Things have been busy around here lately. I have found some time to get in some much-needed riding. I’ve done things such as an impromptu overnight ride. I left with no particular route in mind and I certainly found it. I headed South and rode down near the Alabama state line only to wind up in Kentucky before the night was over.
How long has it been since you’ve enjoyed a picnic? I bet it’s been far too long. Well that’s one of the things I’ve done lately that was incredibly relaxing. How much fun it is to ride off to some remote spot on a lake to enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of nature. Talk about peaceful.
Fall is upon us now. How long has it been since you grabbed a close friend or two and headed out on a wonderful 200 mile Sunday afternoon ride around the countryside? Well I recently have done just this. I took some unintended turns that wound up being excellent roads. The crisp air was refreshing. As you can see from the above photograph, the roads were spectacular.
Get off the couch and get outside and enjoy this amazing Fall weather while you can. Soon we’ll be enjoying the cold bone chilling temperatures of Winter. Now don’t let this time pass you by. Seize the day! This is what we dream about. Live the dream!
Tennessee is blessed to have so many natural wonders and beautiful places for all of us to enjoy. One such place is Big Cypress Tree State Natural Area. You have to want to go there to get there. I’ve had this on my radar for some time now. Thankfully I was able to drop by for a nice visit. What a pleasant surprise it was to see such a peaceful area. Not exactly what I was expecting but a nice treat nonetheless. The day I rode over there was a super hot day. Hell most of the days this summer have been super hot. It was nice traveling down the back roads of Tennessee. I love taking roads both old and new to me. The countryside is always filled with the sights of wildlife. You never know what sort of oddity you’ll run across. One sad thing I noticed was the empty shell of some old factories. What a shame these jobs aren’t here anymore.
Talk about the road less traveled. Now these are my kind of roads. The shade was a welcome relief from the heat of the sun. Amazing how much the temperature will drop in a little shade. I truly enjoy these back road journeys.
There was a nice garden full of raised beds with all sorts of plants to enjoy. Take for instance, I never knew there was such a thing as a Mexican Petunia. Well there is and I have two pictures to prove it.
See I told ya so. There was this little sign to point out what this plant was. In fact there were all sorts of signs to point out all sorts of plants.
This little guy was my tour guide for the gardens and playground. He sure did jump around a bunch. I think he was excited that I came to visit.
There is a really nice set of swings here at Big Cypress Tree as well as picnic tables and restrooms too. There’s a ball diamond and plenty of space for kids to run and have a good time.
There’s a great kiosk with lots of pictures and information about the area its history and the Big Cypress Tree.
Take some time to get out and find out about the many state parks or natural areas in your area. Whether you visit Big Cypress Tree State Natural Area here in my home state of Tennessee or some area in your home state, enjoy the beauty of our countryside.
The Hoka Hey Challenge has impacted me in so many ways. I can’t really explain it, but I just know it. One must find their inner warrior and use the strength they find from within to overcome the challenges they face. Easier said than done for sure. I was out on a soul ride and lo and behold what did I run across? This is the boyhood home of none other than Nathan Bedford Forrest. That’s when it hit me. Bedford Forrest is one of the greatest warriors of all time. I don’t believe it was by accident that I turned down that road I’d never before been down.
I’ve often said that I believe N.B. Forrest was one of the greatest motivators of men to ever set foot on this earth. If you want to learn more about Forrest I strongly urge you to read “Bedford Forrest and His Critter Company” by Andrew Nelson Lytle. This is a very informative book to say the least.I walked around the grounds and soaked in the moment. I tried to put myself back in the time period that Forrest lived here. I wondered about the trees and such around me. Which ones did he climb? Where did he sit in the shade? I was grateful that no one else was around. I tried to soak in the history that I was standing amongst.
I enjoyed spending this solitary time on this historic place. I reflected upon my life. I searched deep within me for answers. I found inspiration. I thought of reading the diary of one of Forrest’s men back when I was in 8th grade. I think I understand more clearly what the Hoka Hey is about.
Let me take a moment to say that in no way am I comparing myself to Bedford Forrest. I only used this time, this place to inspire me. Lord knows that I need inspiration lately. I’ve been fighting many battles on many fronts. I’ve lost so many that I thought I could depend on. I’ve made choices to stand with those that were left alone. I’ve learned so much about myself. Not all of it has been good. On this I am certain, I’ve been honest with myself. I’ve done what was the right thing to do. I have no regrets.I learned from history on this day. I learned from my past on this day. I learned from within on this day. I learned that like Forrest, I will show no quarter to my enemies. I will draw strength from the warrior spirit of Forrest. I will draw strength from within myself. From now on I will only draw strength from a very select few other people.
I know not what is to come. Like Forrest rode King Phillip I too will ride my trusty steed into what lies before me.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look inside of this historical location. You’ve also had a peek within me. Then again isn’t that what this blog is all about? Take time to learn from and be inspired by history. Take time to listen and search within yourself.
For those of you that don’t believe here is a shot of a very clean and shining LITTLE WOMAN.
For several years now I’ve heard about Campbell Station. My good friend Filbert keeps telling me that I need to go try one of their steaks. Trust me, I will! I needed to clear my head so what better way to do that than take a ride?
How could you not enjoy riding on roads such as this? For me it’s the best type of road to be on. Lined with trees and nice shade. If this won’t ease your mind I don’t know what will.Looking at the railroad out front I couldn’t help but to imagine someone sitting on the porch of Campbell Station thinking it was the crossroads of the world. With four roads intersecting I would say that it would be for the locals.
Like the title suggests, this was a ride to find out about Campbell Station. I didn’t expect them to be open today. They weren’t. I do plan to ride back down there in the near future to enjoy some of the fabulous food I’ve heard so much about.
I think these guys are at the front of the line waiting for the to reopen. I asked them to save me a spot and prepared to leave this little corner of America. I love places such as this.
With a quick look at my map I was ready to ride. I truly enjoyed my short visit to this peaceful little place. The Little Woman and I said our farewells and rode off to enjoy some more wonderful winding Tennessee back roads.
Sure you can cover lots of ground blasting down the super slab at 70 or 80 mph. As for me, I’ll take a slow stroll down a scenic back road over that anytime.
Thomas Rickey Patterson
14 February 1949-1 September 2008