We have deviated from our original route home so that we could spend a couple of days in Nashville, and we’re glad we did. It’s a great city, not so big that you feel overwhelmed, and well planned out. What we didn’t care for about Austin was that the music venues seemed to be dotted all around the city. What disappointed us about Memphis was that Beale Street was only about 3 blocks long. Nashville’s music district is about twice the size of Memphis’, and all the venues are in the same location. Also, there’s no cover charge at any of the venues, so you can walk down the street, pop into a bar if you like the sound, and keep on walking after that song is over. Most of the bars have a front wall of windows or doors that open to the street, and the stage is right inside the windows, so as you walk down Broadway it’s a cacophony of music blasting out in one big blended mess. But, then a voice or guitar riff catches your ear and you go inside to hear more, and that’s okay. Live music every day from 11am to 3:00 in the morning! We visited Broadway around midday Monday and Tuesday, and the talent that was playing at that time of day, on probably the slowest days of the week, made us ask, “Wow, if THIS is what they serve up at lunchtime on Tuesday, can you imagine what you hear on Friday or Saturday nights?” Now we know why Nashville is called Music City!
On Monday, we just walked up and down Broadway with Tessa and enjoyed the music from outside, but on Tuesday, Tessa went to daycare so that we could go into the bars. First, as we were strolling past Nudie’s Honky Tonk, we heard some great swing music playing and the sight of some red-shirted, saddle-shoed, pompadoured men shaking on the dance floor drew us in for a beer and some entertainment. Later, we heard a couple of awesome voices coming from Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk, and inside we discovered a couple of young women with awesome voices. They call themselves Roxan, and they just finished recording a CD. Turns out one of the duo was on The Voice in 2015. Her voice just blew us away. We were unable to get a short video to post here. 😦
We had a couple of thoughts while in Nashville: if anyone wants to make it in the music industry, THIS is where they need to be. There are so many talented musicians here that it would be easy to put a band together. On the other hand, there are SO many talented musicians here that it must be even more difficult than in other cities to be “discovered.”
Our campground in Nashville was really nice. Seven Points Campground is a US Army Corps of Engineers (COE) campground. The Army Corps of Engineers may be familiar because of their involvement in dam construction to control river flows and building lake reservoirs. They are also charged with opening up these river and lakeside areas to the public and providing opportunities for fishing, boating, and camping. COE campgrounds are some of the nicest in the country, and some of the most affordable, so they can be hard to get into. We were lucky to get a huge corner spot in this campground of about 50 spaces. Some of the waterfront spots were the most beautiful locations we’ve seen anywhere.
The end of our trip has been timed around one event, the Southeast Gassers race in Alabama. Bob’s cousin, Larry Noel, who we visited in South Carolina at the beginning of the trip, was the 2018 C-class champion, and we told him we’d see him race before our trip is over! Getting to Baileyton Good Time Drag Strip from Nashville required an overnight stay for us, so we enjoyed our first Harvest Host’s stay. Harvest Hosts is an organization of farms, vineyards, even museums that allow, even welcome, RVers to stay overnight on their property. It’s really a win-win, because the RVers need a place to sleep (and don’t necessarily want to spend money just to sleep) and the Harvest Hosts enjoy having someone keep an eye on their place at night. Of course, the RVers generally end up buying products while there, too! The folks we met at Land Between the Lakes, Glenn and Christine, told us about their Harvest Hosts stay at Prichard’s Distillery in Kelso, TN, which happened to be on the way to Alabama. Prichard’s Distillery is housed in an old school building, which is evident as you walk around. We got a tour of the plant where they make rums, whiskeys, vodka and liqueurs, a free tasting of several of their products and, of course, we just HAD to buy a few bottles! Let’s see if they make it home!
There’s been a heat wave in place down here, 90’s and humid. We’re missing that dry desert air now, for sure!
Next stop: Baileyton, Alabama.