Day 1: April 18, 2013
Eatin' & Clappin'
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Dawn was just starting to crack when I hit the road. I started south on the expressway and even had thoughts of following it all the way to Nashville. I wasn't in a particular hurry but I was awake and ready to roll and so I did. By the time I neared Elizabethtown, I was starting to think of breakfast. The GPS showed a place called Cobbler's Cafe and, thinking that was a promising name, I headed that way. Picking restaurants by their names doesn't always work but it did this time. Cobbler's Cafe serves good food in an 1878 building about half a block from the courthouse circle. I ordered the "Cobbler Breakfast"; A true down home meal.

Breakfast was on US-31W, a.k.a. Dixie Highway, and decided to stick with it for a bit. "A bit" turned out to be all the way to the edge of Bowling Green. I was pleased and somewhat surprised to see most, if not all, of the empty motels still standing but, as I've been here before, didn't bother stopping to photograph them. With one exception. Horseshoe Camp cabins have been steadily deteriorating in the dozen years that I've known them. In 2010 the office roof had collapsed and the deterioration seemed to be accelerating and I called them "pretty much gone". I was truly shocked and exceedingly happy to be proven so very wrong. I've never encountered anyone here and I've found little online information about the cabins. I have no idea what the story is here but it's clear that someone is showing the place some love and it's a wonderful thing.

I retuned to the expressway at Bowling Green then turned off for a side trip near the Bowling Green to Nashville midpoint. I'd been by Thomas Drugs once before but the store was closed. It was open today and doing a very brisk lunch business. Lunch for me was a root beer float made the old fashioned way at the 1930 soda fountain. It's just three miles off of I-65 in Cross Plains, Tennessee.

"The strip" in Nashville was already crowded at 1:00. I made a futile search for street parking before pulling into a city owned lot a half block off of Broadway. It was convenient but a long way from cheap. Four hours for $15. Had I found an open spot on the street, four hours would have been a relative bargain at $6 (25 cents for 10 minutes). Broadway has definitely been touristy for the ten years or so I've been coming here but it gets more so every visit. It's a trend I'm sure goes back long before I was ever here. It's easy to get a little disgusted in the midst of Hard Rock Cafes, Margaritavilles, and exorbitant parking before the city's phenomenal amount of musical talent make's all that fade. The pictures at left show some of the excellent talent I saw free (except for tips and overpriced beers) in the middle of the afternoon. And the stars come out at night.

There's talent on the street, too, and Spit Shine was the best I saw today. Everybody plays and everybody sings and feet drive a percussion section and it all sounds great. When the gal on the right isn't nursing her infant and has two hands available, she might play an accordion rather than trumpet while the young'un dozes in the accordion case.

I'm staying near Nashville's Music Row section and there are several new-to-me restaurants within walking distance. I settled on South Street and some fresh made fettuccine with smoked chicken and andouille. Delicious.

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