Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 1 - Murfreesboro, TN


Left the house at 9 AM and the look on Doris’ face tugged at my heart.  It’s always sad to leave her and John.  On the other hand, it was a great first day of travel with nothing but blue skies and the open road!

I will not miss the encroaching suffocating humidity.  With 61% humidity back home and 74% here, Custer, SD is looking pretty good at 32%.

I’m staying tonight in Murfreesboro, TN.  I decided to give a hospital another try as an overnight camping spot wanting to erase the memory of my first boondock that didn't work out so well.  (Got the knock on the door at 4:45 AM from the Cocoa Beach authorities who granted me a stay until 6 AM). 

So I’m at Middle Tennessee Medical Center. 
 
 
I’m in a remote area of the lot and there is a Chinook a few spaces down so maybe I’ll be OK.  If not there are plenty of other places down the road.  It’s actually very pretty here with surrounding fields, nice landscaping, on a spring evening with a sunset (which you can see in the windows of the GDB) thrown in for good measure. 
 

Long driving day today – 303 miles.  I jumped off the interstate at Fayetteville, TN and took US 231 North almost to Murfreesboro.  It was a beautiful drive – a winding 2-lane road through some of the most gorgeous farmland I’ve ever seen.  Of course there was no place to pull over but I did manage to snap this photo.


I made my first National Park stop at Stones River Civil War Battlefield here in town.  I got there 30 minutes before closing.  As usual, the museum exhibits were enlightening, though depressing, and the site itself was haunting as all battle sites are.  This one occurred in December/January 1862/1863. 



Over 23,000 people died.  Nothing makes it more real than this.
 
Over 6,100 Union soldiers are buried here.
 

This is what they were fighting over.  Control of this railroad, an important supply route for the Confederate Army. 
 
A train just happened by as if to prove that life goes on.
 
I walked for ½ hour taking it all in.  I wasn’t alone. 
 
 

I had forgotten that staying in this “unapproved” spot will necessitate pulled curtains with no light escaping.  I forgot about that.  I actually went to Wal-Mart first but it was too open for me.  If you know what I mean.                                                                                                                              

Tomorrow’s stop is Fort Donelson further west.  I’m envisioning a much less hectic day tomorrow.

20 comments:

  1. Glad to see yah back on the road! Enjoy your trip.

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    1. Thanks! It's good to be burning some gasoline (though I'm not crazy about paying for it).

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  2. Hospital stays...interesting! Might have to try that...enjoy TN. Gorgeous lands!

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    1. I'm a nurse so it feels somewhat natural to me though Hospital Security may not see it that way. My hunch is that the larger the hospital, the more likely one is to remain unnoticed.

      You could ask permission from Security but again my hunch is that the answer would be no. If they had asked me to leave (they didn't), I would. I don't believe in telling the old story about a relative in ICU.

      Another bonus is that free wifi may be available. And then there is the cafeteria. (Though, after years of experience, I wouldn't consider that a bonus).

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  3. Always feels good to be back on the 'go'...

    Interesting to see your photos. Several in my family died at the Battle of Stones River and are buried there at Murfreesboro.

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    1. Have you been? The only thing that would make the experience more moving is a direct familial connection with those soldiers.

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  4. Battlefield memorials usually put me in a somber mood, too. Hope your next stop is cheerier.

    Am anxious to see if you make it through the night without a knock on the door. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work with my trailer.

    Your farmland photo looks like a golf course. Such perfect green.

    As always, love the pictures of the GDB -- the star of the show -- well, next to you! :D

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    1. I made it! It was a very quiet night. More GDB photos to come, that's for sure.

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  5. I grew up in a small town named Gallatin that is not very far from where you are. Middle Tennessee State University is there in Murfressboro. Middle Tennessee is a beautiful part of the country in spring.

    You may not realize it but you are in a big valley, you will notice it when you get outside of Nashville you will find yourself climbing out of the valley.

    Moving ahead you will enjoy the exhibit in the base of the St. Louis arch. If you go to the top of the arch it will be one of the more unusual elevator rides you will ever take because it goes sideways and up.

    Have a great trip we are all riding with you in spirit,

    Fred & Ann Orlando

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    1. Thanks Fred and Ann. It is beautiful here. Will my fear of heights allow me to take that ride? We will see.

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  6. It's good to see you on the road, again. Looking forward to your journey.

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    1. Thanks Jerry. It's good to be here!

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  7. Flags waving at your departure! Have a great trip.


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  8. Hey...you are just up the road a hundred miles or so. By now you are either stuck in the Nashville morning jam or leisurely having your breakfast!

    Can imagine your route as we have been that way to South Dakota...nice corp parks ahead.

    Plan to relive our trip through you....safe travels!

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    1. I opted for the leisurely breakfast! Thanks for the reminder about the corps parks. I'll get my "Camping with the Corps of Engineers" book out.

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  9. Thus begins another wonderful trip. Yay!

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  10. Kim,
    Looking forward to following your adventures.

    Nelda and Jerry Cox

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  11. Kim,
    Looking forward to following your adventures.

    Nelda and Jerry Cox

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  12. When I was in San Diego in February I stayed in the hospital parking lot the night before each doctor's visit was scheduled. I figured if anyone came up to kick me out, I'd tell them I had an early appointment. No one bothered me at all and I saw no guards driving the parking lot.

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