Nashville to Memphis
Karim, right, maintains that he and I are brothers. We just have different mothers. There is a lot of truth to that. He recently became engaged to Dana, left. Fortunately he was in Nashville where she lives when I passed through. I've been wanting to meet her. They make a wonderful pair: Karim is Syrian and Dana Lebanese descent, silly in love and look so good together. I spent the evening with them in Dana's home.
Near Franklin, Tenn.
On my way out of Nashville I saw Lee Ryan flying along Highway 100 on this unusual bicycle. I turned around and drove what I thought was sufficiently ahead capture an image, but he flew by me before I could get out of the Jeep. I learned that it is a prototype — an electrically assisted bike called an Aerobic Cruiser. You pedal, then tap a switch and continue to pedal while the electric motor magnifies your output. He let me ride it, and it is a dream. One can easily maintain 20 mph with the effort it takes to do 10 or 12. His brother in law developed it and has started production in Memphis. Lee is a retired businessman working on a marketing and promotion plan.
I was planning to follow back roads into Memphis. but Lee Ryder — see photo above — convinced me to take the Natchez Trace Parkway. It follows the trail men who floated flatboats loaded with grains and produce down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, sold their boats for lumber at journey's end, then walked hundreds of miles home. In the early 19th century, this area was wilderness and the trace an important part of the economy of the region. Above is a section that has been preserved.
Leipers Fork, Tenn.
Brunch at Puckett's Grocery in Leipers Fork, Tenn. Karen Baker holds Thatcher Looney in the store that serves three meals a day, has musical performances on a regular basis, a movie night for children of the community and, oh yes, groceries. The town was settled in the late 1790s by families from North Carolina and Virginia who received land for service in the Revolutionary War. It is named for one of those early settlers and the small creek that runs through town. It was a way point along the Natchez Trace.
Natchez Trace in Tennessee
... a young snapping turtle — shuffling from one boggy meadow to another — who I helped cross the road. He repaid me by attempting to hide when I made this photo.
Duck River near Stanton, Tenn.
I left the southernly inclined trace to head west for Memphis. The railroad trestle divides old Highway 50 near Stanton, Tenn.
Destination: the house of my daughter Shannon and her husband Brian, home of my grandson Max. Look closely and you can see Max peeking between the columns on the right.