The Kimberling City RV Park was a nice, roomy campground, and it was hard to leave. And I was a little intimidated after the exhausting loopy and narrow roads we followed to get here. But onward we must go! We were off to explore Music City — Nashville. So I planned a route for our drive to Tennessee along the wider and straighter Highway 60, east through Missouri.
We left Kimberling City and drove north toward Springfield, Missouri where we could intersect Highway 60. We passed through thick forests, up and down rolling hills, then dropped to bottom lands near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers on the eastern Missouri border. We spent the night at Boomland, a gigantic gift and firework store with a small RV park that was only $12 per night. It was very hot and humid.
The next day we took I-57 over the Mississippi River, into Illinois then north and east and south again, crossing the Ohio at Paducah, Kentucky. There’s actually a shorter route across at Cairo, but I had heard enough white-knuckle stories about taking that bridge in a big RV that I opted for the longer route.
We followed I-24, then Route 41 to Nashville.
Welcome to Tennessee
We pulled into a gas station to fill our tank with our bank account. A young man burst out of the store and loudly drawled to his friend, “The bitch won’t sell me beer, says I’m too drunk!”
We parked for the week at the Grand Ole RV Resort, a few miles north of downtown Nashville. It was run by friendly people and they even featured live music every night.
After setting up, we took a Lyft to check out Nashville. The driver dropped us off at Legends Corner bar on Broadway, and we were instantly immersed in noise and crowds and partying. Broadway was like Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Every bar had live music. Young people were stumbling. Old people looked bewildered. We had no idea Nashville was like this. It’s nice to be surprised. We walked around, ate dinner, watched some great bands and then decided we had had our fill. We called Lyft and as soon as we got back to The Toaster, we crashed.
We had a lot of fun, but half way through the evening we received some sad news from our friend Jeanette in Arizona. Another dear friend of ours in Tucson, Sandy, had passed away. She was a creative, wonderful soul and we will miss her dearly.
I was busy with work, but we did manage to break away one evening and drive to the Grand Ole Opry. The only problem was that we got there too late to see the show. We did take some pics in front of the building to make it look like we saw the show. That’s all that matters, right?
Instead of experiencing an evening of country music, we went to a nearby mall called Opry Mills and found a bizarre restaurant with walls made of aquariums. The restaurant was called, get this, Aquarium.
It was a chain restaurant, like Rainforest Cafe, but the food was pretty good and we enjoyed the cool atmosphere created by bluish lighting and walls of fish. In fact, not being country music fans, we probably had more fun than if we had seen the show at the Grand Ole Opry. But don’t tell anyone I said that.
We had decided back in Oklahoma to drive all the way to Maine, and hopefully escape the summer heat. Now that we had seen Nashville, we were suddenly anxious to head north. So on Friday, July 20th, we headed out.