Sunday, November 22, 2015

Tennessee

Destination: Big South Fork National Park, Nashville, Meeble-Shelby Forest State Park (outside Memphis), Tennessee
The road to Nashville
Here in the south I can't figure out if I have lost track of time while living the life of a 43 year old Tom Sawyer, or if my sense of time has become keener. This week while fishing the New River in the Big South Fork I really didn't care enough to look at the time while I worked my way up and down fishing where the water eddies when the water was high and the current was strong. Time seems to be moving at a different pace when you are spending all of your time in the woods. I'm more aware of the  squirrels time schedule and the fishes habits than I am of what is going on in the world outside, but somehow it has become a game with Hana today in Nashville that I have been able to accurately tell her the time without looking at a clock. 

  After giving up most of my possessions I'm not really sure of what I had, or how much it was worth hanging on to. I used to hold onto every dog eared book I read until my collection got so big that it was cumbersome. I claimed that I held onto them so I would always be able to go back on them for reference, or to remember the ideas of the authors that I read, but in actuality I carried all of those heavy books out of vanity. I was once proud that I had so many beat up books to show that there was something going on in the brain of what appears to be a somewhat absent minded, simple man that loses things often. I now really don't care how simple I appear, or who knows what I read, because in actuality they don't care nearly as much as my mind would anticipate. It is all just vanity. It felt good to sell and donate all of my books, and even some of my paintings I held on to. There is a lot to be said for the simple life that I am having an easy time adapting to. Material possessions after a while just seem to slow you down, and even all of the information in those books can be just as much of a burden. This week I was finding more useful information in how the river was acting before, during, and after a heavy rainfall than in a good 60 percent of the books I was once so proud that I read anyway. As King Solomon stated, "All is vanity and vexation of the spirit." 

  What I have learned is thankfulness. There is nothing like gutting trout that you just caught and putting into the fire along with some sweet potatoes and corn. To breath the fresh air all day and observing the beautiful things big and small that God created is a gift. In seclusion I find that I am not secluded at all. Some creatures move silently, squirrels rapidly shuffle the leaves about, and woodpeckers make this distinct pecking sound that I only once knew in cartoons. Twenty five years ago I had envisioned an off grid hobo adventure, but never would have believed that it would have happened to me now at this time in my life or in this way. 

  Hana and I spent the day in Nashville and will be heading for the hills again to a state park on the Mississippi River tomorrow. The RV park we are in now is one big parking lot which is the opposite of what we are used to. There are no trails here but the owners are nice. They offer 3 square meals a day, karaoke on Saturday night, and church on Sunday morning. It is also nice to have the full hookup for a couple nights where we can wash dishes without thinking about the water tank running low, or the grey tank getting too full.

 We were able to drop in on a few pawn shops in search of a broken-in accoustic guitar, shop in the Wrangler outlet, go to a gun and knife show, and have dinner at a place that served all you can eat catfish and corn pudding family style. The name of the restaurant is Monell's. If you ever stop in Nashville I would suggest going if you want southern cooking done well. The plates of food move around the table faster than you can eat. The food was so good I found myself eating meatloaf, which is something I haven't ventured to try in years. The corn pudding was so good I had three servings. While everyone was full there was still a lot of food left on the table. I found myself contemplating how to sneak some of the fried catfish out in my pockets.

  When I saw there was a gun and knife show here I was pretty exited, envisioning beautifully crafted collector Bowie knives, along with some vintage six shooters and black powder guns. There was some of that, but nothing like what I used to see around the Detroit area when I was younger. It was still a good show, and I did come across and old codger that had a nice collection of Case Knives, and introduced me to a similar brand of stag handled pocket knives called Fighting Rooster, which is a highly respectable company that once got as wild to create a 12 blade knife. I could have easily purchased a few knives from that guy, I could hear Hana disapprovingly say I have enough knives already, but I am going to have to say that that is just a matter of opinion. 

  We did have to stop at the now l Dukes of Hazard museum which is really a store to sell cheap, gimicky stuff to tourists. I still enjoyed it for Nostalgic reasons, and they did have some vintage memorabilia which jogged my memory of being a kid and getting exited every time they drove the General Lee sideways.  

  While it was nice to enjoy a day in the city, Hana and I are now ready to head for the hills again. We really don't want to go back to conventional life anytime soon. Both of us would feel the same way as when the old woman forced Huckleberry Finn to dress up.t's hard to put on a stiff pair of shiny shoes after you have been running barefoot in the woods for a while.

 Since none of us can truly boast of what we will accomplish the next day we will keep our other future ideas silent at this point. We looked for a house in the country, but kept getting outbid. Now we have a house that moves all over the country, giving us a variety of beautiful back yards larger than what we could own.  We had no idea things were going to work out like this while our house was for sale in Ypsilanti, so I reckon I can't accurately say what we will be doing when this year long adventure is over. Now, as we drive our rig down these winding roads through mountains and horse farms we are satisfied and thankful. 

-James



4 comments:

lydia murray said...

James, your ramble about the simple life was very interesting. It sounds like you are still both enjoying life on the road! Enjoy the back country again.

Anonymous said...

you have got the life. get a ham radio so we can talk.

Pete Murray said...

That sweet potato pie sure smells good!
Having Hana and James here is the most wonderful thing.
I love you both very much.
Pete

Pete Murray said...

PS the toilet pees real good! Come try it out.