We got off to a late start today. Storms were raging all around us and we were trying to decide whether to settle down and spend an additional night in Glasgow or take a chance and see how far down the road we could get. By ten o’clock it was looking pretty good outside so we decided to start rolling down the highway. We started on US 31E eventually picking up US 213 heading south. The countryside on our journey took us past little towns, beautiful farmland, rolling hills. We encountered little spits of rain along the way but never enough to stop our journey.
I love traveling the back roads because they are so much more interesting than the high speed four and six lane concrete super highways. I met a man today whose lifestyle is traveling around the country with his wife in a dual wheel Dodge diesel truck pulling a fifth wheel trailer going from military base to military base around the country. He said of his chosen lifestyle, “Our country is so beautiful. I think everyone should, at least one time in their life, travel around the country and see just how beautiful America is”. I agree whole heartedly.
I was a young child in Brooklyn and I must say that there was not much beauty there. Fortunately each year I was able to spend two weeks in Connecticut with a wonderful family who participated in a program ginving an inner city child an opportunity to have a sumer vacation in the country. A very wonderful couple chose me and to this day I have been eternally grateful. They showed me that there was peace and beauty in the world that I could aspire to. Each morning those wonderful summers I would jump out of bed, eat a little breakfast and then run outside with a little glass and look for my favorite flower (Johnny jump up) and put them on my bedside table. This delicate little purple flower made me smile and the memory of those flowers stayed with me each winter. I spent six summers in Connecticutt and if I close my eyes I can still remember each and every moment.
So, as we travel down the highways and by-ways of this beautiful country I count my blessings that Randy has opened up my world because of his love for motorcycles and his joy and curiosity about new places. I sit on the back of the bike and I am in a different world. I try to absorb each and every beautiful thing I see. Now remember beauty is really in the eyes of the beholder. I think there is beauty in seeing an old dilapidated barn far away in a field and seeing that nature is slowing sending her vines up from the ground to reclaim it back into the earth. I think that is beautiful.
Our destination today was the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Randy had been there several years ago and wanted me to experience the tour. We arrived a little after lunch and only waited a few minutes for our tour to start. Our tour guide Jon was interesting and very informative as he took us around the distillery grounds. Jon told the group that Jack Daniels was the oldest registered distillery in the United States and was established and registered in 1866. He went on to talk about the ingredients used and the processes used to create the whiskey. I was impressed with his enthusiasm and obvious pride in his role sharing the story of Jack Daniel, the distillery and its impact on the world.
I think it is very funny that the distillery makes all this wonderful whiskey in a dry county. Our only experience with the whiskey was a small whiff as Jon lifted the lid on a barrel in the mellowing room of the distillery. It smelled great. Once back outside he said, “I had a little boy in one of my recent tours I asked him how he liked the smell. The boy replied, “It smelled like grandpa”. Everyone laughed and we continued on our walk around the grounds.
Once the tour was over we headed down the road to our final destination for the day Huntsville, Alabama. I was very excited because Huntsville is the home of daughter Kara and our two granddaughters Fiona and Lauren.
We arrived in Huntsville found a place to stay for several days, unpacked and went on the hunt for dinner. We were a little concerned about storms coming our way so decided to leave the bike at the hotel and walk to a nearby restaurant. We looked down the street and saw one fast food chain after another. Then we spotted a restaurant with a banner announcing that it was under new management called Golden Rule Bar-B-Q. It was close to the hotel and not a chain so we decided to go in. The restaurant looked very friendly and I loved the country music playing in the background. The menu included many southern favorites, salads and, of course, barbeque.
I wanted something different and spotted an item called ‘Loaded Stuffed Spud”. This wonderful item was a baked potato with cheese, bacon, scallions, butter, sour cream and a choice of barbeque chicken, pork, turkey or brisket and barbeque sauce. It sounded wonderful and it was. The chicken was so wonderfully moist and tender, the potato was perfectly baked. The other ingredients offered a great variety of textures and tastes that made this choice a wonderful taste delight. I choose the sweet barbeque sauce. It had a delicate sweetness that did not overpower the other ingredients and enhanced my taste pleasure.
Just as we were about to order dessert we looked out the window and saw much to our dismay a really large black cloud moving swiftly across the sky. We paid our bill and quickly ran across the parking lot to get to the safety of our hotel. We just made it before the heavens opened. It was a great day of traveling, learning new things and once again enjoying a good meal.
Tomorrow we will be visiting with the family.