Natchez Trace Tour Day #14
Land Between The Lakes TN to Grand Rivers KY
Today: 50.7 miles Cumulative this tour: 749.5 miles
Only 20 yards from my tent this morning deer were pawing around.
I took in the quiet morning sounds of owl hoots, geese cackles, fish jumping, insects singing. One fine morning to be alive, and here. Mist rose off the water, followed by a sudden chill that cleared it all, then more warmth and mist.
Perhaps it was a minor mistake last night to pitch my tent beneath a big oak. Throughout the night, acorns would drop. I’d hear one hit high up in the tiers of leaves, then lower, and finally hit the ground like a golf ball. Pfft. Only one hit my tent.
Can of coffee and Pop Tarts for breakfast. Jack had a banana, a fruit pie, and orange juice. We lingered, not wanting to leave.
It was a long slow slog back out. I didn’t think there was any way our Surlys could scale some of the gravel-covered slopes, but they are really amazing machines. Nice low gearing, and fully capable of bouncing along with all that weight.
North again on the Woodlands Trace through the heart of LBL. The same 300’ hill over and over again, up and down. I’d half expected nice flat ground between the lakes.
We came upon a herd of bison and stopped for photos. A pick-up truck was out among them tossing feed around. Then, to our entertainment, another truck rode slowly around and around the herd fumigating them while they ate, at least eight long slow circles.
The hills seemed endless, but we finally stopped for lunch. Biting flies were a small issue, but it was good to get refueled. By that time, we’d already crossed into Kentucky, state number 27!
At the Northern LBL Visitors Center, we talked to a nice guy on a motorcycle from Paris TN. He was familiar with Dunnelly FL, Rainbow River, Crystal River, the manatees, etc.
We crossed the Bridge Between the Rivers, which was 1-way due to construction. Jack spied a Kentucky port-a-john there and stopped for photos. On through Grand Rivers and up to I-24, we were looking for a cheapy motel. Found one at America’s Best Value Inn. While checking in we chatted with a strange lady with a little dog and a male friend with a foul mouth.
Another typical evening on tour. Two hours of vegetation, shower, order pizza. We finally tried the TV to find the game and found NO ESPN!! The desk wasn’t sure what to do about it, so the owner finally came out and explained that he’d just bought the place and it was full of ancient cable TV equipment. He even led us into the equipment room but had no answers for us.
We finally thought it might be worth trying to stream in ESPN on my tablet. I found the WatchESPN app and installed it, but then they wanted my Cox cable username and password (who keeps track of such things?). I called my son at home who then looked through some old paperwork and found it.
Bang – we had the game! On a tiny 7” screen. Better than nothing, but of course it periodically halted when it had to buffer. A nice heavy pizza arrived late in the game from a place called Pizza By The Pound in Calvert City KY. They make great crust and really lay on the ingredients. I’d order this pizza at home – it’s really good.
I bet Jack $1 on the Patriots. The Chiefs annihilated them!
It was weird watching the game on that tiny screen leaned up on the table between our beds. We had to turn our pillows around and crane our necks to watch it.