Tiger Moon: Not So 'Country' After All.
15 miles North of Nashville is not as lively as downtown Broadway on New Year’s Eve, but we kept ourselves busy writing blogs, doing laundry and playing cribbage. We had some minor errands to run… groceries and getting Clem a new muffler because the salt in the East ate right through the old one. We also needed someone to take a look at Clem because she was starting to act up again… One thing at a time though. Groceries - check. New Muffler - check. (Only $100 for parts and labour!) It was a Friday night and since we spent our day’s play-money on essentials we headed back to camp. We were going to go into town the following day to do some busking and check out some of the local haunts.
I think I mentioned this in the previous blog post, but it was cold. This was not normal Nashville, Tennessee weather. There was a cold front coming in and it dropped the temp down to -15C to -18C in the night and barely came above -5C during the days. Our little portable heater was working overtime just to keep the van a balmy -3C degrees. We bundled up, head to toe, every night. Here is a tour of what life is like living in Clem.
Saturday morning was sunny and it felt like it was going to warm up a little. We packed up camp and jumped into the front seats. Dan turned the key and nothing happened. Dan turned the key again and Clem chugged a little, but she wouldn’t turn over. Shit. Not again. Why us? Can’t we catch a break? We called a mechanic that we had been chatting with a couple days before. He wasn’t around on a Saturday, but he wanted us to call him again on Monday and see where we were at. We unpacked everything and pulled out the trustee crib board and yet again, we were stuck. There was nothing around us. No restaurant or grocery store. Just a convenience store that had chips, pop, chocolate and a little pizza oven. We ate pizza all weekend, watched some episodes of the office and played crib. I kid you not, we probably played about 100 games. To the point where I was dreaming of crib hands and pegging points while I slept. It was late Sunday night and we started getting a little giggly and I was getting cocky. I had won probably 25 straight games and had a good lead on Dan. I asked him if he wanted to make it interesting. The loser had to strip and run around the van naked (the campground was fairly full and it was maybe only 7:30 pm).
I thought I had him, I thought there was no way he could beat me! BUT he did. Dan took the game. I tried to get out of it using many different ways… bribes, pouting, begging, but in the end I knew I had to suck it up and take the consequence. I stripped down, and flung the door open. I quickly looked both ways. There were people everywhere. I took a deep breath and around I ran.
On Monday morning we called the mechanic again. He said he wasn’t able to get us in until Tuesday. One more day of being stuck. At this point, we were pros at it. Gas-Station coffees in the morning with our first game of crib, maybe watch an episode of the office or write a blog, a walk to the convenience store to get water and smokes, and then a gourmet dinner of smoked sausages and rice and beans. Tuesday morning we checked out of the campground and called a tow truck (Thank you AAA).
We got towed to Old Hickory, TN where we met Andrew and Sam and Big Head (the stray cat that hung around). What a couple of gems. Those boys got us running again. After all the money that was spent in Ontario, they missed one thing… the points (whatever that means) were worn to nothing and needed to be replaced. Luckily Sam had the part.
We were tired and chilled to the bone, but thanks to a wonderful friend back in Kanata, (Matt, you’re a legend.) we had a discounted hotel room waiting for us just outside Nashville. It was so nice to have a place to warm up, re-energize and get ready for our last day in Nashville.
Dan set an alarm so he could catch the sunrise.
I slept in. We fueled up at the free continental breakfast and headed downtown. We had lunch and Rippy’s on Broadway where a couple girls with guitars sat on stage and strummed some tunes. Music started everywhere at 11 am. After lunch we grabbed the instruments and tried to find a sunny spot to set up for a few hours. We set up right beside Jack’s BBQ and before we had anything out a man in a cowboy hat walked by and mumbled that we weren’t allowed to play there. We called him back to ask him why. He gave us the run down and pointed us to a better spot. After we were cozy in our spot the man in the cowboy hat came back and introduced himself as Mandolin Mike (check him out, he is very talented). We chatted with him, played some tunes, chatted with more locals and played more tunes. We made enough for a beer each plus some change. The sun was starting to disappear behind the downtown buildings. We packed up and were heading to the van to start the drive to Memphis when another man in a cowboy hat with a saxophone hanging around his neck called Dan over to play a tune.
“Hey, Duck Dynasty! Wanna play a tune?”
That is when we met Tex Austin, from Austin, TX. Tex lives in a tent down by the river and plays sax on the street to make a living. Dan and him belted out one of Dan’s original songs The Seagull.
Phew. Nashville. After all we’ve been through trying to get to this place I have to say I was ready to leave.