Tuesday, December 24, 2013


With all of the rain and wind overnight in Maryville, we had a very late start Sunday morning. I don't think we got on the road heading west until around 11:00am. That was ok - by then most of the rain had moved east.

We briefly stopped at Lenoir City to grab some things from Walmart.

Then to the I40.

We don't like interstates much but sometimes they make the most sense. Plus we have had quite enough of winding, narrow, busy roads which the south east seems to be filled with. 

A good day to sit back and ride.

After our Gatlinburg experience we decided to forgo visiting downtown Nashville. Although I am sure it is worth the trip in, by the time we arrived to the outskirts of Nashville it was around 4:30pm. Much later than I had expected. There was no way we were going into the City Monday morning. 

So, instead we took what sort of looks like a loop road - but isn't - around the south side of Nashville to get to the west side Home Depot. It was a bit of a nightmare because it just led from one shopping centre to another. The driver was not happy!

Early Monday morning we were ready to roll.

First a stop at the Loveless Cafe which we found it a few days ago during our Nashville research. LOVE these kinds of places. Nice that it was on our route.

Looks to be a popular place. Actually, the Loveless Cafe serves more than 450,000 guests per year!

A window to view the biscuit making.

Our complimentary biscuits - to know me is to know that I LOVE biscuits. I'm not alone - more than 7,000 are served a day! A day! Of course the recipe is tried and true they were very delicious.

Just getting busier and busier.

I had the bacon, cheese and egg on toast with hashbrown casserole and Derek the country ham, eggs, and home fries with red gravy. Our meals were HUGE which meant we each left with half of them. Very good quality food - we were impressed.

There is even a separate Loveless Cafe shop next door. No way I was not going in!

I really go in for this kind of stuff - could have walked out with one of everything. 

I didn't of course but I have a strong suspicion that my Christmas gift came from here. I'll let you know.

Also a BBQ joint.

Stuffed and happy with our Loveless Cafe stop - we headed for the entry onto the Natchez Trace Parkway. Our timing was great - we could barely get out of the parking lot with all the cars coming in.


What a great ride along the parkway. At times you get glimpses of the real world. Nice that we just ride right over some of the crossover highways.

La la la - just us and the parkway. Very quiet this time of year. You just need to go when it's very cold to get the road to yourself.

There are lots of stops along the way - some historical and some just for picnics and restroom breaks. If you don't pick and choose you could be turning off every few minutes. 
We did stop in to see the Jackson Falls. 

Cassia and I wimped out and didn't walk down - we stayed in the van and made tea instead. The falls are named for Andrew Jackson. 

Here's a movie!

Derek is doing his own version of Where's Waldo or Elf on the Shelf. 

Where's the Frog Level Growler?

We didn't get far - from mileage post 444 - the northern terminus to the Meriwether Lewis campground at 385.9. Our overnight spot.

We stopped to see the M. Lewis gravesite and memorial. 
After all that. I was surprised that Lewis was so young when he died.

Site 22 right across from the restrooms - heated restrooms I might add. Thirty two empty sites to choose from. We were alone.

Derek attempting to start a fire with wet wood. For all his effort he was rewarded with a little itty bitty fire. We did barbecue our smokies on the weber though. 

We even attempted a walk but it was very steep and very cold. 

And very wet. 

It was an early night.

And a very cold night!

We were awoken at 6:15am to a beep - we thought it was the battery - that we had drained it with the furnace. Not sure - Derek started the van but didn't think that the batteries showed dead.

Anyway - we were up now and so had a very early morning - second in a row - Monday morning Rufus woke us up at 6:30am. Sheesh!

Well, it is Christmas Eve! We are enjoying a night of wifi at Home Depot here in Tupelo, Mississippi after a second day of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

We are headed to Davis Lake Campground in the morning for a night or two - so we'll see you in a few days!


If you are looking for more of Rantin' n Raven we are not hard to find out there in the social media world. We are on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest. See you there!


  1. Do you think we could go this way with the 40' RV towing the Jeep? We talk about it but have never done it.
    It is warm here in Mazatlan - and we had ribs last night.

    1. Definitely Carol - do it! It's a really nice road. There are State Parks just off of the Parkway that you can stay at. The Lewis Campground maybe a bit small - I'll see about the others if we stop. Plus there are private RV parks along the way not much off. You should take it home in the spring.

      I haven't been over to your blog yet - trying to get our's done. I'll go over and see your trip south!

  2. The Loveless Café----been there several times over the years with the love of my life.....wonder why I didn't remember to steer you to it......looks like they remodeled since I was there last. The waterfalls were lovely!! Just out of curiosity, do you have a C-O detector in the van??? Need one.....mount it down low, as the gas will settle....maybe grab one at HD.....

    Safe Travels.............and Merry Christmas!

    1. Glad we didn't miss the cafe! Will a C-O detector detect propane?

  3. What fluffy biscuits....yummy! Isn't that pkwy nice and smooth, no rush and gorgeous scenery. So hope it warms up for you...chilly here. Today we talked of moving SW...kind of getting bored and adventurous. Have to think some more about this....Merry Christmas!

    1. VERY good biscuits! Getting bored! Ha! Sounds like us! I know where you could go…….

  4. What fluffy biscuits....yummy! Isn't that pkwy nice and smooth, no rush and gorgeous scenery. So hope it warms up for you...chilly here. Today we talked of moving SW...kind of getting bored and adventurous. Have to think some more about this....Merry Christmas!


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