After talking smart about getting an early start, we finally arrived at the Trace at 11:00am!!!! Someone left their riding gloves at home (or couldn’t find them in his gear bag) so we drove through Vanderbilt campus looking for a bike shop. My new gloves fit fine. (found the ‘forgot at home’ pair the next day!!!)
Within the first mile of riding we knew this was going to be a great trip. No traffic to speak of, great road surface, no billboards, and NO WIND!
. . . and another great thing is this driving rule! When a car approaches a bicyclist from the rear they are supposed to pull fully into the other lane. Nice!
At one of the first stops down the road, the Double Arc bridge, we met a bunch of Harley riders including this gal who had holes drilled in her helmet to let her red hair pull through and flow with the wind. I asked her why she was wearing the face mask and her reply was that it was already so cold down here in the south. She was from Louisiana.
Great autumn view as the boys roll across the bridge.
. . . not much of a guard rail . . . and a long ways down!
Great scenery and just enough elevation gain to keep things interesting . . . and it was dry. The locals said it had rained for 4 straight days. Good thing we delayed the start of our trip!!!!
. . . . one does need to keep their eyes on the road though, here a motorcyclist took their eyes off the road a bit too long and soon they were headed for the woods. Looked like they recovered OK.
Some of those southern folks have done quite well selling grits and hog jowls . . .
A great view at one of the scenic overlooks. There was an over overlook or historic pull off about every 10 miles so we wheeled in and got educated!
Just about every building has been removed from the Trace. Here was an old barn the Park Service made sure you knew was ‘off limits’ with a Closed Sign every 50 feet. Worried about liability problems????
Continuing my Southern Tier tradition, my first documented road kill of the trip . . . dead armadillo.
One of the pull offs commemorating the Battle of 1812. Lot of history down this way, including these two ‘old guys’.
Our first view of the actual ‘old Trace’ . . .
. . . which was a trail formed by boatman who had come down river, sold their goods, disassembled the raft and sold the wood, then walked back to Nashville. Most did it again, time after time. In some places the constant foot traffic wore down a pretty good groove.
One of the historic sites explained the importance of tobacco to the southern US and it’s economy. The US Park service has had cutbacks, like all Federal agencies, and instead of having a naturalist or docent to explain local history, here they uses ‘guide dogs’ who would grab your sleeve and lead you on the tour. Here Elmo was eagerly awaiting another group of tourists . . . we gave him a nice cookie for his efforts.
. . . how the tobacco was dried . . .
. . . and auctioned off. Nice sample hanging out of his mouth!!!
One of the other remaining buildings was the Gordon House, an old farmstead settled by a farmer, woodsman and ferry across the Duck Cr owner. He died right after his wife competed supervising the construction of the house!!!!
Great color to see as we biked along. The colors are probably about 25% complete.
Unidentifiable road kill. Would have made a nice hat!!!
On the road again . . .
. . . where we left the Trace for the day and rolled into our home for the night, the Fall Hollow Campground. We are staying it the
Bed and Biscuit’ option.
. . . our quarters are behind the restaurant and we have our own ‘secret entrance’.
. . . we’ll have a full breakfast in the morning . . .
. . . nice digs!!!
. . . of course you can’t go anywhere down here without seeing portraits of the ‘King’.
Our hosts, Sherry and Noel have only owned the campground for two days. We were there second group of guests! There cellphones still have a 414 area code. They just relocated from Milwaukee. SMALL world.
After cleaning up we headed into town for dinner, the first stop of course was at the liquor store . . . where BillyB bought some beer, a bottle of whiskey and some vodka.
. . . and where gas was CHEAP!!!!!!
We headed to the local steakhouse, The Junkyard Dog. Note the tall water glasses . . . that was it for the drinks, water only. NO LIQUOR license. After dinner we walked across the street to the ‘River Rat’ bar for a couple of beers. BilllyB bought. The owner only had his liquor license for two months. The place was packed!!!!!
After a couple, beers we retired back to our nice digs for a nightcap and a viewing of the ‘Hurt Locker’, a new flick for TommyH and the G. Everyone was sleeping by 11:00pm. Only 36 miles tomorrow!