In the summer of 2009, Markus and I went on a second road trip. At the time, I was teaching middle school and high school students at a private Christian school. This school was very different from other schools. They encouraged the teachers and students to form healthy relationships. Teachers were seen as mentors and role models for the students. I know it sounds a bit strange when you're outside of the situation, but many of my old students still check in and catch up. Some even still ask for advice, so in all honesty I think it was a good thing.
I explain all of this because in the summer of 2009, Markus and I went on a road trip with some of my students, Trevor, Jordan and Victoria. Victoria's grandmother owned an awesome cabin in Tennessee, so Victoria planned a trip with Trevor and Jordan. Through a strange course of events, Markus and I ended up going with them as well. Which was very fortunate.
We made a lot of great memories on that trip. One of my favorites was when we drove through the night from Florida to Chattanooga, Tennessee. We were all exhausted and tried to sleep in the car on the way. It was impossible. We went straight to Ruby Falls when we arrived in Chattanooga, but we were too early, around 4 am. We didn't check into a hotel over night because we were going straight to the cabin after Ruby Falls.
So, we decided to camp out in the parking lot and sleep. All five of us tried to get comfortable and finally we all fell asleep. I remember waking up and only seeing four of us in the car, Trevor was missing. I was sitting in the driver's seat and looked in the side view mirror and saw Trevor's feet and legs on the ground. He was lying behind the car. I freaked and immediately jumped out to see what happened. When I finally reached him, I realized that he was just sleeping. We didn't run him over. A few minutes later, a security guard came over and told him he couldn't sleep on the ground in a parking lot. It was quite funny and we all couldn't stop laughing.
Another place we visited was Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee. I've always wanted to go to a plantation and added bonus, this one was supposedly haunted. The area around the plantation was the site of one of the bloodiest battles during the Civil War, The Battle of Franklin. The battle only lasted for five hours, but resulted in about 9,500 dead, wounded or missing soldiers. The actual plantation served as a hospital for the wounded and dying. When we toured the place we could still see blood stains in the floorboards. It was definitely eerie, but also very interesting learning about our history.
The first part of our trip was a lot of fun. We stopped at random places we saw on the road. It was very reminiscent of our Florida road trip we took earlier in the year. We basically did whatever caught our eye. We were watching a lot of Supernatural then, so it was basically like were hunters on a weeklong hunt. We stopped at creepy caves in mountains, walked through deserted forests and visited haunted houses. It was great. Though we never saw any ghosts, you bet your bottom if we did, we had gasoline and salt on hand.