This morning Dianne's former husband Bob (who lives here in Nashville) came to our hotel to see us off. He also brought her here from the airport yesterday... That was nice!
Bob took our photo in the parking lot before we loaded up to go to breakfast.
We had heard that when in Nashville, one must eat breakfast at the Loveless Cafe, so we bypassed the hotel's continental breakfast and drove to the Loveless, which happens to be adjacent to the southern terminus of the Natchez Trace Parkway! Breakfast was large and filling.... they are famous for their biscuits and we sure ate enough of them!
After breakfast we pumped up our tires and cycled right onto the Parkway. Below are Barbara and Stan. This is the first time they have toured with us. They drove up from Florida.
Below is Tom, our friend from Wyandotte, MI. He is "swiffering" his bike before riding.
Above is Otis, from MI and below is my husband Bill, our sherpa!
Ed is from Florida and will be going on with us to Arkansas when our trip down the Natchez Trace Parkway is done.
Below is Fred, from Michigan. We've been on a number of trips with Fred.
Diana, left, came from Michigan with us, and Dianne flew in from Florida.
We entered the parkway and found it very pleasant... there was little traffic and it was sunny and in the 70s.
One of our first stops was just a few miles down the road, where we stopped to view the double arch bridge which carries the NTP 155 feet above hwy TN 96. Bill was waiting for us with snacks and drinks at the pullout for the Gordon house, built in 1818 at the site of a ferry across the Duck River. While at our break stop, Terry the Park Ranger stopped to talk to us all about bike safety on the parkway. He was great fun to talk to and gave us some local insights.
It was quite hilly throughout the day's ride, a fact that we knew ahead of time, but knowing did not make it any easier! Mid morning the wind came up, which was a good news/bad news situation--it cooled us off on this hot day (mid 80s) but the quartering headwind made the cycling more strenuous. We all spread out along the route, making it hard for Bill to keep track of us all... I ended the day riding with Ed, and we stopped at Jackson Falls and hiked down to see the falls, a worthwhile endeavor.
We also hiked in to see the "old trace", a section of the original path used for thousands of years by migrating herds of animals, native american peoples, hunters, merchants and armies. We had a second rest stop, which we called lunch, and finished our day at the Fall Hollow Bed and Breakfast. There are no restaurants near here, so we arranged ahead of time for the innkeepers to prepare our dinner too. The dinner was super and Bill (innkeeper with his wife Kathy) entertained us with stories of other places along the NTP, and some Civil War trivia. We enjoyed our dinner and our stay here at their lovely inn.