I have travelled a lot of miles on two wheels and I have been to a lot of places … but there are two things I never pass up … a trip to Nashville and a ride on the Natchez Trace. First, I am a big country music fan … second there are few roads better suited for motorcycle riding than the Trace and when I can combine the two, it is a no-brainer – I’m in! When Tammi Arender called, and said she was covering a big music city awards ceremony that featured Garth Brooks, Ricky Skaggs and Eagle’s guitarist and writer Don Felder, I was packed and heading up the Trace on Red Rider before I could hit “end call” on my cellphone….
The Natchez Trace is special to me for a lot of reasons … It is one of the most beautiful roads in the south and often makes the top ten of all motorcycle rides in the country. Since it is a Federal Parkway, there is no commercial traffic, that means no big rigs and much less traffic. The Trace doesn’t go through any cities or town, well it does but you would never know it … no stops signs, no traffic lights and NO BILLBOARDS…
Just before reaching Nashville is perhaps one of the most beautiful sites on the Trace… the Bird Song Hollow Bridge, which carries Trace Traffic 155 feet above the valley and Tennessee Highway 96. I always make it a point to stop here and admire the beauty of Birdsong Hollow and the double arched bridge from both above and below…
The Birdsong Hollow Bridge It is the perfect place to stop and reflect on just how wonderful the trace is and how great it is that it has been preserved and protected….
Upon arriving in Music City Tammi and I immediately hit the streets of downtown Nashville. I already had a fancy dress for the big awards ceremony at the Musicians’ Hall of Fame, but I needed some fancy boots to complete my wardrobe.
Nothing like shopping for boots in downtown Nashville, especially in all the shops up and down Broadway. It didn’t take long to find the perfect Pair at French’s Shoes and Boots just one block off Broadway on Second Avenue.
In fact, Tammi and I had enough time left over for a tour of the Ryman Auditorium, the old church that served as the home of the Grand Old Opry from 1943 to 1974. There is a lot of history in this old building. We even had enough time for a quick “coke” at the Famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. I just love looking at all the old pictures on the wall and listening to all the future Nashville stars who perform there.
Back at the hotel we quickly changed into our fancy dresses. Yes those are lipstick kisses all over my dress, just like the ones on the lipstick bike, and of course my new boots are red. What else, right?
At the Awards ceremony, I felt like a star when Tammi and I walked the red carpet. Actually, we got to walk it several times since we were filming a segment for LA Rider.
Inside I got to meet all the stars and watch Tammi interview Garth and Ricky and Don. What an incredible evening. Later we enjoyed a meal on the rooftop of one of the restaurants on Broadway and watched the sunset. I had only been in Music City for less than a day and I quickly understood why Tammi has made it her second home.
Nashville is a beautiful city, filled with an abundance of wonderful, interesting and talented people and most of them are just like you and me. Except they can sing and play instruments. The only place I sing is in the shower, and its soundproofed!
If you want to spend some time in a great southern city check out Nashville and don’t forget to take the Trace…
See you on the road…