Old Dominion – We’re Back!!
This is the last leg of our journey back to Virginia. One of the many pleasures of being retired is NOT being on anyone’s schedule or itinerary but ours. We had enough flexibility in our tentative plans that we were able to stay longer in Alabama and it was time well spent. Our trip up to Nashville was nice and we were able to visit some of the places we missed during our last visit. Of course, we were also able to discover some new places that were NOT on our bucket list. Nashville is a bustling progressive city. When finished, the new construction and revitalizing downtown will continue to attract out-of-towners.
The Johnny Cash Museum was amazing, its hard to believe his career spanned 7 decades! Seeing all of his Gold Records, album covers and many of his live performance clothes was special. The downer? Crowds were horrendous. Deb and I were overwhelmed by the number of inconsiderate people there. We didn’t realize that the Nashville area was such a popular Spring Break destination. We had other plans to see some of the iconic places downtown but instead of fighting crowds we ventured out of the city and discovered the Mount Olivet Cemetery.
Actually, there were two cemeteries right next to each other with separate entrances, the other being Calvary, the Catholic Cemetery of the Diocese of Nashville. Our first drive by was late afternoon and we both agreed that there were abundant morning photo opportunities, so we returned the next day.
Spectacular gravestones and monuments. Never seen so many angels (intact), beautiful headstones and tributes to fallen civil war soldiers. Many of the Nashville elite were buried here.
Tennessee has very nice state parks, we stayed and hiked with the dogs at Cedars of Lebanon State Park (SP). Nearby, we also visited and hiked with the dogs at Long Hunter SP, the trail there follows the shoreline of the J. Percy Priest Reservoir. We also got a tip from a fellow RV’er to check out Burgess Falls SP. It has an excellent scenic trail that follows the river downstream into a canyon with three sets of waterfalls. Plenty of observation overlooks to see the majestic falls. Pet friendly and nearly everyone brought their dog that day.…LOL!
We continued our eastbound journey and stopped for an overnighter at Bristol, Virginia. Deb and I appreciate that Cabela’s allows overnight parking. Always clean, well lit and of course a great place to shop. At some point in time I will write an exclusive blog on our over night parking experiences and list some of our favorite campgrounds.
Our last stop was a nostalgic visit to the Charlottesville area so we could return to our old stomping grounds in and around Shenandoah National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Rapidan Wildlife Management area.
We have been to many spectacular places since we left on our adventure across America, these parts of Virginia still hold a special place in our hearts, and it was quite a sentimental journey.
A day trip to the Kinderhook area, to see our Whale Rock, the old trucks, a visit to Wolf-Town Mercantile for the “best-ever” fried chicken. A drive-by the South, Rapidan, Conway, Robinson and Rose Rivers reminded us of the pleasures we had visiting and fly-fishing in these streams.
Day two took us south to Crabtree Falls and back-roading along the North Branch of the Tye River. We went up and over the Blue Ridge Parkway and followed Irish Creek road, down to Buena Vista.
Our return trip along Hwy 60 past the Parkway, allowed us to revisit Staton Falls, and a memorable trip back down Al Hambra Road. This was a place that we got in a pickle years ago and got stuck on an icy switchback. Thankfully some “locals” came to our rescue. This day, it was much warmer and nicer, and we thoroughly enjoyed following the meandering road along the Piney River all the way down to Woodson Mill.
Our last day, we finally met up with some Instagram friends and had lunch in Madison. We hope to cross paths with them again soon.
Next Stop… Virginia Beach.