April 30, 2014 – Wednesday
This morning when Bill took the dogs out to potty, he talked to the people in the fifth wheel. The older couple drives the RV, while the other six are riding the Natchez Trace Parkway from beginning to end on bicycles. They are averaging 88-100 miles a day on the bikes. The RV pulled out at 8:30 am with the bikers following. I didn’t want to be too nosey and go outside to take pictures, so I took these thru the window, not too good.
The back of the fifth wheel has a lot of advertisements and sponsors on it. It did say “We Cycle America” and I saw a web site called, freespiritadventures.com which I haven’t checked out yet.
The other neighbor has left this morning too, so we are back to being alone. We get the RV ready to take off ourselves, now that the storm is gone. We have been here four nights and its been nice, but we are anxious to move on. I snap a picture of Bill doing the “dirty work” of emptying the black and gray tanks. He may not want to drive much, but he has been good about doing all the outside jobs. 🙂
We leave this beautiful state park and head to Nashville, 155 miles away. Only 140 more miles till we get to the northern end of the Trace. Bill decides to drive today. We cross the Alabama/Mississippi state line at mile marker 308.4, just under 4 miles from the park.
Our first stop is at mile marker 327 called Colbert Ferry. I was expecting to see a ferry, but instead it was just a lookout point where maybe the ferry had been in the early 1800’s. I could barely see the Tennessee River between the trees. We cross the river on a pretty bridge.
We also cross the Tennessee / Alabama state line at mile marker 341. Alabama looks just like Tennessee. 🙂 We were in and out of Alabama in less than an hour, and Bill did all the driving in Alabama. 🙂
Next stop, mile marker 350 for the Sunken Trace. Three sections of the original road show how the route was relocated to avoid mud holes.
We made a quick detour off the Trace because I saw a Visitor Center Sign, and wanted info on Nashville, but it was just a cute little center in Collinwood, but they had free coffee, cookies and some info for Nashville.
Mile marker 385.9 was the next stop, for Meriwether Lewis Monument (of Lewis and Clark fame), who died here in 1809. The monument was erected in 1848, over his grave site. The design is a broken column to represent a life cut short, he was just 35 years old. The log cabin is a replica of one from that time period, where he was shot dead.
The log cabin was closed when we were there, but is open for displays if you get there at the right time.
I take over the driving now, and we head to mile marker 391.9 Fall Hollow. It’s a short walk to a waterfall.
Back on the Trace, the only wildlife we see are wild turkeys off in the grass on the side of the road, and bicycle riders in the road. (No pictures of the turkeys) This end of the Trace is more curvy than the southern end. Sometimes we would get behind a bike, and have to go really slow because you couldn’t see far enough down the road to safely pass the bikes. They say this is a really popular road for bikes, but it looks dangerous to me, sharing the lanes with cars.
As we get close to the northern end of the trace, we see some beautiful homes and land, before getting to the Natchez Trace Parkway signs we had to pose next.
While at the Trace sign parking lot, I call a RV park in Nashville to see if they have a spot for us tonight. I want to take a trolley tour ride in Nashville tomorrow, and this one was pretty close. I ask how much, and she says $45 with AAA discount. They say they have a spot, and I put there address in the GPS. Expensive, but I want to see Nashville on a bus or trolley tour and its already 3:30. As we are driving to the RV park, we see a frozen yogurt place and have to stop to get our fix. They are hard to find and expensive. This time it was $11.50 for them both. While eating our yogurt, I check the Overnightrvparking web site and find a Walmart just six miles away. Of course we decide to go there for free, since its late in the day and we can’t enjoy the RV park that much for that price, this late. 🙂 Walmart saves us again. I also called the RV park back so they wouldn’t be waiting for us.
So we are doing our usual thing, Bill playing games on the iPad while I do the trip journal, photo editing and reading about where we are going next. There are four eighteen wheelers and three RV’s parked for the night. At 9:30 I see and hear a big custom bus pull in, followed by another fancy custom bus pulling an enclosed trailer. They look like movie star or music star tour buses. The one bus is older and is painted colorfully with writing on the side of it.
We are curious, so Bill takes Chica out to potty, and walks close enough to read what it says. He comes back and says it says “Jake Owen – Days of Gold Tour”. Neither of us have heard of Jake Owen, so Bill does a google search and we find out he is a country singer song writer and is on tour right now. I do a search too and listen to a couple of his songs on YouTube. I see he is in concert tomorrow in Fort Wayne, IN then PA the next day, etc.. Wow, a country star spending the night with us in Walmart. How exciting. I sit by the window, with the light off and watch the activity by the buses. More cars and trucks pull up and park next to the buses. They are loud and running the Diesel engines or generators till at least 11:00. Guys in the cars that pulled up are getting duffle bags and sleeping bags out of their trunks and carrying them to the colorful bus. They must be the road crew. I bet Jake is in the really nice bus. Guys go back and forth in front of our RV to go Walmart shopping, bringing back carts of stuff, food or booze? I want a photo for the blog and I try to take one thru the RV window, which doesn’t come out. So I leash up Bella and take her out to potty, making my way close enough without looking like a stalker, to take a picture. It’s dark, so I only got a picture of the colorful one. They were probably looking out their windows laughing at me. The RV in the left side of the photo is just a regular RV person and not the fancy bus I didn’t get a photo of.
I can’t wait for morning, so I can get some good day light pictures!