Saturday, October 27, 2007

Mr. Daniels

Friday, October 26th, 2007
Nashville to Chattanooga, Tennessee

via Jack Daniel's Distillery, of course!
I am a Tennessee Squire, after all!

201.0 miles
overcast and drizzly

Lots of lakes and rivers hereabouts! I started the day floating alongside the Cumberland River on the rain soaked road.

Speaking of roads, music obviously brings plenty of revenue to the state - the roads are all some of the best I've seen (outside maybe Kansas!) - well laid out and in excellent condition. Even those sections under construction are in good condition and easy to travel. That may be partly because of the weather and no workmen messing things up, but all in all a very good place to drive!

The turn off towards the sacred grounds of Jack Daniels took me back into horse country - more of the everyday-folk type of horse country. Not so many huge estates, just lovely fields of grass for the great looking animals. The signs here say "pleasure horses" and "pleasure walking horses" - as in Tennessee Walkers!

Passed the "Walking Horse Loan & Jewelry" store in Shelbyville - makes you think more of a pawn shop, doesn't it?

Another sign said "Horse for Sale, with 155.2 acres" - rather unique way to try to sell some land, wouldn't you say?

Started seeing small herds of cattle too - like 10-20 cows - like my rancher friend in Ulupalakua, Maui with about that many! Just right for someone with just a little land and plenty of good grass!

Jack Daniels. I was able to visit the Distillery back in 1982 when a couple of us Blondes went to the Kentucky Derby. It sure has changed! The whole town has changed. Lynchburg, Tennessee has become a tourist trap! Reminded me of Tombstone - lots of little shops full of junk, local folks in costume, hay rides up and down the couple streets. Very cutesie! I passed on that adventure.

And the distillery itself has become 21st century, with computers in the lobby so you can investigate the procedures and history without having to take the tour! It's actually a lovely building, but I liked it better before.

Gee, I'm sounding like an old fart with that comment!

What was great is that even though Moore County is still dry, they did pass a law back in the mid 90s allowing the distillery to sell some JD, even if you can still not taste it on the tour. The tasting room still offers only lemonade!

They don't sell the regular stuff though - only some high class bottles. What's good about that, for me especially, is that it's the old 86 proof stuff, not the boring 80 proof crap they've been selling for several years now. I bought four bottles, and I'm not even going to tell you how much I paid for them! This stuff is just for me and me alone, proper sipping whiskey! The bottles are collectors items, to justify the price! But since the charming Canadian authorities took my antique bottle with my personal name plaque on it, I had to have something special, right?

I asked if the employees received a discount on the good stuff, and they do not. They do, however, receive a bottle each on the first of each month! It's only a pint of the 80 proof stuff, but it's free!

Back on the road - there are a whole bunch of churches in this part of the country!

As in three or four in each tiny little cluster of homes, and several in between. So many, in fact, that I passed one rather dilapidated old church with a sign out front saying "under new management" - huh?

And then there was the store called "Glitz and Glamour - Bridal and Cheerwear" - I'm not even going there!!!

Lots more brick homes here too - no comments on 'built like a brick s* house" please. Especially after the above mentioned Glitz store! Can't remember if I mentioned how much I've enjoyed seeing all the homes made of brick in the last couple states. New brick, used brick, colored bricks, textured bricks - some very attractive homes! If I were ever to build again, (NOT in this lifetime!) I'd seriously consider brick - I love the look!

Moving more and more into low mountains - heavily forested. I'm getting close to the Great Smoky Mountains and the Appalachian range - can't wait! The sun peeked out, finally, as I headed down into a little curve of Georgia and then back up into Tennessee.

Passed thru Chattanooga on the way to my rest stop for the night - beautiful city nestled in the hills with Lookout Mountain overlooking the city and the Tennessee River meandering thru the area! Really nice!

Except the area has been suffering a drought - sad with all the other nearby areas being drenched and drowned. Lots of trees dying, but there are so many, that the green just looks textured! A beautiful friendly area!

The "Bald Headed Bistro" makes you wonder, though, if only baldies are allowed?

Speaking of rest stops, I meant to mention the RV park in Nashville, and give it especially high marks. I don't comment on the parks often, although at some point I intend to list each I've been to over on the side of the blog somewhere, but this one was really good. The Two Rivers Campground in Nashville, right on Music Valley Drive, just a couple miles from the Grand Ole Opry, offering tickets and transportation to many attractions. The reservation process itself is what really caught my attention. When they found out I was a single, they put me close to the office, where it there was a little more activity so I'd be safer (not that I ever worry about safety, truly!), and when I asked about a laundry, they put me on the side closest to it. They asked if I have a satellite for my TV connection, and then asked where on the coach it was, so they could consider that in placing me, which is really important when there are trees to consider! That really impressed me! The fact that it's a lovely park, with plenty of activities, close to everything, was just a bonus. Two Rivers is a great park and worthy of consideration of anyone visiting the area!

Oh, BTW, what is a Tennessee Squire, you asked? Jack Daniels has the best promotional come-on I've ever seen. Way back when, I bought one of JD's great big bottles . . . I think it was back in '72. It had a tag on the bottle saying how special these particular bottles were, and they would like me to register it. I did. They sent me a personalized brass neck plaque with my name, the bottle number and date. Neat! Then I started receiving stuff in the mail. Some silly, some really terrific. I was invited to join the Tennessee Squires, an elite group honoring those of good taste and upbringing, requiring recommendation from another member. I would have to accept being addressed as 'Squire', even though a male term, as I would be one of the first women invited to join. No problem! With the membership, I received a piece of land in Moore Country, plot 3849d. Silly stuff - I received a twist of tobacco the size of a small fist, and a note from a 'neighbor Squire', offering to plant tobacco on my plot because the land was so very good. I was invited on a coon hunt, though I'd have to bring my own dogs and gun. A couple weeks later, I received a photo of the winning hunter and his coon! I received an invitation to offer my birthday greetings to some old broad having her 100th birthday. I did that, and a few weeks later received a copy of the Lynchburg newspaper with a two page spread of birthday greetings and mine was there, in my handwriting! I've received two sets of glasses, three books of old country verse and photos, two records of back country songs. I could go on and on. I have kept it all, and have at least 6 inches of stuff in my file cabinet! I have to keep drinking JD. There is no option!

Chattanooga North KOA
Exit 20 off I-75
Cleveland, TN 37320

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