Thursday, July 17, 2014

On the Road

We managed a reasonable start time to head out to Nashville so decided to go on the backroads instead of the wretched I65 that we endured yesterday.  This meant we would pass through real country where people lived instead of exit something or other with the endless lists of chain hotels, gas stations and food options -- much as I do love Mac Donald's!

Which turned out to be our first stop and an immediate moment of unsurpassed friendliness from the locals.  I managed to drop my fresh coffee all... well, all over, so went back into the McD and asked for another coffee.  The young girl behind the counter seemed surprised I'd be back so soon for a refresher but when I explained she immediately poured another without charge.

I was impressed to be sure but on reflection isn't that really how it should be?  Maybe we've become too hardened by routine poor service and having to pay for absolutely everything, including endless stuff that used to be free.  I know its been a while since we've flown but I still can't get over the advertisement from some airline or other that expounds "The first bag's on us!"  It always used to be, for goodness sake.  They've now started charging for absolutely everything including luggage so to give it away free is nothing more than nauseating, pure and simple.

But thank you young lady and thank you McD.

The country was rather more rolling, this being the Kentucky hill country.  I was on the lookout for illicit stills but couldn't see any.  Not sure I'd know one though.

Jim Bean's still -- quite a big one and not illicit either

However the towns we passed through were all pretty similar in one way, they all had at least 2 churches, one baptist and one other (never Catholic though).  This is solid southern baptist country clearly but the thing that I don't get is how those sometimes tiny towns could support 2 churches yet no other businesses of any sort.  No general store, no bar/diner, no post office.  Nothing.

All the baptist churches had those white spires which differentiated them from the other churches

Sadly most businesses have moved to major road intersections and as everyone appears to have transport, that's where they all head to.  So no small town small businesses, no mom and pop shops.  That's sad.

But I still don't understand the 2 churches minimum per town thing.

We spent a lot of time on the famous highway 61 -- the road from Chicago to New Orleans that Bob Dylan so famously caught with his seminal album of the same name.  This is the route people from Mississippi and the Delta used to travel up to Chicago to find work.

All in all a most pleasant 4 hour drive broken up with some BBQ in a town called Glasgow that did have shops and a BBQ restaurant called Big Moose's before we made it to our hotel in Nashville, the old converted mainline station.  Amtrak stopped coming to Nashville so the railway became redundant here, hence the magnificent hotel.

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