Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Boldly Going Where We've Never Gone Before

Captain's log, SS Whelan Wagon;  In Search of Habitable Climate

Wagon Date - 11.6.2014 - 11.9.2014

  Detra and I landed in Nashville for a few days of boot stompin' fun.  This is a great town to party!  Downtown is bar after bar of good music and cheap beer.  The vibe here is a lot like Memphis only bigger, louder and more obnoxious and I mean that in a nice way.  I don't know if it's the music or the people it draws but there is lots of hootin' and hollerin' going on.

  We stayed at the  KOA Nashville which is about 7mi. from downtown and close to the Grand Ole' Opry. This KOA sits beside a Camping World and two other RV parks (Jellystone and Two Rivers RV parks).  They are rebuilding here but it was on the other side of the park and was no bother to us, like all KOA's it was a nice place with friendly people.  We took advantage of a shuttle for $10/pp round trip, it drops you right in the thick of things and I think is the easiest way to get downtown.

  This week happened to be the week of the CMA Awards so there were plenty of people in town.  We found out they record the Nashville Christmas show while the stars are here for the awards.  We toured the strip Friday afternoon to get the lay of the land and listen to some live music without the nighttime crush.  The bands here don't get paid to play by the bars, they work for tips and the chance to get discovered.  We sat and listened in a few places and ironically really enjoyed The Disappointments

We ate at local favourite Jack's Bar-B-Que which serves very good food with great smoky flavour and three different sauces to try .  They smoke their meat for 18hrs before serving it up cafeteria style to the non-stop line of people that are there from open to close.

Waiting our turn.

Plenty of choices to spend your money.

Mix of new and old on Broadway

  I had to stop by Jack White's studio "Third Man Records", he is a very talented artist with his hand in many types of music and art, some I like and some I don't but he is one of the best out there today.  We walked from the touristy area and through a less than desirable neighborhood to get there but it was on my list and we made it out alive.  There is a small store selling related items and oddities if you are a fan.
  On Saturday night we returned to bar hop and listen to more good music.  Broadway is always busy but the weekends are a crazy crush of people and lines at many of the more popular bars, but never a cover charge unless there is a special headliner.  We spent a few hours in the mass of humanity and headed back to the mothership. 

This was running all over "Do a shot at every red light"

Broadway is a very vibrant place
  We missed quite a few things here, The Opry at The Ryman Theater was sold out, a few historical sites to see and could spend plenty more time listening to the talent here.  Nashville is something we will see again as many of our future travels will pass this way. 
Outside The Opry
Wagon Date; 11.10.2014 - 11.12.2014
 Fighting crowds, big lights, the hustle and bustle of city life left us needing a little quiet R/R.  This is a tough 6 month mission but we will explore and bring peace to wherever we go! We pointed the pilot pod to Natchez Trace State Park and hit the thrusters. 
  A nice journey on a beautiful day and after a short hour and a half we sent the landing party down to paradise.  This park is huge, we hit the front gates and then drove 11 miles to the campground at Pin Oak Lake. 
Our therapist' couch

Dinner on, not breeze, a view like this and the Leafs are on the TV = perfection

 This time of year it was not busy at all we had the pick of many great sites.  A handful of other campers spread throughout the park made it feel like we had it to ourselves.  We picked a spot on the water and had our own private view.  Natchez Trace is a fantastic park and we spent the next two days taking in the view and walking around the park in the warm sunshine.
We could have stayed here forever but mother nature was about to become our tour guide.
Wagon date 11.11.2014 - 11.13.2014
 There was a foreboding presence in the universe, a cold front sweeping toward us.  Taking a page from the star fleet manual we bugged out and hit the warp drive.  Our only hope was to face it head on and bust out the other side. 
 Warm and comfortable in the pilot pod we put in some time and landed at Downtown Riverfront RV Park in Little Rock, Arkansas.  This park is right in town and while not a pretty place, would be the place if you were here for something in the city.  Sitting across the river is the Clinton Presidential Library and an easy walk across the foot bridge from the park.
 Little Rock looks interesting from the warmth of the pod with nice cafes and restaurants in the market area but it was cold and we didn't even give it a chance. The cold hand of Mother nature was telling us to go.
"Warp drive please, Mr. Sulu"
We were cruising nicely when we must have hit some kind of worm hole.  One minute we were on a modern freeway heading west and the next thing we knew we were thrown back in time on to an old Star fleet highway.  Missing pieces and the travellers of a slower paced time, Route 66 is still alive for the nostalgic wanderer. 
 I would have preferred a sixties Corvette to cruise the Mother Road but they are hard to sleep in.  Much of the road is replaced nowadays but there are still broken relics and beautiful restored  things to see along the parts that still exist. 
 We travelled along until we came to our first Diners, Drive-in's and Dives restaurant of this year's trip.  The Rock Café is a great place to kick things off, it was part of the inspiration for the Disney movie Cars.  Story has it that the owner was the basis for the 'Sally Carrera" character in the movie.
A little piece of history and good food too!

This is what I had, and yes it was good.

 Onto Oklahoma City just an hour down the road for the night.  Roadrunner Rv Park was home for the night, but -5C (22F) meant staying inside and trying to stay warm.  So we set-up the satellite dish and watched the Leafs game.  OKC might be nice, but we were not going to brave the cold, so 'til next time it's...
 " Beam me up, Scotty".
 Warp 7.5 (75 mph - Boy! does that eat the fuel!) all the way to the Tucumcari KOA in New Mexico.  This was our first glimpse of this gorgeous desert landscape that is absolutely stunning when you see it in person.  Here it was still well below freezing and the camp host told us it was 80F just two days before.  The camp host said the temperature had dropped over 45F degrees in 12hrs at the park.  Another quick stay was all we had here as the cold was still pushing us to far off places.
 We were up at dawn packed up and were on the road before our wheels had a chance to freeze to the ground.
"Put the shields up, we're not stopping for anything"
 More scenery to take in along the highway and over the past few days we realise we have to come back this way in the spring if the weather co-operates.  Albuquerque and Santa Fe are places we wanted to spend time in but we will wait until it is warmer to see these areas. 
 So where did the weather break?  Well it started to warm up in Arizona and that is where we find ourselves now.  Sedona, Arizona to be exact, since this past Friday. 
All I can say about the Sedona area right now is... this is where the Earth shouts... 
 "LOOK AT ME!!!!" ...and you can't take your eyes off of her.
I will report back to Star Fleet when my fingers have thawed. 
Live long and prosper,


  1. Hi Scott and Detra,
    Glad your fingers thawed out enough for you to write another enjoyable account of your travels. Love all the photos..it really gives us all a sense of what you are discovering. Great line ...."this is where the Earth shouts...
    "LOOK AT ME!!!!" ...and you can't take your eyes off of her.

  2. Thanks Mum. This a gorgeous area and weather is nice too. We'll be heading out Fri. if we can tear ourselves away.

  3. Nashville looked very cool, it would be nice to spend some time there catching some of the up and coming bands. Good idea trying to outrun the weather, I think Arizona is the only place in the country that is not having a cold snap!

    1. Nashville is fun place, even for a Rock and Roller like me. We will be heading south to even better weather soon.