After a last minute scramble, as usual, we hit the road. It was weird and exciting knowing a random mention in July of this year is actually being executed. We were heading for Nashville but planned to stop in Lexington to see Colonel Sanders grave because why not? We’re going to try to take a random pit stop each day in an effort to slow down something we’re not used to. Not having an end date, a meeting point, a finish line, or really much of a fixed agenda is new and should be an interesting change for us. We’ve always been more of a seen it, check, move on sort of duo so Milly the sloth hangs from the cupboard to remind us to slow our roll.
We went ahead and boondocked in a Wal-Mart park lot as we arrived to Nashville quite late. Boondocking is a new word in our vocabulary, we’ve got a lot of new words being added to our vocabulary, grey/black water tank, full hook ups, plug ins, there’s a lot to learn, and as usual we’re just going to learn as we go. The fact that the generator didn’t start the first time we started it was a bit worrying, but we persevered and it kicked on eventually. We’re just not really sure how much power we’re drawing, how often we need to use the generator or really anything electric or power related.
Nashville was great, we managed to park up in a truck stop overnight and walk into the city, a little note to self that it never hurts to ask if you can park somewhere, it was free to park, safe and very convenient. New in Nashville seems to be the slogan, everything is new but it’s still a very small city. It’s become a very hip city and that can be seen everywhere, we swung by Jack White’s studio, a coffee shop and distillery in an old car warehouse, a co-op of small huts for local businesses and lots of good bbq. Each plate I have gets better and better.
We left Nashville and took a pitstop in Lynchburg just south of the city to tour the Jack Daniels distillery, I highly recommend it though I had to translate nearly everything for Jonathan, southern accents are apparently very difficult for him to understand, I imagine it will only get harder from here. After 3 very cold nights in Milton the relative luxury of a campsite where we could plug in and use the heater all night were a godsend. It is unseasonably cold. It’s always unseasonable cold when we got on holiday. But luckily we’re not up North, which is getting hammered.
We swung down towards Mississippi to have a look at Elvis’ birthplace (hint, it’s a tiny tiny white house) then went back toward Tennessee to hit Memphis. There’s a lot to see in Memphis even if the city itself isn’t much to look at. Blues artist crawled up from Mississippi into Memphis to make a name for themselves and any musician who was anyone in blues, soul or early rock and roll cut their teeth in Memphis. We toured, Stax records and Sun records who had very different approaches to their tour and both of which were very worth our time. We switched gears and went to the National Civil Rights Museum, which the motel where Martin Luther King Jr was shot has been renovated into. Also very much worth a visit, though you’d better carve yourself out a lot of time, the museum is very big. We camped up next to the Mighty Mississippi and realized we’d only been on the road a week, how could that even be possible? The rest of our plans are loose, Mardi Gras is the 17th and we don’t have to be in Austin until the 21st. We have a lot to learn, a lot, we really have very little idea of how anything works in Milton. But we’re settling in.