This morning we woke to another glorious day here in Tishomingo State Park. We would have liked to stay longer but must keep pressing on. After showering we set about getting ready for the road. Firstly we had to put the mattress and boxes back in place above the cab, I then went up on the roof of the RV to check out the joints, I think perhaps there are two or three places I need to improve the seals with mastic when we pass a Home Depot store to buy some; hopefully this will cure the leak problem. We’ve never had the problem before, but then again we’ve never before driven through rain as heavy as we experienced on our journey to Memphis.
Not only are we going to greatly miss our view of the lake, the herons, terrapins, ducks, and butterflies, but also our neighbours Jane & Daniel, camping in their 5th Wheel RV right over on the opposite side of the lake. Not that we’ve ever met them, but when you’ve sat on the opposite side of the lake while Jane made calls on her mobile phone and we were able to hear just about every word, you realise that some Yanks really do have big mouths.
Back on the Natchez Trace Parkway we kept to a steady 45mph which is a very relaxing speed and easily achieved because the road is little used and those who do, aren’t in a hurry, and if they are, then they’ll just have to get past me. The plan today was to stop off somewhere about halfway along the remaining 150 miles of the trail and camp for the night leaving the remainder of the journey to Nashville until tomorrow.
The first point of interest was when we crossed the Tennessee River. It was surprisingly wide, probably wider than the Mississippi we’d seen back in Memphis and infinitely more attractive since the water was blue rather than muddy brown. There were a number of boats out there with fishermen soaking up the sun.
Further down the road we pulled in for lunch sharing the pull-in (lay-by) with three Harley Davidson motorcyclists. They were friendly enough, and I suppose when you ride a Harley Davidson, you need all the friends you can get – you never know when you’ll need to borrow a spanner.
After lunch we continued north making for the free Meriwether Lewis campground. On arrival the pitches, hidden amongst the trees, were pleasant enough, but our arriving so early in the afternoon would have left us with little to do for the rest of the day, and having seen the film ‘Deliverance’ I didn’t intend to go in to the woods to play. We decided instead to push north and pull over wherever we could find somewhere appropriate to park for the night. Before setting off we popped back down the road to visit the grave of Meriwether Lewis. This chap was half of ‘Lewis & Clark’ the most successful explorers in American history. Rosina photographed Lewis’s grave. He was buried at the spot where he was discovered dead from a gunshot wound not far from his house on the Old Natchez Trail, travelled by pioneers and traders.
Driving further up the Parkway we passed a snake crossing the road, luckily for the snake it was crossing from right to left and had already crossed our lane. Because of the temperature of the tarmac it was crossing pretty quickly. I stopped and backed up for a closer look but by the time I’d done so it was disappearing in to the grass on the opposite verge. It was probably a rat snake being black and about 6-8ft long.
Further down the road we pulled in to visit an example of a Tobacco Farm where we saw a small area of tobacco plants growing, and a drying house complete with very dry hanging tobacco leaves. Next to it was a section of the Old Natchez Trail and a pleasant view out over a valley.
Having then realised that we’d passed all of the campgrounds on the trail we were committed to continuing on to Nashville www.nashville.com It would have been nice to have stayed on the Parkway another day, the 45mph pace of driving was very relaxing, and good for the fuel economy, as well as seeing interesting wildlife. We often saw deer, including a couple with white spots on them which we’d never seen before. Towards the end of the trail we spotted a deer standing right next to the roadway and so I stopped the vehicle; The Chef got the stills camera out whilst I prepared the video camera, the idea being that we’d drive towards it very slowly and take some pictures. Rosina managed only one picture because just as we were about to roll forwards a 5th Wheel RV towed by a truck, came swiftly around the corner from the opposite direction and scared it off.
We left the end of the trail on the outskirts of Nashville, passing through Forest Hills a very affluent area indeed and considered a suburb of Nashville, with huge immaculately kept homes, one after the other. There was one bonus – a Publix supermarket. We hadn’t seen one since our visit to Florida on a holiday last year. We went in for a look around and came across a small food section under a Union Jack flag hanging from the ceiling and managed to get our hands on some Branston Pickle, Heinz Baked Beans & a box of Weetabix breakfast cereal for The Chef. There must be a rich Brit community here; given that the baked beans were something like £1 a tin. Having treated ourselves to a few items we moved on to our planned destination – the Wal-Mart store on Nolensville Pike, Nashville.
When we arrived there we did a few more bits of shopping including the ingredients for tonight’s meal, a sliced beef salad. That’s the problem when parking overnight at a Wal-Mart. Having a barbecue in their car park whilst sat lounging in our reclining chairs would be pushing our luck as far as their hospitality goes.
Tomorrow we plan to make our way to a campground which has a shuttle service to downtown Nashville and internet facilities. We’ll be staying in Nashville for a couple of days providing my nerves can stand Country & Western music for that long.
LOCATION TONIGHT: Wal-Mart Super, 5824 Nolensville Pike, Nashville TN 37211. (GPS: N36.041143 W86.710705)