•July 10, 2014 • 1 Comment


I really don’t remember the name of the first person who called me a Chrome Cowgirl. It started back when I got my 1999 Yamaha Road Star and was shopping for accessories. I have always loved fancy stuff. You know bling; fancy earrings, bracelets and such. So when I started making my “Star my own,” as the old Yamaha commercials used to say, my eyes were immediately drawn to chrome. One day I walked into a local dealership wearing lots of bling and my red cowboy hat and someone said, “here comes the chrome cowgirl,” and at that very moment T.W. had yet another nickname.

In 2004 when we started the TV show I met a real cowgirl, one who liked both horses and Harleys. Soon my new riding buddy, Tammi Arender, became Chrome Cowgirl Number Two.

Tammi Arender is a real country girl too. Raised on a farm along the Mississippi River delta in north Louisiana, near the town of Tallulah; Tammi grew up riding horses, tractors and other farm machinery, helping her father Billy Ray Arender on his cotton and soybean farm. She was also a champion cutting horse rider, so she had a penchant for fancy things too.

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After graduating from college Tammi left the farm to pursue a career as a television anchor, working for TV stations in Little Rock, Nashville, Baton Rouge and Monroe becoming an extremely talented, highly successful and much sought after television journalist.
But even though Tammi left the farm, the farm never left her. In fact today she holds what she likes to call her dream job; anchoring the nightly farm and agricultural news on the Rural Television Network in Nashville.

When I first met Tammi, I admit I was a little intimidated. Here I was, someone who had never even seen the inside of a TV studio, teaming up with a veteran performer to do a television show. I have always been at home on the seat of a motorcycle, but being in front of a camera made me a just a tad bit nervous. Okay, I was pretty terrified.
Chrome Cowgirl Number Two however made me feel right at home, encouraging me when I needed it and defending me when our sometimes mean and often impatient Executive Producer (I won’t say his name, but it sounds like Bob) would get frustrated with me.
What has always amazed me about Tammi is the depth of her talent. She can take on any assignment and she always gets things on the first take. If we did a blooper reel, Tammi would hardly be on it. I on the other hand could probably star in an endless series of blooper reels.
But don’t ask her to ride in the rain and don’t ask her to work when she is hungry. A particular trip to the Smoky Mountains comes to mind, but that is another story.
Over the years I have shared a lot of road experiences with Tammi. She is a good friend and a great riding partner. Today with her in Nashville and me in Baton Rouge, I don’t get to see her as much as I would like, except when the TV show brings us together. This fall, I hope to plan a few road trips with her — as long as it isn’t raining, that is!

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In 2005, my friends Mickey and Jack Jones, teamed up with Nashville songwriter Byron Hill and penned a song for us. The song “Chrome Cowgirls” has a line in it that says, “God bless Chrome Cowgirls like us.”
Here’s to Chrome Cowgirl Number Two, my riding buddy, Tammi Arender.

See you on the road!




•July 2, 2014 • 2 Comments


I have always enjoyed riding along the Mississippi River. As I have mentioned here before, riding alongside a twisting, turning river like the Mississippi provides great scenery, pleasant curves and quite often some great out of the way places to visit and explore.
I just returned from one of the best “river rides” I have ever experienced – a ride that took me to the very end of the earth in Louisiana – and then some.
If you look at a map of Louisiana it basically looks like a boot and the area that makes up the “big toe” of that boot is Plaquemines Parish.

For the past three days I have been riding and exploring Plaquemines Parish for a feature on our television series America on 2 Wheels. What an experience it has been!
I spent the night in an old plantation home that once graced the label of Southern Comfort whisky. I had cocktails and a fabulous meal in what was once a Catholic church.

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I went to an all-girl fishing rodeo and took a boat ride to the mouth of the Mississippi river.

DSC_0472Boat Ride

I explored an old fort named in honor of the hero of the Battle of New Orleans and I toured what has to be one of the most elaborate and beautiful fishing camps I have ever seen.

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I also spent some time in Venice. Venice, Louisiana of course; aptly named since the main mode of transportation here is by boat.
In fact, the road ends just south of Venice, where I took an hour boat ride down the Mississippi to Port Eads, an incredible lodge built at the foot of an old lighthouse.

cypress coveEADS
To top it all off I got a key to Plaquemines Parish and an invitation from Parish President Billy Nunguesser to come back anytime.

Plaquemines Parish is a great place for riding. The traffic is light, the roads are in terrific shape and the people are unbelievably friendly and helpful.
If you like salt water fishing, you probably already know about Plaquemines Parish. I am told that Venice is one of the top spots for Saltwater fishing in the entire country.
But you don’t have to be a fisherman, or woman for that matter, to enjoy spending a little time in this part of the world. I had a great time riding Plaquemines Parish and it is now one of my very favorite Louisiana destinations.

Want to have a great time? Stuff a change of clothes in your saddlebags and head south down the Mississippi to the ends of the earth. You won’t regret it and if you’re like me, you will definitely want to make it one of your regular rides.
See you on the road!


•June 19, 2014 • 3 Comments

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I will never forget the first time I met her. I actually think we scared her half to death. In was in May of 2005. Bob Courtney and I were headed back from a meeting. We were in my Suburban and I was driving. Suddenly Bob spotted a woman riding a pink Harley and said “follow that bike.” Of course I complied. It was a cool bike and the woman was sporting a long blond ponytail.
After several blocks she pulled into an office complex and we whipped in behind her. Bob and I were both out of the truck and headed toward her. She had pulled off her helmet and was holding it like a weapon.
Bob quickly explained that we meant her no harm and were simply curious about the custom Harley and the lady riding it. Perhaps, Bob told her, the bike could be featured on our motorcycle TV show. Luckily she had heard of the show.

Her name was Lovie Zago and within a few weeks she was one of the Chrome Cowgirls and making regular appearances on our show, handling a segment called “Wrenching and Riding.”
You see, Lovie may have been a girl, but she could fix things. You often found a wrench in Lovie’s hand and a smudge of grease on her forehead. She worked on her own car and bike as well as household appliances. She would tackle just about any mechanical task. She had served in the Navy and was a trained welder. Lovie was a real, modern day “Rosie the Riveter!”

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At the time, she was a single mom, who often worked two jobs to make ends meet — but she also found time for riding and she loved motorcycles. Lovie, who by the way was born on Valentine’s Day and thus given her special name, was a great riding companion and a pretty cool lady. I always enjoyed the time I spent with her.
A few years ago however, Lovie reconnected with her former husband and moved to West Virginia to be with her teenage son. She did come back two years ago for a few weeks and did several cameo appearances with Tammi and me on our show. But I don’t get to see her much anymore and that’s too bad.
Lovie recently sold the pink Harley, the one we called the Barbie Bike, and now rides on the back of her husband’s Street Glide. Even so, she is and always will be a Chrome Cowgirl to me.
I think a trip to West Virginia may be on my agenda soon.

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See you on the road!
T.W. Robinson


•June 11, 2014 • Leave a Comment


We all know that Texans like to call their state God’s Country and if God did indeed live in Texas he would probably live in Hill Country.

This region of central Texas, known for its rugged hills of limestone and granite covered with top soil, stretches all the way from the northern suburbs of San Antonio to just west of downtown Austin…

And if God were to fashion an area exclusively for motorcyclists it would probably be Hill Country – where thin ribbons of asphalt wind their way through sweeping turns and mountain like vistas or dramatic straightaways through rocky flatlands. In Hill Country the scenery is ever changing and in many ways reminiscent of what the American west must have looked like two hundred years ago.

I made my first trip to Texas Hill Country nearly a decade ago and I have been back several times since. One of the things that makes this area of Texas a great place to ride is the assortment of places to stop along the way.

Where else but in Hill Country can you pick your barbecue off the grill… pay for it by the pound and eat it right off the butcher paper it was wrapped in, with a roll of paper towels nearby for the cleanup. At Coopers BBQ in Llano you can do just that and believe me at Cooper’s it’s all about the meat.

Or how about a full size replica of Stonehenge, complete with some Easter Island figures thrown in for good measure? Yep you’ll find that in Hill Country too.

And then there’s Harry’s, a real Hill Country Hole in the Wall, where they serve up cold long necks from an ice chest and encourage you to write your name on the wall; or just about anywhere else you would like.

But perhaps one of the most famous places in all of Hill Country is a little bitty place with a really big name. It’s a place so small that you really have to be looking for it to find it – but ask any country music fan and they can tell you all about it.

Luckenbach, Texas was established around 1850 or so. There never really was very much here, just a couple of barns and a General Store/Post Office. In fact the biggest Luckenbach ever got was about four hundred people. The total population had dwindled to just three when Texas Folklorist Hondo Crouch and some friends bought it for $30,000 back in 1970.
But in 1973 after Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings recorded their famous song, Luckenbach, Texas finally earned a real place on the map. Today it is popular with tourists, motorcyclists and country music fans…

There’s no hard liquor served and no police force either, but there is rarely a problem here – as the song says, “in Luckenbach Texas, ain’t nobody feeling no pain.”

Another one of my favorite places in Hill Country is Bandera, Texas. This peaceful cowboy town of about a thousand is located near the geographic center of The Lone Star State, about 60 miles or so west-northwest of San Antonio. In recent years Bandera has become a motorcycle mecca of sorts, a popular place to gather and ride the Hill Country….

And it’s not just the Hills that draw Bikers to Bandera. The town is tailor made for motorcycle tourists. There are plenty of shops to poke around in and at least one saloon for every 50 or so residents. You can even find real cowboys playing country music downstairs in the basement of the Silver Dollar.

One of my favorite hangouts in Bandera is the 11th Street Cowboy Bar. Not a lot of cowboys here but Harleys and Horses are said to play well together, and you will find a lot of ladies underwear hanging from the ceiling. Not sure what that’s all about and I haven’t left any of mine there, but the boys seem to like it.

But if you came to Hill Country to ride, you cannot leave without checking out the “Sisters” also known as the “Three Sisters” and the “Twisted Sisters.”

Texas Ranch Roads 335, 336 and 337 take you through foothills and mountain passes, featuring tight turns and beautiful sweepers.

Here is a ride Bob Courtney and I did a few years back. Enjoy the video.

If you are looking for a great motorcycle vacation, with lots of terrific riding, good food and some really cool places to hang out, I suggest you plan a ride through Texas Hill Country. If you are like me, you will quickly find out that it’s a place that was tailor-made for riding. Perhaps God did have motorcyclists in mind when he created Texas Hill Country.

See you on the road!

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T.W. Robinson


•June 4, 2014 • Leave a Comment



Most people who know me, know that I was pretty much a tomboy when I was a kid. Growing up in northern Florida, I much preferred climbing trees, swinging from ropes and shootin’ BB guns. In fact someone gave me a doll one Christmas and I didn’t even know what to do with it. I remember being horrified. I usually ran around barefoot in a pair of shorts. I only started wearing shirts when it was pointed out to me that there indeed were differences between boys and girls and some of my differences were starting to be noticed by the boys. Thus I was dragged kicking and screaming into puberty.

But despite my tomboy ways when it came to creepy crawly things I was more like “Mary Lou” in Jim Stafford’s popular 1974 ballad – “I Don’t Like Spiders and Snakes” – so I was a little apprehensive when someone invited me on my first swamp tour a few years back.

Growing up in Florida and living most of my adult life in Louisiana means I am very familiar with swamps… They are teeming with creepy crawly things — and some of those things are quite big enough to turn me into a lunchtime treat! Needless to say, I have pretty much avoided swamps – nothing to see here – move on please.

Boy was I wrong. A trip into a Louisiana swamp can be one of the most exciting and rewarding adventures you will ever make. You will find, as I most certainly did, that the swamp is actually a beautiful place, filled with exotic birds, incredible plants and mysterious creatures. It is also a delicate and fragile ecosystem that must be preserved and protected.

Long before the popular reality show “Swamp People” started a Louisiana Swamp Renaissance all across the country, I took my first swamp tour; a trip into the Atchafalaya Basin. The Atchafalaya Basin which encompasses more than one million acres is the largest river swamp in the United States.
Anyone who has ever traveled Interstate Highway 10 from Lafayette to Baton Rouge has ridden directly over it. But to really experience it, you have to get off the highway and take a swamp tour. The best place to do that is near the town of Henderson at a place called McGee’s Landing.

McGee’s Landing is easily accessible by both motorcycle and car. It features a first class restaurant and bar with authentic Cajun music on the weekends and it provides regular tour boat excursions into the vast swamp. Last week I posted a feature we did there five years ago. If you haven’t watched it you can see it here.

Since my first visit to McGee’s Landing more than five years ago I have been on a number of swamp and marsh tours throughout the Bayou State. I have taken air-boat rides and helped hatch alligators along the Creole Nature Trail in Cameron Parish; I have held baby gators in Jefferson Davis Parish where the theme is “Don’t Choot ‘em, Hold ‘em” — and I have even had a huge snake wrapped around my neck and seen a snapping turtle big as a bulldog near Houma, Louisiana.

I still pretty much don’t like spiders and snakes or alligators for that matter, but I have come to love and appreciate the swamps where they live. They are beautiful, peaceful places where you can quickly escape the noise and clutter of the city. There is nothing more awe inspiring than a trip into a Louisiana swamp and with one of the many swamp tours now offered throughout the state you don’t even have to get your feet wet.

See you on the road, or in the swamp!



Atchafalaya Basin Tour

•May 28, 2014 • 1 Comment

The Atchafalaya Basin is the nation’s largest river swamp and wetland. LA Rider took a ride from Baton Rouge to McGee’s Landing in Henderson, LA back in 2009 for a visit to the basin. McGee’s Landing is located on the edge of this vast river swamp. It features great food, Cajun music and of course guided tours of the basin. There is no better way to experience the raw, natural beauty of this portion of Louisiana than with a genuine swamp tour and McGee’s Landing still offers one of the best swamp tours in the state.
Please enjoy this video from the LA Rider archives and share it with your friends. Plan your Louisiana Motorcycle vacation today.

See you on the road…

T.W. Robinson


•May 27, 2014 • 1 Comment

On Friday I kicked off Memorial Day Weekend with about 150 thousand other country music fans in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, by putting on my best cowgirl digs and heading to Bayou Country Superfest. I had hoped my favorite cowboy George Strait would pick me out of the crowd … He didn’t. Little did I realize there would be about fifty thousand other fans between George and me at Tiger Stadium. Oh well, the music was great, the weather was nice and I had a ball.


I had so much fun in fact, that I took the rest of the weekend off. But as I did my usual chores around the house on Sunday I began to contemplate just what Memorial Day is really all about. Yes for many it is the official kickoff of summer with music, barbecues, going to the beach and other fun stuff with family and friends.

But it is really about something much more important than that. It’s about honoring our heroes – The men and women who have died while serving in the armed forces. A quick internet search revealed that it actually began right after the American Civil War as Decoration Day, when friends and family members would “decorate” the graves of their war dead with flags, flowers and other tributes.
Realizing the history and somewhat somber meaning of this holiday, I decided to end my weekend with a Memorial Day motorcycle ride — and a solo ride at that.
Riding with friends and in groups is a lot of fun; but there is nothing like a little solitary time on the highway to be alone in your thoughts… I call these solo rides “helmet time.”
Nothing like a little helmet time to sort out what Memorial Day is really all about.

First part of my ride was a trip across the Mississippi River between New Roads and St. Francisville. The John James Audubon Bridge is named for the famed French naturalist and painter, but it connects the birth places of two great American military heroes, Generals John Lejeune and Robert Barrow, the 13th and 27th Commandants of the United States Marine Corps.

The New Roads approach bears General Lejeune’s name and the St. Francisville approach bears General Barrows name.
As I rode across the bridge I could not help but wonder just what it was about this area that produced two such incredible men, not quite a generation apart. Military leaders like Generals Lejeune and Barrow don’t come along that often in history. How amazing that they grew up in adjacent parishes of Louisiana separated only by the mighty Mississippi.

After crossing the river my first stop was at Grace Episcopal Church in St. Francisville. You will find the graves of many “heroes” in this old church cemetery; but there is one grave here that is very special.

Lt. Commander John Hart of the United States Navy is laid to rest here. It is not so much what Hart did or how he died that makes his grave so special. It is how he came to be buried here in the first place that makes for one of the most fascinating tales of the America Civil War.


Hart’s Union gunboat was part of what is called the Siege of Port Hudson. For days it had been shelling St. Francisville. Perhaps a stray shell or two even landed in this cemetery. But when Hart, who had been ill and suffering from a high fever, took his own life during the battle, union and confederate forces arranged a 24 hour truce so that he could be given a proper Masonic Burial. Officers, soldiers and Masons from both sides participated in the somber ceremony.

It is referred to as “The Day the War Stopped” and it is commemorated here in this cemetery every June. You can read more about it here:


From St. Francisville I rode south a few miles to the Port Hudson battle field and national cemetery.
More than 4000 Union soldiers who died during the Port Hudson siege are buried here as are victims of nearly every American conflict since, including World Wars One, Two, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

I don’t have a personal connection to any of the heroes buried at Port Hudson … but after walking around for a few moments I found a grave with a common name on it and I spent some time with Leroy T. Robinson.

For me it was a perfect way to observe Memorial Day – spending a few quiet moments at the grave of an American hero. Whether they died in battle or years later at home with their families doesn’t really matter because they all answered the call of their country and that to me makes them all heroes.
Thank you Leroy and the thousands of others like you for fighting for my freedom and helping to preserve and protect this great country and its people.


T.W. Robinson




•May 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment

How many bikes do you have? I get asked this question a lot. People see me riding a lot of different motorcycles on television and in videos and they wonder if I own all of them. Simple answer – I wish!
Over the last decade or so I have had the privilege of riding a variety of motorcycles in connection with the production of my television program. I have ridden Harleys, Hondas, Kawasakis, Yamahas, Ducatis, BMW’s, Triumphs, Suzukis, even a couple of Indians; but when it comes to the bikes that “live” in my garage — right now there are just two: My custom 1999 Yamaha Road Star and a 2013 Harley-Davidson Street Glide.
At times there have been others. A black and silver Anniversary Heritage Classic and a solid black 2010 Star Stratoliner Deluxe have been long term rides as well. But today as I write this there’s just the pearl while Road Star, with the ghosted lip prints imbedded in the paint and the stunningly red Street Glide.
The Yamaha has been with me the longest. It was the first bike I bought after graduating from Harley-Davidson’s Riders’ Edge program in 2003. I had ridden bikes when I was younger, but I had never owned one of my own, so in a way the Yamaha is my first bike. Here is a picture of how the Star looked when I took possession of her.

Over the years I have made a lot of changes to my “Lipstick Bike” including the gangster fenders and custom paint with the tiny lipstick kisses throughout. The Road Star is somewhat a reflection of my personality. On the inside she is a big 98 cubic inch v-twin with a lot of strength muscle when needed, but on the outside she is every bit a lady.


The Star and I have been a lot of places together over the years and she has never let me down. Except for one roadside flat, she has never left me stranded and that one was my fault since I steered her over the nail. In fact that was one of the very few times she rode on a trailer. I don’t think she cared for it very much.
When Yamaha designed the Road Star, they did it right. It is a good looking, reliable piece of machinery, built to ride and built to last. Although I have picked up other rides here and there, I have never once considered selling the Lipstick Bike or retiring her. We still have a lot of miles to cover together and we will.

So what about the Street Glide? Well that’s simple. He is red and he has luggage. Not to mention, that to me, the Street Glide is the best all-around motorcycle in the Harley lineup today. Since I ride solo, I have never seen the necessity of a big two-up tourer. The Street Glide is the perfect compromise for me. You will noticed that I referred to my Harley as “him”. Yes my bikes have gender and the Street Glide is definitely male. He is a handsome and strong and a show off too. You won’t find many “girly” things on Red Ryder, except me!


The Road Star has a set of detachable leather bags, but they are pretty small and there is no sissy bar to tie anything on to either. So when it came to overnight travel I always had to rely on the kindness of friends to haul around my clothes and beauty products – hey, a girl has to look her best!

So for some time I searched for a bagger. I had ridden a number of Street Glide rentals as well as an occasional loaner so when Red Ryder popped up on my radar, I swooped in.
Did I pick a bike, because of its color? Well, sort of. Everyone knows just how much I like the color red. I like red cars, red trucks, red clothes, red lipstick, red jewelry, you name it. Somewhere in a past life I must have been a fire fighter.

When I got a call last year telling me there was a beautiful almost brand new Street Glide sitting on the showroom floor at G.N. Gonzales in Baton Rouge, the only question I asked was “is it red?” Of course the answer to that question was yes!

I have enjoyed traveling the highways and byways on the Street Glide. He has taken good care of me and never complains about all the stuff I make him carry. Plus he looks good sitting next to the Lipstick Bike. They make a perfect couple.

Yes, in my garage there are two motorcycles – my Road Star and my Street Glide. I love them both equally but for different reasons. I guess you could say that together we make for a perfect “Motorcycle Menage a Trois.” Which also just happens to be one of my favorite wines!


See you on the road!

T.W. Robinson


•May 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment


If you like twists, turns and sweeping curves you generally have to head for the mountains. But if the mountains are a little out of reach may I suggest a ride along a river road.
Some of the earliest highways in America started out as simply footpaths along a river or stream. As time progressed many were widened, paved and perhaps even straightened somewhat; but for the most part they continued to follow the meandering path of the original body of water.
Here in Louisiana there are lots of rivers, streams and bayous with great companion roads. These roads are usually lightly traveled and therefore are in pretty good shape; and since they have been abandoned by those in a hurry to get some place they make for a perfect motorcycle excursion. Another bonus is they have some great “out of the way” places along their route just waiting to be explored by the back roads traveler.
If you are looking for a journey, with no particular destination in mind, do what I like to do and take a ride along the Mississippi.

When it comes to the lower portion of the big muddy between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, there are actually more than a half dozen or so “river roads” to choose from on either side of the river.
Actually, staying as close to the river as possible can sometimes be a challenge and for the novice, may require a good map; but it can be done and it will reward you with some great vistas, wonderful twists and turns and dozens of incredible stops too.
A ride along the eastern side of the Mississippi will take you past farms, antebellum home, industry and some pretty good restaurants as well. Now you know how much I like to eat, so let’s talk about the food first.
Roberto’s River Road Restaurant near Sunshine is one of my favorites.

There is also the legendary Hymels near Convent, famous for their “Fish Bowl” size draft beers and fresh Louisiana seafood.
Houmas House – often referred to as the crown jewel of Louisiana’s river road – has a couple of great restaurants as well, plus touring the wonderfully preserved antebellum home and grounds is a great way to spend a couple of hours off the bike.
Another place you will want to pull off and visit when riding along the eastern side of the river is St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Convent. This church is reminiscent of some of the older churches in Europe and features an incredible grotto behind the altar that you must see. Made of bagasse, a fibrous byproduct of sugar refining and oyster shells, the grotto is an incredible work of art. St. Michael Church also houses one of the oldest pipe organs in Louisiana.


If you like old churches, especially unusual ones, you may also want to journey south on the western side of the Mississippi River, near the community of Bayou Goula, where you will find what is billed as the world’s smallest church.
The eight foot by eight foot Madonna Chapel was built in the early 1900’s by a sugar farmer who successfully prayed to the Virgin Mary for the recovery of a son from a terrible illness.
Here is a link to a video I did a few years back for LA Rider:

There are a number of great old plantation homes on this side of the river as well. Just down from the Madonna Chapel is one of the largest in the south, Nottoway in White Castle.
Nottoway features a first class restaurant, a bed and breakfast with more than 40 overnight rooms. Plus there are tennis courts, a pool and cabana and a lot more. It is a perfect place to spend a few days relaxing and hanging out along “Old Man River.”
Yes, riding along the lower Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans is a great place for a brief motorcycle ride or an extended journey.

Sometimes when I have an hour or so to kill I just jump on the bike and head for the river road. That is exactly what Bob did last Sunday. Check it out:

In the meantime, see you on the highway


T.W. Robinson


•May 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

There are a lot of ways to get to Nashville, Tennessee from Natchez, Mississippi but if you want a real motorcycle adventure you just have to ride the Natchez Trace Parkway. The Trace is one of America’s most unusual national parks. A park that is a little more than a mile across at its widest point but 444 miles long; stretching all the way from Natchez Mississippi to Nashville Tennessee.

The Natchez Trace parkway is one of America’s oldest highways. Created by Native American’s and later adopted by early American settlers the Natchez Trace is one of America’s greatest roads.


The Trace today is a beautiful two lane strip of perfectly maintained asphalt, which gently weaves its way through Mississippi, a portion of Alabama and on into the hills of Tennessee. No commercial traffic is allowed. The speed limit is a mild 50 miles per hour and the scenery is fantastic making this a perfect trip for two wheels.

Besides being a great ride, a trip on the Trace is also a history lesson. There are numerous stops and pullovers along the way where you can learn about the Trace, the people who used it and what life was like in the early 19th century.

Some of the things worth seeing include the old Mount Locust Inn where Trace travelers could find a hot meal and a cot. The Pharr Indian Mounds where the original creators of the Trace honor their dead as well as remnants of the original foot worn trail, beautiful creeks, streams, and waterfalls. Another must stop is the Meriwether Lewis Memorial and Monument at Hohenwald, Tennessee. The celebrated explorer of Lewis and Clark fame died in 1809 during a journey on the Trace. Some say he committed suicide, others claim he was murdered. Regardless, he is buried alongside the Trace and his death and the mystery surrounding it makes this one of the best historic stops along the Trace.

One of the things I love most about riding the Trace is there are no billboards or advertisements of any kind, nothing to block your view of the natural beauty of the countryside. It is the kind of road where you can just kick back and enjoy the view. At 440 plus miles, you can ride the Trace in just one day but why? This is a road to be savored and enjoyed.


A good place to overnight is Tupelo, Mississippi roughly half way between Natchez and Nashville. There are lots of great hotels and motels in Tupelo plus it is the birthplace of the King. Of course, we mean Elvis Presley. Elvis’ boyhood home is preserved here. There’s also a museum and a gift shop as well as an old church and even an outhouse. Apparently young Presley’s parents couldn’t afford indoor plumbing. Elvis’ boyhood home is a fun place to visit even if you don’t plan to overnight here.


Back on the Trace the segment between Tupelo and Nashville is perhaps the most beautiful part of the ride. As the elevation changes the road picks up more twists and turns. You might be tempted to lay on a little speed but don’t. The park police are pretty strict about the 50 mile per hour limit and the fines are pretty hefty. So, take your time and enjoy the view.

Just south of Nashville is one of the most spectacular views of the trace. The Birdsong Hollow Bridge, which transports Trace travelers across the valley at a height of 155 feet affords the traveler a great aerial view of the countryside.


This is what riding the Trace is all about. This 444 mile long roadway and National Park is a true American treasure and there’s no better way to experience the Natchez Trace than from the saddle of a motorcycle.

The Natchez Trace is also a great place for novice riders to hone their skills since there is no commercial traffic and the speed limit is relatively low. I took my first long-distance overnight motorcycle journey on the Trace many years ago. I have returned dozens of time. It seems I just can’t get enough when it comes to riding the Trace.

Now that my favorite riding buddy and fellow Chrome Cowgirl Tammi Arender is living in Nashville again, I am riding the route a lot more often. Oh I could get there a lot faster on the big slab, but it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun and after all, isn’t that what riding a motorcycle is all about? You know — the journey not the destination.

See you on the road.


T.W. Robinson