A glorious spring day graced our last Trace day! Nothing like the warm sunshine to lift my spirits! Bet we shared the road with over 100 bicyclists today. With only 80 miles left of the Trace, we savored every minute & walked as many sections as we could. Still amazing that bits & pieces have survived 300 years of development. We can thank the Daughters of the American Revolution for preserving the Trace. It was their idea in the early 20th century!
Meriwether Lewis State Parks is one of the most beautiful we have seen. Gorgeous setting, dispersed sites, but no power or water! It seems our premier explorer, Lewis, died under mysterious circumstances. A politician at the time, he was retracing some of his earlier journeys to clarify details & was under heavy criticism for using public funds for private means. Sound familiar? He stopped at this stand site to spend the night & was found dead the next morning. Not enough details to conclude whether it was suicide or murder. I wonder why the inn keeper didn’t hear anything?
The site of an old iron mine on the Buffalo River was incredible. Beautiful limestone bluffs on one side & the sparking rapids of the fast moving creek/river on the other. The water was diverted to cool the iron ore process. The river crossing’s name comes from the stone bottom not the pig iron. Streets paved with stone were given the name “metal roads”.
Gordon House, 1818, was built as a stand & river ferry crossing as well as a homestead. John Gordon is given all the credit but his wife oversaw the construction & operated it for over 40 years. He was busy fighting with Andrew Jackson & was killed within a year of completion. Go pioneer women!
The Trace abruptly ended & Interstate 40 traffic began! Poor Edward, as always he did a great job driving. All of the campgrounds near Nashville are right in a row out near Opryland & already quite busy. We were lucky & got a site on the outer row with trees & greenery. Campsite goddess, we thank you!
Shuttles run this strip, picking up tourists & depositing them downtown for a bargain price of $10 roundtrip! No driving the big Beast & trying to park downtown. Yeah! Our shuttle driver was quite the party animal. Driving safely did not seem high on his list. We arrived downtown at 4:30 & the place was jammed with tourists & college spring breakers! Talk about festive! At least 20 bars on Broadway have live music all day & most of the night. Some of it was fantastic & other groups not so; if you don’t like the group, you just move on to the next bar. Really fun & quite the scene for people watching. The same Jerry picked us back up at 9:30 for an even more adventures ride home. A half dozen French Canadians sang all the way back with Jerry fumbling with changing CD’s & finding just the song they wanted to sing, all while weaving in & out of traffic like a mad taxi driver! The favorite song of the ride was “momma, rock me”. I shudder to think what the 2:30 am ride was like!