Days 32 & 33 – Gadsden, AL & Nashville, TN

The South, for some reason, is freezing… Maybe because Mother Nature wants us to feel at home in the cold weather, maybe she’s punishing the South for being predominantly red states, but all I can say is “Go home, Mother Nature, you’re drunk!” Thankfully the more north we went, the warmer it got… Which makes no sense to me, but whatever. We left Dallas, GA to visit Gadsden, Alabama to see Noccalula Falls. Part of our preparation for the trip was me sitting on Roadtrippers or Pinterest for hours at a time trying to find things to do. I wrote down a bunch of things, some of them free, some of them expensive. So far, how it’s worked out for us is that we’ll choose maybe 3 or 4 of the things that are either nearby each other, free or we just HAVE to do. Visiting Noccalula Falls Park fell under the it was free, and it was on the way to Nashville category.


Noccalula Falls is technically closed in the winter, they re-open in March, but you’re still welcome to hike their trails, check out the waterfall, camp and apparently get married (which is really ironic, and I’m getting to that part). At the beginning of our visit I had no idea the history that this park had or how it got it’s name. And because I’ve been on a Pokemon Go kick recently I, of course, had my app open, and holy moly I got a history lesson, go figure! Some of the “original” settlers in Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North & South Carolina pushed the Cherokee Indian tribes into North Alabama, but apparently the Cherokee were encroaching upon Creek Territory so there were battles between the two tribes. The Black Creek Falls had been a trading station and ceremonial ground of sorts, and apparently legend is that Noccalula was the daughter of a Cherokee chief and she was promised to a Creek sub-chief as an exchange for peace between the two tribes. However, she didn’t want to become the wife of a Creek warrior, she loved someone from her own tribe. Instead of getting married she jumped to her death into the Black Creek Falls, which is now known as Noccalula Falls.


All of the trails at the park are relatively short, so we did two of the longer ones then went back to the car to make some lunch. After lunch we went on our way up to Mount Pleasant, Tennessee to stay with a relative of Elliot’s. The drive was, somewhat interesting. Some of it was really lovely to look at and other parts were… Well, how you would expect driving through Alabama would be, boring. We made it to our destination and started planning for our day in Nashville.


 We woke up to quite a rainy day, we had to get up to Nashville though and a little rain never hurt us before. By the time we got there the rain had cleared up quite a bit but it was still cloudy. Not the day we expect in the Music City but we made the best of it. We went to the Johnny Cash Museum first, it’s usually a bit expensive but we had a Groupon! It was very informative about his history, his music and all of his other artistic abilities. There were a lot of interactive exhibits, I really enjoyed where you can listen to every artist that has covered each of Cash’s songs (Snoop Dogg covered “Walk the Line”!). 


Next we walked over to the Music City’s Walk of Fame. It’s similar to Hollywood Blvd, but on a much, much smaller scale. Afterwards we decided it was time to eat some lunch, but it was difficult to decide on a restaurant because pretty much every restaurant and bar on Broadway had live music. We finally decided on Rippy’s Ribs. They had 3 acoustic guitarists taking requests, Elliot ordered fried catfish and a local lager and I tried a BBQ chicken wrap with one of my usual drinks. 


Since we spent a bit of money on lunch we decided it was best not to go bar hopping on the strip and we visited the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge that goes across the Cumberland River. It’s one of the largest pedestrian bridges in the world at 960 meters. By the time we got to the bridge the sun had set and everything was lit up so it was a pretty cool view to see. 


Unfortunately the Parthenon replica is closed on Mondays so we weren’t able to make it on that trip because we wanted to see the inside too, but fortunately we’re not on any sort of a time restraint so before we head back south to take the Natchez Trace Parkway today we’re going back up to Nashville to see the Parthenon then from there we’ll take the Trace and camp and hike along the way through the Parkway. 

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