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Monday, January 28, 2013

Along Tennessee 48 South

The icy cold and gray morning of January 16th, was the beginning of Day 3 of my trip south from Detroit. The storm that was supposed to be bad, wasn't so bad. There was ice by the roads but not on the roads. Still, it was a bleak day.

I was moving along Tennessee state road 48 going south, about 30 or so miles from Hopkinsville, Kentucky and it was another gray day ahead. I left Detroit to get some sunlight and warmth but the weather had not been my friend. So I moved along.

I wondered what the day would bring. I had a full tank of gas and I was still enjoying my first cup of road coffee, when I saw this surreal sight...


Montgomery Central High School


This is Montgomery Central High School in Cunningham, Tennessee.


The domes are of a thin shell concrete construction sitting on a man-made lake. The thin shell of concrete needs no interior columns or exterior buttresses and allows large areas to be spanned with curved shapes.


This is not a new construction technique. The earliest known concrete shell was the dome on the Pantheon, built in 126 AD. Another famous but more recent thin shell concrete construction is the Sydney Opera House. See more examples HERE.


And further down the road, what a night of freezing rain looks like the next day.


It was cold, about 20 degrees, and it wasn't going to warm up much for the rest of my day.


In Dickson, Tennessee, another antique stop.


I was still too far east though. I wanted to get into Mississippi from below Memphis. I'd never been on the west side of Mississippi that far north. 

My drives from Detroit to Mississippi and back were by traveling I 65 through the length of Alabama. In the mid-1970's, it was just about getting from home in Detroit to the US Navy Seabee base in Gulfport in the fastest way possible. But this time I wanted to leisurely drive the Mississippi delta.

So at Dickson, Tennessee I get on US 70 heading west.

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