Natchez Trace and Nashville, Tennessee
Trip Start Jan 08, 2006
79Trip End Dec 31, 2006
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When we arrived at our Natchez Trace RV Park in Hohenwald, Tennessee, last Sunday, we caught up with our friends Ruth Ann and Frank, who had left Florida several days ahead of us. (See Pictures #1 and #2) Ruth Ann always does a wonderful job of researching the geography and history of areas they're in, and we enjoyed the benefits of her research, learning that the word "trace" in Natchez Trace is another word for path or trail
We had a couple of relaxing days there, enjoying our time with Ruth Ann and Frank - and as always when we're with them, laughing a lot! Played some dominoes, shared dinners, and then packed up for our move to the Nashville Super Speedway on Wednesday morning.
Sometimes, life has a way of reminding us to pay attention to the details. Our Wednesday morning departure was one of those days. As we pulled out of the park and started heading up a rather long hill, after a few minutes Greg commented that the motorhome seemed to be straining...he said "are you sure the car was in neutral when you loaded it on the dolly?" as I looked at the little tv screen for our backup camera and screamed "stop!" when I saw smoke swirling around the front of the Trans Am. I ran back, and sure enough, it was in 1st gear - and we'd been pulling it with the rear wheels down at almost 55 mph. I about lost it, sure that we'd blown the engine. We had to just go ahead, pulling it behind us once I'd put it in neutral, as we were following Ruth Ann and Frank to our next stop
With the car in the shop and Greg behind the wheel of a brand new Chevy pick-up (it was good for him to get his "pick-em-up truck" fix!) we settled in to enjoy Nashville and our very special weekend parked in the infield of the speedway amongst all the fabulous coaches of the Nascar Busch racers
On Thursday night, we drove into downtown Nashville to enjoy the Honky-Tonks and bars where country singers waiting to be discovered entertain, paid only by the applause and whatever the listeners may drop in the bucket that gets passed around. The little old bars are famous for who has played there - from Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash to Tanya Tucker - it seems almost everyone started at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, The Stage on Broadway, Robert's Honky-Tonk, or Nashville Crossroads (all of which are just around the corner from the famous Ryman Auditorium, home to the Grand Ole Opry). This is the second time we've been there, and we thoroughly enjoyed the evening listening to some great music.
By Friday morning, the infield lot in which we had the motorhome parked was totally full - probably about 50 spaces, most of which were taken up with top-of-the-line motor coaches, with matching golf carts parked in front, as well as matching SUVs. The coach drivers had spent the last couple of days spit-shining every inch of every vehicle, in preparation for the arrival of their "star" owners, the mostly-young drivers of the Busch Grand National and ARCA Racing Series. I can say that Nextel Cup Rookie-of-the-Year contender Denny Hamlin slept in the bedroom next to ours (i.e., his rig was parked next to us!); while another contender, J.J. Yeley, "lived" across from us. Down the way was Kevin Harvick, who won the race on Saturday, along with wife Delana; John Andretti, who seemed friedliest, and Kyle Bush (who held the record for most wrecks (3) in the race). I snapped a picture of Jeff Hammond (from FOX and SPEED TV) as he and the crew left one of the coaches after an interview. As I think we mentioned in our last update, we owe this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to park in with the "Big Boys" to Ruth Ann and Frank's son, JP, who works with one of the ARCA teams, and who found a way to make this possible for us
Because we were parked in the infield, the view of the track for the race wasn't the best. We decided the vantage point of the bluff overlooking turns 1 and 2 would be a good view, and we headed up there, where we immediately made new friends. (See Picture #5) Deb and Mark graciously shared the shade of their awning with us, and it wasn't long before were in "small world" mode, finding out that they're originally from the Detroit area, where Mark went to Redford High School (Rose's school's biggest rival) and Deb's Mom went to Cooley High, the school Rose graduated from! As they now live in the Nashville area, and are huge race fans, we left on Sunday with pretty strong assurances that we'd meet up again.
MOTORHOME MILES TRAVELED TO DATE: 4,824
ADDITIONAL MILES TRAVELED IN THE CAR: 4,011
(Check back for photos - I'll upload them when we have a stronger aircard signal!)