Tag Archives: Natchez Trace Parkway

Nashville, Wednesday, 5 September 2012 to Friday, 7 September 2012, Day 93 to Day 95

Nashville

As I am playing catch up this entry covers Wednesday 5th September to Friday 7th September.

Wow 4 nights in a row in the same bed that is the longest I have stayed anywhere on this trip and a very comfortable bed it was to compared to some that I have slept in so I was glad that Alyssa is away at college and I get her bedroom thanks Alyssa for the use of your bedroom much appreciated I think this old fellow been on the road to long and it was great just to stop for while with a great friendly family who looked after me like a king for the past 4 days if Supriya dad had not been turning up and needed the bed I would probably still be there 🙂

Luckily for me Supriya was not working so we spent the first day looking around Nashville and later that day we went to watch her daughter who is 12 years old play volleyball at her school. Cripes they take their sport seriously there I have never seen so many nervous kids playing sport and the coaches from both teams giving them hell from the sidelines. Maya team unfortunately lost and as a punishment the coach made them do star jumps, just to remind you they are only 12 they should be having a laugh and not taking it all to seriously but guess that’s the way things are these day which is a shame as I did not see much joie de vive out there today.

That evening I was taken to Swett’s a Southern Restaurant and I drove down with Rajiv Supriya son in his cool old Jeep Cherokee and there was one hell of storm and at one stage we could hardly see where we going because the rain was so hard but it did not last long. As well as the rain there was one hell of an electrical storm I have never seen anything quite like it the bolts of lightning where thicker than I had ever seen. When we got to the restaurant Supriya asked us if we had stopped when it was really started chucking it down. Me and Rajiv just looked at each other as neither one of us had thought of that as an option all we had done was slow down and moved to the central lane away from the still standing water but kept on going it never crossed our minds that stopping for a while was probably the most sensible thing to do it must be a boy thing! Neal Supriya husband was working the night shift so we had a pleasant Meal with just the 4 of us with the kids explaining the various stuff they had on the menu. Lekker eten 🙂

Day 2 did not quite work out as planned Maya needed to be taken to ER with a Migraine an issue she has been struggling with for a while and she needed a procedure doing that could only be done in the ER we did not know what time this was so me and Supriya did a short trip up the Natchez Trace Parkway while waiting for the appointment for the ER we also had lunch at the famous Loveless Motel and I experienced grits and biscuits for the first time. The biscuits where nice a bit like our scones embarrassing situation at the end when the waitress asked me how I like my grits and I was very politically correct and said they where interesting but to be honest I was not to enamoured by them.

Natchez Trace with Supriya

That afternoon I was left to my own devices which was nice so I caught up with me admin booked a flight home and did a Skype call with John R to sort out Houston part of my trip. Also I was left in charge of Max and Riley Supriya’s dogs and at one stage I thought I had lost one as I had let them out into the back garden for a pee when I saw the fence was open and one was missing just as the others where getting back from the ER. Bollocks that is all that they need a missing dog to add to everything else happening today fortunately the dog was in the front garden and there is an audio fence that they will not pass. Phew I wish I had known this earlier. It was late and everyone had had a tough day so Neal came home with pizza and we watched Obama speech to the Democratic Convention.( I kept objecting every time the called the US the greatest country in the world 🙂 )

Day 3 I had been talked into staying another night to experience Friday night High School Football as Rajiv was playing. I did not take too much persuading as I was living the life of Riley at the Patel’s. Maya was feeling a lot better and was back at School so Supriya and me spent the day wandering around Downtown Nashville looking at the cowboy boots (Buy 1 get 2 free! Wish I had more luggage space) and cowboy hats shop and just wondering around also we went to a place called Franklin as well.

Downtown Nashville

Franklin

Just weird

A very relaxing day and then that evening off to the football match with Neal. Well remember when I said they take their sport very seriously here well Friday night football took this to a whole other level. This is school football (American) their stadium is full the team is huge two cheerleader teams a huge television screen yes the whole thing is being filmed. Walking round in a daze never seen anything like this before. Great evening Rajiv team slaughtered the opposition I had no clue what was going on but very sociable in the stands being introduced to all of Neal’s football mates as well as them trying to explain to me what was going on the field as well.

  

At the end one of Neal’s friend asked us back to his place for a drink and that is what really blew my poor brain. I was just trying to get my head around all I had seen that evening so we followed his mate back to his. We pulled up at a gated community so I am guessing most be a bit of a posh house but then we pulled up to what looked like a castle through a gate that was like a portcullis and into the kitchen. Now most kitchens have a single island well this one had 2 it was huge. After saying hello to Neal’s friend wife (forget both there names 😦 god I am crap with names) we went down the Den which had another kitchen with a fridge stocked with only drinks and a pool table as well as an air hockey table and a large television. At first I thought for the size of the house that the television where rather on the small size (probably they where quite large only dwarfed by the size of the rooms) when Neal pointed to a large door with Theatre written above the door. This was the piece de resistance we went in and there was a large home cinema with about 10 huge leather seats that where reclinable by the touch of a button so we adjourned to the comfy seats and Neal’s mate put on the huge screen and we ended up chilling and watching one of the old Rambo films. I just sat there in awe as Neal and his mate talked shop, which was also fascinating as Neal is paediatric Doctor in charge of the ICU at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville and his mate who told me did something in IT seemingly writes very sophisticated software programs for the operating theatres hence the big house me thinks.

Me and Neal living the life

Quite a late night and hitting the road again tomorrow of to see Elvis

Thank you very much you been a wonderful audience and good night!

Sure I missed loads here but that was happens when you do not do this blog ASAP rather than a couple of days later especially with my memory that is not being fully utilised at the moment.

The Patels

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Nashville to Memphis, Saturday, 8 September 2012, Day 96

Natchez Trace Parkway

It is time to say goodbye to my wonderful hosts the Patel Family. I have had a great time with you guys and you made me feel most welcome and part of your family while I was here.. Supriya it was great to reconnect after more than 30 years lets see if we can touch base again sometime soon as in 30 years I will be 78 and would be great if we could do something before then.

Back in the saddle and it has been raining and the weather is dull and overcast. Fortunately it stays dry and it is a nice change that it is somewhat cooler as to be honest I am getting tired of the heat I know I should not be complaining about the weather but when you are in full motorcycle clobber it tends to be a bit hot and sweaty and also for me the heat sucks the energy out of me making progress hard work (I will be complaining about being cold and wet in a couple of months time so watch this space so at least I am constant in my whinging and not biased in any shape or form :-))

Natchez Trace Parkway

      

      

The plan is to drive the Natchez Trace Parkway a 480-mile road similar to the Blue Ridge Parkway built in the great depression to create work and only reason for it is for the scenery. Unlike the Blue Ridge this is an old trade route so a lot more history. Additionally doing a short ish detour to go and visit Elvis and Graceland.

So 120 miles on the Parkway with very little to none traffic and then back on the normal roads for my quick sortie to Memphis.

I passed a huge house fire today the worrying part was that it was very close to a petrol station but looks like they had it under control but some unfortunate soul has lost there home, as it looked completely destroyed.

Mississippi Burning!

The other disgusting thing that happened to me today was that I was following this truck which was carrying some hay that was loose so I was getting covered with it so I decided to overtake it. As I was passing the truck I noticed a snake crossing the road and it did not look like it was going to make it. This was all in slow motion so I saw the snake being squished under the wheels of the truck just as I was passing and then I felt the splatters all down my leg. Yuk I cannot believe I have just been splattered by snake guts and insides I feel quite queasy 😦

I got into Memphis quite late and then the usual ritual of trying to find somewhere to sleep started, I found a dive of a motel outside by the airport the cost of beds in town and around Graceland are a bit to steep for my budget so this would have to do. I was planning on doing two nights in Memphis but soon changed my mind as for some reason I really did not like the place I was staying at. I have stayed in some holes and this was no worse than some of them but for some reason I did not feel comfortable there so that evening I just holed up in the room no energy to go out and get some dinner I and I was really glad to leave the following morning. The only other time I had planned to stay more than one night in a place and moved on to somewhere else was in a Hostel In Fairbanks I cannot explain what it is about these 2 places only to say I just did not like them or I had a bad feeling about staying there.

Tupelo to Jackson, Monday, 10 September 2012, Day 98

Natchez Trace Parkway

I had a slow start to day a bit of a lie in some minor maintenance on the bike Subway for breakfast at about 11am. Why the slow start well had planned a reasonably short day with regards to riding as the heat was exhausting me and I was not in hurry to get anywhere. Last night I had also seen a sign or a leaflet and a website for the Tupelo Automobile Museum so that was added on my list of things to do that day so after my breakfast I plugged that into my GPS as it was just round the corner.

Huge place full of all sort of cars American and European and to top it all it was totally empty it looks like I was only visitor that morning. So I did a quick whizz around the whole place to get a feel of it and see what was there and then repeated the exercise at a slower pace taking more time to look at the exhibits. Fascinating place thoroughly enjoyed myself.

              

    

  

          

Back on to the Natchez Trace Parkway heading for Jackson.

Elvis Birthplace

Pleasant enough ride however I prefer my roads to have more corners this one was very straight and even though the scenery was stunning in places found myself getting bored (Wow is there no pleasing this fella 🙂 ) I could not found any cheap motels so headed for a Motel 6 which are usually reasonably priced and went to look for some food. There was a mall within walking distance put they only had posh restaurants and was I not really in the mood for posh so ended up at pizza hut express in Target having pasta with chicken and bread sticks which was all I really fancied so that worked out well.

Natchez Trace Parkway

Jackson to New Orleans, Tuesday, 11 September 2012, Day 99

Natchez Trace Parkway

Today the final stretch of the Natchez Trace into Natchez which took me a while to find my way back on it. Todays highlight was a couple of dear and I saw a fox which I spent a while watching (from a distance).

Natchez Trace Parkway

 

The plan was to reach New Orleans that evening but it was much further than anticipated (Where have you heard that before) so I spent the last couple of hours riding in the dark which I keep saying I will not do but end up doing it anyhow. So another long day in the saddle but I had already had a couple of addresses for the night so one less thing to worry about. Arrived at Hostel number 1 after being directed through some seriously dodgy neighbourhoods by my GPS and it turned out to be a place that I had stayed on my last trip to New Orleans called India House Hostel. So that was about 15 years ago. It had grown somewhat since I was last there and luckily they had a bed available as I really did not have the energy to go and look at the next place on my list and it was about 9pm ish. I walked to the supermarket for my supper and was surprised at how much I remembered from last time I was here and I spent the rest of the evening chatting with the folks at the hostel.