Nashville – Day 1

Hank – The stealth camp site we found had the right price but it’s not one to get a good night’s sleep. I got a good hour in when the first train came through. Yes, we saw the tracks out front but we hadn’t see a train all day. Apparently that’s because they come through at night. I think the last one was at 2:00 am. After that I slept well.

We got up early mainly to beat the thunderstorms that were forecast. We had 15 miles to the car rental place but they didn’t open until noon, the same time as the weather.  We covered the distance pretty well and found a great breakfast place about a half mile away. After we ate we went across the street and hung out at a coffee shop until just before noon. In the meantime, the forecast changed and the weather wasn’t going to be that bad after all. The hotel prices are pretty steep in Nashville so Kathy checked out a hostel. You don’t get as much privacy but you definitely pay a lot less so we went with the Nashville Downtown Hostel.

Unfortunately, 4:00 pm is a hard check-in time. We were pretty grungy after having only a baby-wipe bath last night and working up a sweat this morning so we went to a Pilot Truck Stop and paid $12.00 for a shower. Refreshed and wearing clean clothes we drove into town to check things out. The hostel did allow us to drop our bikes off and put them in storage. While we were doing that the heavens opened up and the streets were instantly flooded by a very hard rain. We stood in the lobby for a while waiting for it to let up. We drove around a little more to see where things were and then returned to the hostel to check in.

After getting our room we parked the truck in a 24-hour garage not far away and then walked around downtown. Broadway is the Bourbon Street of Nashville. Lots of restaurants and bars and loud music. Almost all of the venues have the band in the very front of the building with the windows open to their backs. I don’t know if that’s to make sharing the music easier with the outside world or to help keep the band members cool. There are many options for “touring” the downtown area. You can stand in an open-top bus, stand in a trailer pulled by a tractor, sit in a carriage pulled by a horse, or sit and pedal in a pedal trolley. With the exception of the carriage, you can listen to loud music and drink beer. The pedal trolleys seemed to be very popular with the young ladies.

It seems jean shorts and cowboy boots are the rage here. A couple of boot stores have signs saying, “Buy one pair, get two free.” I didn’t go in to find out what the catch was. And I don’t need a pair of cowboy boots anyway.

We were hungry and tired so we elected to have an early dinner. We were hoping to get together with Lynda and Mark, the couple from Washington, D.C., we met at the museum near Brownsville. (Without looking back at the blog I don’t know how many days ago that was. Two? Four?) Anyway, we were bushed from lack of sleep so we sent our regrets. Who knows, maybe our paths will cross again like they have with other people we’ve befriended along the way.

Kathy – Our sleep was minimal last night due to the trains loud whistles and ground shaking as they frequently went by and because it didn’t cool down. The low was only 67 degrees and the humidity remained high. So this morning was just about getting up and finishing up the last few miles before the projected fierce thunderstorms (that never happened) were supposed to hit.

We rode 15 miles to the renal car place in Nashville, Tennessee. We climbed just about all of it with our total elevation at 900 feet via my accurate Fitbit watch. Not a bad ride at all. We had a headwind but it actually helped to keep us cool and didn’t hinder us any more than the climbing itself. Temps were in the 70’s with 100% humidity, so just a little warm riding. I was surprised I was not sore after our 60 miler yesterday with 3,460 feet of climbing. My thighs only ached a small bit during the steep climbs today. Maybe I am getting it to shape here. 🤗

Upon arriving to Nashville we had a good breakfast, relaxed, and waited for the rental car place to open up at noon. At breakfast and while sitting in the coffee shop I saw and smelled all the cleaned up folks with their nice clothes on and gals with their sweet smelling hair and/or perfume…while we stunk! We sweated like crazy yesterday during our 60 miler and again this morning. The baby wipe bath last night only helped somewhat. I really wanted a shower. So, we got a rental truck and loaded up the bikes and bags. Hank’s driving the speed limit but it feels like we are going much too fast. I quickly forget how fast a car travels compared to us slugging along on our weighed down bikes. Anyway we have fast wheels now, happy for that. The hostel would not allow early check in and I didn’t want to wait four more hours before getting cleaned up. Must say, the $12 Pilot Truck Stop shower was totally awesome! 👏 We both felt SO much better after getting cleaned up. Sometimes it’s really just the basics that make you feel better.

After getting settled in the hostel we ventured out and about in Downtown Nashville. Apparently this is the place to party with every kind of large vehicle painted up in different themes and equipped with music and as much alcohol as you like to make you happy. We aren’t interested in any of that. We found a nice quiet resturant relaxed with a healthy salad and a drink then called it a night. We were both super tired. Tomorrow we plan to hit some museums and see what all this town has to offer. 🤠 🎶👢😎🎸

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