Gatlinburg to Nashville, 3/26/14

Before leaving Gatlinburg, we looked for one last easy-to-get-to hike. Roaring Fork Motor Trail is still closed for winter, but we headed that way to see the Ogle Farm, first cleared & settled in 1883 – nice little nature trail, cabin, mill on a stream. Lots of magnolias and rhododendron.

Left our lovely little hotel on the river, with the river below our balcony. Last view of the ruined home across the street, too:

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On to Nashville, through the man-made entertainment mecca of Pigeon Forge. With pancakes – never saw so may restaurants that specialized in pancakes. How many variations in IHOP does a town need?

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On the road again, and on into Nashville. Got the feel of  the central music scene around Broadway, where music pours out of every bar, all day, all night, with a different band on every floor in every bar. And every wall is lined with photos, record albums, concert posters, autographed guitars, and more memorabilia.

Toured the Ryman Theater, original home of the Grand Ole Opry show – fascinating history. Did you know it was built by riverboat Captain Thomas Ryman to give revival tent preacher Samuel Jones a permanent Tabernacle for preaching, with great acoustics, in 1892? Ryman went to heckle Samuel Jones for preaching against alcohol & gambling (the profit centers of the riverboats), and ended up converted! We enjoyed the self-guided tour, while Gavin Degraw’s band was setting up. Minnie Pearl, Al Jolson, Enrico Caruso, Katherine Hepburn, Eleanor Roosevelt, then Bill Monroe gives birth to bluegrass – what a history!

Back out to Broadway for another bar, “holler and swaller,” then walked around the Country Music Walk of Fame. Another couple of bars and bands, with 45s as coasters. Then authentic BBQ at Jack’s, then another bar and band. Ended the night at The Listening Room for a Tin Pan South singer/songwriter show.

Man, that was a busy day.

Click on any photo to see fullsize. Then raise your glass and holler, then take a swig an’ swoller.

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