say it's East West.


Recently renamed Middle Tennessee Blvd is a pretty popular road and takes you by Middle Tennessee State University, the largest undergraduate university in the state of Tennessee (yes we are bigger than UT).


Murfreesboro's only skyscraper. It's a bank and office building built a number of years ago. The top is a penthouse apartment where the building's owner lives.


Left on Hillard Drive and I'm at the office. I rent two offices on the top floor from a friend who is the owner of Clark Iron and Metal Company, a recycler.


Today's route is the shortest (along with tomorrow's) at 16 miles.

Not every commute will be this verbose but I thought it might be fun to do something like this. Liberia.
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Liberia screwed with this post 08-08-2011 at 01:28 PM
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:02 AM   #2
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An unusual RR title...

...and a fun read as well.

It's sad that so many commuters only see America on the Interstate @ 70+ mph on their way to work each morning.

Thanks for posting this RR and the accompanying photos. Your MA to TN was a good RR too.

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Old 09-15-2010, 01:46 PM   #3
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You're lucky to have a commute that doesn't involve a bazillion traffic lights or stop and go interstate traffic. I have worked and lived many places. Some had a nice commute and some didn't. I found myself feeling better and more relaxed when I had a pleasant ride to or from work.

Interesting idea for a ride report
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:05 PM   #4
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:16 PM   #5
Liberia OP
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Through Christiana

I decided to record the second way to get to work backwards. I am starting at work and recording this on the way home. Since most of the trip is the same as this morning (US-231) I'll take pictures of the new parts only.





It's about 100 yards from the parking lot to the first turn. Hillard Drive takes me to US-231 which is also known as Church Street.



Traffic was quite a bit heavier this afternoon than this morning. I left work about 5:30 which kept me in the rush hour traffic.



Murfreesboro has at least 2 Cracker Barrel restaurants and one is at the intersection of US-231 and I-24. The corporate headquarters for Cracker Barrel is in Lebanon, Tennessee which is about 30 miles north of us. The have good food and it's reasonably priced.



So I'm almost to the turn off for Hwy 269 when the KLX looses power. Time to change to reserve. I'm right at the C and E Market which is one of the country gas stations near us. It's the home of Volunteer Gas. People here really like the Tennessee Volunteers. I grew up near Gainesville, Florida so I keep my college team preferences to myself. By the way, running in the 60 - 65mph range it got 68.2mpg on this tank. Not too bad.



So I leave the C and E and almost immediately turn left (East) on Hwy 269. This road goes through Bell Buckle and all the way to Tullahoma. It's pretty straight through my part but gets pretty twisty as you go on.



You quickly come to the town of Christiana. It's a very small community (but looks like a metropolis compared to Fosterville). Christiana is the home of Miller's Grocery. It's not a grocery at all but a small restaurant that serves good meals. It's only open at certain times so you have to keep up with the schedule. I remember when they were written up on the Tennessee Crossroads television program and there was a long wait to get in. The popularity finally died down and you can get in without much of a wait now.



I forget the name of this antique store. I think maybe it's the Honey Bunny or something like that. Reminds me of when Mrs. Liberia and I first came to Murfreesboro to go to college at MTSU (at least 100 years ago and before we were married). Her roomate had a thick Tennessee accent and invited her to go "A" and "Teeing" with she and her mother. It was a few minutes before Mrs. Liberia realized she meant "antiquing."



Here's the actual Miller's Grocery with the KLX right in front.



We Fostervillites are a little jealous since Christiana got to keep their post office.



Christiana's cemetery is called Miller Cemetery



A small pond in a field near the road.



Some additional roadside scenery.



Hwy 269 makes a 90 degree turn as you make your way toward Bell Buckle.



More straight highway but with interesting stuff to look at.



Just after you make the 90 degree turn you pass by the Po Po's house (he's actually a deputy sheriff).



The oddly shaped hill in the background is where we live.



Along the way we pass Sit n Stay. That's where our dogs are boarded if we have to go out of town. It's also where our Labradoodle received his obedience training.



Here's the Short Creek Ranch. It's not really a ranch as much as it is a rock farm (like most of Rutherford County).



Now the turn onto the other end of Fosterville-Short Creek Road. This morning we went out the other end.



On the way you pass by Mr. Johnson's house. You only stop by to see him if you have plenty of time on your hands. He's a real nice man.



Back to our driveway.



Trying to capture the steepness of the drive but not sure it was successful.



Next time we'll miss US-231 all together. See you then.
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Liberia screwed with this post 09-15-2010 at 05:25 PM
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderDog
It's sad that so many commuters only see America on the Interstate @ 70+ mph on their way to work each morning.
I think most would be happy if they could do 70mph. It's the stop and go on the interstate that drives me crazy.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klaviator
You're lucky to have a commute that doesn't involve a bazillion traffic lights or stop and go interstate traffic. I have worked and lived many places. Some had a nice commute and some didn't. I found myself feeling better and more relaxed when I had a pleasant ride to or from work.

Interesting idea for a ride report
A lot of people in Murfreesboro commute to Nashville every day. That would be a real drag.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:34 AM   #8
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Route 3 - Backroads into work

This morning's route will be 80% new with the only repeat being the 1 mile drive from my driveway to Hwy 269 and a couple of miles back the way we came last night.


Route 03-



I woke up this morning to a beautiful sunrise. Living on top of a hill provides frequent sunrises of great colors. The leaves are still green which provides a nice color contracts to the reds and blues.



The ride in this morning will be all back highways. We will be on US-41 for a few miles and that used to be the main road but I-24 has relegated it to mostly a local traffic highway. Interestingly, US-41 starts in Miami, Florida (Tamiami Trail) and finally turns into Mandan Road near Copper Harbor on Lake Superior over 1,850 miles later. I thought that I might do another route on the way home today that involves Interstate 24 so I chose to bring the V-Strom. It's for sale here in the Flea Market (shameless plug). But once I got to work I remembered that we have Bonhoeffer's tonight at church. Our church sponsors a weekly concert for the MTSU college students during the Spring and Fall semesters. We set the main area up like a coffee house with tables and chairs and provide lattes, cappuccinos, frappes, hot and cold brewed teas plus fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Almost anything you can get at a Starbucks but free of charge. The Nashville area is the center of the music universe and MTSU has one of the top 3 Recording Industry Mananagement schools in the United States. So we have access to lots of songwriters, performers, bands, etc. of almost every genre. They need places to play so we provide a full sound stage with all the equipment necessary for them. This year it's even being recorded for MTTV (MTSU's campus channel). What's really funny is that our church has about 50 - 60 people in attendance on any given Sunday but we typically have 100 to as high as 250 students there on a Thursday night. So I will not be taking any photos on the ride home since we usually don't leave until well after midnight.



To avoid boring you with repetitive pictures I will begin to pick up part of the way into the rides since there are only 2 ways that I can leave home requiring the first 3 miles or so in either direction to be the same each time. This is a picture looking back towards Murfreesboro from the top of our driveway.



This is a shot on Fosterville-Short Creek Road showing the silo of an old farm that used to be in operation. I like the looks of silos, especially the older ones which were made out of concrete block rather than the metal used today.



Just a fun shot looking through the windshield of the V-Strom as I backtrack down Hwy 269.



Farmers haul their round bales of hay out of the fields and stack them together to save space. Sometimes it's a year or two before they are feed to the cows or sold to others. I think much of the nutritional value is lost the longer it sits around.



Chicken houses (poultry farms) are less popular here than they are in Georgia and Florida. But there are still some around. One of our neighbors has a few on the road just after you turn right off of Hwy 269 onto Hoover Gap Road. My Florida brother, Fred, had chicken houses for a number of years. At first he raised "friers" from chicks (what we call "bitties"). There would be over ten thousand of them per house when they were first delivered. Later he moved to egg production.



Within a few hundred yards of turning right onto Hoover Gap Road we take a left onto Wayside Road.



Ed lives just a little ways down Wayside. He works at Clark Iron & Metal Company and is the most naturally talented, mechanically oriented man I've ever known. He can build anything that he can watch operate for a few minutes. They needed a large metal brake at Clark Iron to bend some substantially large and thick sheets of steel. He built the entire brake from materials scavenged from the salvage yard with the exception of a couple of hydraulic valves (probably $50 total). Since mechanics come so naturally to him he doesn't understand why everyone can't do the same things he can.



A new barn is being built just down from Ed's and it has gone up pretty quick given that the owner is the one building it.



The field corn has dried sufficiently to allow it to be combined. They grow a good bit of corn around this area but nothing like you see in the midwest. They have equipment out there that you couldn't even turn around in most of our fields.



Soon we turn right onto Epps Mill Road. This part of Tennessee used to have a lot of small, water powered grist mills in years gone by. So you'll see a lot of roads that are named for the mills that were found along them.



There's a small, Baptist church on the corner where we turn. I think the pastor is part-time and stays in a little travel trailer next to the church when he's there. One day we came by and he was mowing the grass with his shirt off and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Another time we came by and he was sitting outside knitting. I need to make it a point to stop and meet him the next time I see him there. Seems like an interesting fellow.



Epps Mill Road is generally straight but it has a couple of 90 degree corners as it snakes it's way through a small housing development. This first corner that you're looking at is the only one I've ever scraped the floorboard of my Harley Fatboy in. Obviously I'm not a real dare-devil.



Soon we're crossing Interstate 24. This is at Exit 89 whereas we were crossing it at Exit 81 yesterday. There's a couple of truckstops there and that's about it.



Love's Truckstop is a nice one and I get gas here quite often. I'm not sure if they are in all states or just the southest.



Shortly after crossing the interstate we tee into US-41. As mentioned earlier, it was once a key road from Florida all the way to the Great Lakes. Now it mostly handles local traffic. I can't imagine having to make a long trip in a car going down 2 lane roads with small towns every 10 miles. I guess that's why people didn't travel as much back then.



The guy who owns this little barn has a few motorcycles for sale. About once every week or so he'll roll them out next to the highway and put a For Sale sign up. Then a couple of hours later he'll roll them back inside not to be seen for another week or so. You really have to be fast if you want to see them. I've never been able to catch him there when I could stop.



A field of cotton as we begin approaching Murfreesboro. In Tennessee, if you can keep your farm property earning at least $1,500 per year you can stay in what they call the "Green Belt" which provides a much lower property tax rate. So you'll even find cotton and other crops being grown on small field within the city limits.



Before you get to Murfreesboro you go through the little community of Buchanan. Most places this is pronounced with a long "U" sound but not here. It's pronounce "Buck - anan" here and you're immediately known to be an outsider if you don't get it right. Oddly enough, this was the same pronounciation used when I was a young boy growing up in Mayo, Florida. Go figure.



There are an elementary and middle school in Buchanan so coming this way in the morning can slow you down a little. When I was on the city council of a small city in Florida years ago, they had a saying. "If you want to screw up traffic flow twice a day, put a school there."



One of the very large houses along the way into Murfreesboro.



Yesterday we crossed Middle Tennessee Blvd on our way in. This is just a couple of miles further to the east from there.



Getting into one of the less appealing sections of Murfreesboro. Not bad but just not as nice as most of the city.



Back to Church Street (US-231). This is from the other direction versus yesterday. A turn to the left and then an immediate turn back to the right and I'm at the office.



There were a couple of drops of rain falling as I pulled into the office. So I parked under the building overhang. Hopefully the V-Strom will not be baled when I start to leave this afternoon.



Tomorrow we take the interstate!
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberia


Murfreesboro's only skyscraper. It's a bank and office building built a number of years ago. The top is a penthouse apartment where the building's owner lives.
My desk used to be IN the vault on the 7th floor. Intern abuse is a crime.
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by iyaoyas98
My desk used to be IN the vault on the 7th floor. Intern abuse is a crime.
I've always wanted to spend some time in a bank vault.
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Liberia screwed with this post 09-16-2010 at 04:52 PM
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:40 PM   #11
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Very nice - I like the concept.

Although I live a long way from Middle Tennessee, I visit my company's Brentwood office pretty often; many of the folks who work there do commute from Murfreesboro. It's not too bad as long as you take 840 to I-65, they tell me.

I sometimes drive between Brentwood and Atlanta (another office I frequent) and have stopped at the same Love's truck stop.

I'm looking forward to more!
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:42 PM   #12
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my commute into Nashville (West End area) is 56 miles one way, via the interstate (I-65). There's lot's of people out there every morning and every evening. It's mad!

When I come in on the bike, I try to leave earlier and have a nice morning romp on the country roads. I have found that with a little map studying and exploration, I can get all the way in to my office and almost never get stuck in traffic. It helps if you don't mind using the road less travelled. I much prefer to find myself doing 35-45 on some side street or country potholed road, as opposed to doing 15 mph on the interstate in the middle of a herd of cagers all doing something more important than driving - like reading the paper, having breakfast, putting on make up, and talking on the phone.
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:42 PM   #13
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Very enjoyable! I feel more relaxed already!
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electroman
It's not too bad as long as you take 840 to I-65, they tell me.
TN 840 has made a big difference. Hwy 96 used to be the only way and it was jam packed with cars and trucks during rush hour. It's much better now.
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbreeze
56 miles one way
Think of the gas you would save if you could ride your bike every day.
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