There is nothing like a great ride with some wonderful friends to create memories that will last a lifetime. This weekend that is exactly what I did. I absolutely love riding the back roads of this great country. I call it seeing the true America. Sure you can see scenery from the interstate rolling 70 mph. But really folks, slow down and take the two lanes to get the true feel of our great country.
Let’s take a moment and see what makes a great ride. To me it takes only a very few things. First thing is a great route. Be honest, if the road isn’t fun to ride then the ride isn’t that fun. We need twists and curves to add excitement to the ride. Throw in some breath-taking scenery and the senses are soaking in the flavor. Speaking of flavor you’ve got to eat. A great meal is a must on any ride. Especially one with a group. That gives us another essential for a ride. The friends we ride with. Face it, what good is a story without friends to share it with.
Our ride today had all these elements so how could it be anything other than spectacular? The temps for the start of the ride were in the thirties. Yes that’s what I said thirties. We didn’t let that stop us because the forecast called for upper sixties before the day was over. Our first stop after making our way down some great twisties was for food. Not just food, trash plates. That’s right I ate trash and loved it. The little eatery at the cross roads know as Payne’s Store is fantastic. Well worth the hour it took us on our route to start the day.
Leaving Payne’s Store we took highway 25 over through Hartsville where we turned north onto highway 10. 10 took us into Lafayette and the intersection of highway 52. We would spend the next couple hours taking our time enjoying the sights, curves and scenery on 52. Oh how could I forget we got close to nature as well. Perhaps a better way to put it would be to say nature got close to us. Specifically a deer. It was one of those you had to be there to see it and believe it situations. If you’ve seen the video online of the deer jumping over the rider then you will have some idea of what it was like. Word has it from one of the eye witnesses that after the deer made it across the road and my bike for that matter, the deer turned around and gave me the finger. Or would that be the hoof? Either way no one or no wildlife was harmed in the making of these memories.
Soon we turned north on U.S 127 and rode to the Alvin C. York Home. This quiet little setting on the banks of the Wolfe River is very peaceful. You can see all sorts of family photos and belongings of the most highly decorated citizen soldier of World War I. Across the river from the house is the grist mill. What a beautiful setting for a park. On this day there were many families enjoying picnics and using the playground. I think a few folks were even fishing.
Continuing north on U.S. 127 we stopped at the general store located at Forbus. Most of us enjoyed a taste of some of the fudge that they make there. A couple of us devoured thick cut bologna sandwiches while others had some hand dipped ice cream. We even sat on the porch and chatted with the locals. Even though one of the so-called locals wasn’t from around there. No hiding that New York accent around me. Uh huh I’m too cleaver for that.
Just north of here we turned onto highway 111 south and soon came across our final stop for the day. The Cordell Hull Birthplace Historic park is located just off the highway in the rolling hills around Dale Hollow Lake. It’s interesting to me to sit and think of how the visions of a man from such a humble beginning changed the world. Hull is known as the father of the United Nations. I can’t help but wonder what Hull would think of the state of his U.N. today.
We continued south on 111 into Cookeville where we jumped onto Interstate 40 over to Lebanon and then took 840 back into Murfreesboro. All in all it was around 329 miles for the day. Not too shabby don’t ya think. We learned some things about the history of our nation and enjoyed the company of friends. All this while partaking in this passion we all share of riding our motorcycles.