December 26, 2011 (day 6)
I drove by Opryland then followed the Jackson Highway north to where I left it on Thursday. From there, expressways brought me home.
After bringing record snowfalls to Oklahoma and Texas in 2009 and the first Christmas snow since 1969 to Chattanooga in 2010, I was relieved to complete this trip without a blizzard hitting Nashville. The streak is broken.
December 25, 2011 (day 5)
December 24, 2011 (day 4)
December 23, 2011 (day 3)
December 22, 2011 (day 2)
December 21, 2011 (day 1)
Prelude 2 - December 2, 2011
For reasons that should become clear later, I'm starting this trip in Louisville, Kentucky, on the Jackson Highway. I'll move to the Dixie Highway near Horse Cave where the Dixie and Jackson come within four miles of each other. Some may recall a group of American Road Magazine Forum members traveling bits of these two old auto trails back in 2007. I'll then follow the DH all the way to Shelbyville before returning to Nashville for the show.
Prelude 1 - November 30, 2011
Today things clicked. I've spent two Thanksgivings in Nashville but never a Christmas. It was on my mind so I took a look to see what was happening there. I hit the Ryman's website first and saw it would be open and hosting the Grand Ol' Opry as it does each winter but the shows for Christmas weekend were expensive and unexciting. I next visited the Bluebird's website and was reminded that it closes for a week each Christmas. Then I thought of the Long Players and stopped by the Mercy Lounge site just in case. Bingo.
The Long Players are a group of musicians who excel in reproducing classic LPs (a.k.a. long playing records) song for song and note for note -- live. I saw them in 2006 when they did Van Morrison's Moondance, their sixteenth album tribute. On December 23 they will be performing George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, their fifty-second album tribute. Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of Harrison's death. He's been in the news a bit and in some personal conversations. I don't think I could have invented a better event to organize my Christmas escape around than the Long Players doing All Things Must Pass two days before the holiday.