2006  RIDE  JOURNAL
Here are some photos from recent day trips or just riding around.  All of the images are links to larger photos.  Click the image to view the large photo.  Web sites for destinations that have one may be visited by clicking the link below the photo.

Most of the photos were taken by me, but some were taken by friends and other riders.  ALL PHOTOS ARE COPYRIGHTED AND MAY NOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT THE EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE OWNER

INTRODUCTION
This being my first year back on a bike since I was a teenager and this being my first exposure to writing ride reports they are lacking in detail, photographs, and organization.  I apologize for that and the subsequent years are significantly better in those regards.  I tended to focus more on getting where I was going without incident than the scenery around me.  Now, 3+ years later, I'm more able to divide my attention between controlling the motorcycle, watching for danger areas around me, and still have enough left over to enjoy the scenery a little bit.  I see more, I enjoy the rides more, and I take the time to stop and take photographs.  So if this year seems a little bit disorganized you'll understand why.

As a little background, I rode motorcycles when I was a teenager.  I was young, invincible, and slid on the pavement and gravel more than once.  I still have the scars to prove it.  I eventually grew away from them and didn't ride again for many years.  In May, 2006 I decided I wanted another one and bought my Suzuki V-Strom.  That was followed in August, 2007 with a Honda VFR.  Between May, 2006 and September, 2009, which is when this introduction was added, I have travelled a bit over 50,000 miles on my bikes and visited 16 states.  I also have a trip starting in about 12 days that will add another 3,000 miles and 6 more states to that tally.  I've seen places I never would have bothered to visit in a car, I've met a number of wonderful people who have become close friends, and I have truly enjoyed myself.  I won't say I enjoyed every single mile because some were hot or cold or wet or long.  After I stop the discomfort is quickly forgotten but the memories and experiences stay.  I wouldn't trade the overall experiences for anything.

So here we go.  A pictorial record of the places I've visited on a bike.  Hope you enjoy them.

NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY -- July 3, 2006, August 12, 2006, September 9, 2006
The Natchez Trace Parkway is 444 miles long and runs from Natchez, MS northward to Nashville, TN.  It roughly follows an old trading route that was used by traders and Indians in the late 1700's and early 1800's.  There are numerous "Historic" sites to stop and visit (although I question the significance of some of them!).

Today it is a modern 2-lane paved roadway.  I have ridden about 180 miles of The Trace, from the northern terminus at Highway 100 in Nashville to the Tupelo National Battlefield in Tupelo, MS.  The northern 15 miles are, to me, by far the most interesting because it is virtually one long series of curves (82 of them to be exact!).  I only show two "Rides" down it but in reality I've been up and down portions of it many times.  If I just want a nice quiet ride for an hour or so I frequently head that way to clear my head.  There is a loop about 65 miles long from my home to the Northern Terminus at Highway 100, down The Trace to Leipers Fork (the best part of The Trace!), and back home through Franklin that is a great afternoon ride.  To me The Trace is just a fun place to ride a motorcycle.

The Trace is not technically difficult, the speed limit is relatively low, and it is frequented by rangers using radar to catch people who decide to violate the speed limit.  On the other hand it is a perfectly maintained 2-lane paved road with very few straight sections, at least on the northern 15 miles.  One curve typically feeds directly into the next one.  Commercial traffic is not allowed on the Trace so there are no large trucks.  I don't know how it is farther south of here, but in this area there is really very little traffic at all.  I will typically see a few cars, a motorcycle or two, and lots of bicycles.  The lanes are wide with wide grass verges on both sides, the surface is perfectly smooth, and there is little traffic.  In other words it is a perfect place to just relax and have a fun ride.

The National Park Service has an excellent web site pertaining to the Natchez Trace Parkway at This Link  It contains a lot of information about the history of the Trace as well as maps depicting the entire route as it is today.

There are more photos of The Trace on my 2007 Rides Page


Natchez Trace Parkway
July 3, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
July 3, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Northern Terminus - Mile 444.0
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Water Valley Overlook - Mile 411.8
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Water Valley Overlook - Mile 411.8
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Water Fall
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Water Fall
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Gordon House - Mile 407.7
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Gordon House - Mile 407.7
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Gordon House - Mile 407.7
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Typical section of the road
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Meriweather Lewis Monument - Mile 385.9
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Meriweather Lewis Monument - Mile 385.9
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Meriweather Lewis Monument - Mile 385.9
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Meriweather Lewis Monument - Mile 385.9
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Meriweather Lewis Monument - Mile 385.9
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Meriweather Lewis Monument - Mile 385.9
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Metal Ford - Mile 382.8
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Metal Ford - Mile 382.8
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Metal Ford - Mile 382.8
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Metal Ford - Mile 382.8
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Metal Ford - Mile 382.8
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Metal Ford - Mile 382.8
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Metal Ford - Mile 382.8
August 12, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Dogwood Mudhole - Mile 367
September 9, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Dogwood Mudhole - Mile 367
September 9, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
McGlamerys Stand - Mile 352
September 9, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
McGlamerys Stand - Mile 352
September 9, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
AL/TN State Line - Mile 341
September 9, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
AL/TN State Line - Mile 341
September 9, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Colbert Ferry Site - Mile 327
September 9, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Colbert Ferry Site - Mile 327
September 9, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Colbert Ferry Site - Mile 327
September 9, 2006
   
NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY -- October 21, 2006 - Fall Foliage Ride
I just can't help it.  When I want to go take pictures or just take a nice, quiet, relaxing ride I automatically head for the Natchez Trace Parkway.  There is just something about that place that clears my head and allows me to just enjoy the scenery and the ride.

The foliage here in Tennessee is starting to turn and I had to have some photos of it.  It's difficult to get good fall foliage photos here because of our weather.  The trees turn at different times, and we usually have enough wind that the early colors (yellow and orange) are gone by the time the reds start to come out fully.  I'm not a botanist so I can't explain it, but in the photos below you'll see what I mean.  Many of the trees are bright, vivid yellow or orange while others are still green.  In a few weeks the reds will be dominant but by that time most of the yellows will be on the ground.

There are more photos of The Trace on my 2007 Rides Page


Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006

Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall Foliage Ride
October 21, 2006
FT. DONELSON NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD -- July 8, 2006 & July 15, 2006
GPS Coordinates: N36.48252 W87.86288 +/-
Fort Donelson National Battlefield in Dover, TN. was the site of a major battle during the Civil war.  The National Park Service has an excellent web site devoted to Fort Donelson at This Link and there is some specific information regarding the battle for Fort Donelson on their site at This Link

I have ridden my motorcycle up there twice simply because it is a fun ride.  I also enjoy looking at the sites of the battle.  I'm not much of a historian, but standing there where the artillery is mounted and looking down the river I realized that what I was seeing was virtually the exact same scene that Confederate soldiers must have seen back in 1862.

To me one of the most magnificent thing about the park is the family of Bald Eagles that lives there.  Some photos of them are included below, and they are absolutely majestic birds.


Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 8, 2006

Me and some Riding Buddies
Belle Meade, TN - July 15, 2006

North on Highway 70 - July 15, 2006

Me and some Riding Buddies - Fitz's Restaurant
Erin, TN - July 15, 2006

Me and some Riding Buddies - Fitz's Restaurant
Erin, TN - July 15, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 15, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 15, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - July 15, 2006

Ft. Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - October 15, 2006
FALL CREEK FALLS STATE PARK -- August 5, 2006
GPS Coordinates: N35.66167 W85.34885 +/-
Although I have heard of Fall Creek Falls State Park for years I had never been there before.  I decided it would be a good ride for a Day Trip so I headed that way.  I'm glad I did!  The park is a beautiful place to visit and Highway 30 east of Spencer, TN. leading into the park was truly worth the trip all by itself.

The Tennessee State Parks division has a web site devoted to Fall Creek Falls at This Link


Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, TN - August 5, 2006

Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, TN - August 5, 2006

Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, TN - August 5, 2006

Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, TN - August 5, 2006

Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, TN - August 5, 2006

Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, TN - August 5, 2006

Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, TN - August 5, 2006

Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, TN - August 5, 2006

Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, TN - August 5, 2006

Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, TN - August 5, 2006

Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, TN - August 5, 2006

Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, TN - August 5, 2006

Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, TN - August 5, 2006

Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, TN - August 5, 2006

Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, TN - August 5, 2006

Highway 30 into Fall Creek Falls
Spencer, TN - August 5, 2006
PORT ROYAL STATE PARK -- September 3, 2006
GPS Coordinates: N36.55344 W87.14184 +/-
Port Royal State Park used to be an interesting place to go because of the old covered bridge that is there.  Unfortunately, as the photos show, there is not much left of it now.  The history of the original covered bridge is unknown except that its remains washed away in a flood during 1866.  It was rebuilt in 1903 and deteriorated until it fell into the river in 1972.  A third bridge was built in 1978 and this one, the bridge shown in the photos below, was virtually destroyed by a tornado on June 10, 1998.  Obviously it has not been rebuilt yet.

The park encompasses 26 acres and has a 1/4 mile bluff trail, however since I presently have a fractured right foot I chose not to try it out.

The Tennessee State Parks division has a web site devoted to Port Royal State Park at This Link


Port Royal State Park
Adams, TN - September 3, 2006

Port Royal State Park
Adams, TN - September 3, 2006

Port Royal State Park
Adams, TN - September 3, 2006

Port Royal State Park
Adams, TN - September 3, 2006
STONES RIVER NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD -- September 4, 2006
GPS Coordinates: N35.88081 W86.43489 +/-
Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreeesboro, TN is the site of a civil war battle.  From the National Parks Service web site, "The Battle of Stones River began on the last day of 1862 and was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the Civil War.  The battle produced important military and political gains for the Union, and it changed forever the people who lived and fought here."

The visitor's center has a very good display of relics from the battle as well as numerous paintings, photographs, and other documents describing the battle.  There is a tour through the park however there is a not a lot to photograph.  Those interested in the history of the Civil War would find the tour quite interesting but those seeking photographs might not find the tour stops as interesting.

The National Park Service has a web site devoted to Stones River National Battlefield at This Link


Stones River National Battlefield
Murfreesboro, TN - September 4, 2006

Stones River National Battlefield
Murfreesboro, TN - September 4, 2006

Stones River National Battlefield
Murfreesboro, TN - September 4, 2006

Stones River National Battlefield
Murfreesboro, TN - September 4, 2006

Stones River National Battlefield
Murfreesboro, TN - September 4, 2006

Stones River National Battlefield
Murfreesboro, TN - September 4, 2006

Stones River National Battlefield
Murfreesboro, TN - September 4, 2006

Stones River National Battlefield
Murfreesboro, TN - September 4, 2006
SHILOH NATIONAL MILITARY PARK -- October 8, 2006
GPS Coordinates: N35.15128 W88.32170
Shiloh National Military Park is the scene of a major battle during the Civil War during which 23,746 Union and Confederate soldiers were reported dead or missing.  From the National Park Service Web Site, "No soldier who took part in the two day’s engagement at Shiloh ever spoiled for a fight again,” recalled one Union veteran. “We wanted a square, stand-up fight [and] got all we wanted of it.”

I rode to Shiloh on October 8, 2006 with my friend and riding buddy AGirl.  It was a gorgeous early fall day and we could not have asked for better weather.  To make it an epic day, AGirl got the last National Park Passport stamp that she needed to have all of them in Tennessee (not bad for a lady who lives in Arizona!) and also turned over 50,000 (that's fifty thousand!) miles on her DL1000 since last November.

The National Park Service has a web site devoted to Shiloh National Military Park at This Link


Outside the main park entrance
October 8, 2006

Shiloh National Military Park
Hardin County, TN - October 8, 2006

Shiloh National Military Park
Hardin County, TN - October 8, 2006

Shiloh National Military Park
Hardin County, TN - October 8, 2006

Shiloh Visitor's Center
October 8, 2006

Pair-O-Stroms - Shiloh National Military Park
Hardin County, TN - October 8, 2006

AGirl Turns Over 50,000 miles
October 8, 2006
 
JACK DANIEL'S DISTILLERY -- November 19, 2006
GPS Coordinates: N35.28379 W86.37079
My Friend AGirl (aka Stromette!) and I took a trip to the Jack Daniel's Distillery at Lynchburg, TN on November 19, 2006.  It was a bit on the cool side (mid 40's) but well worth the trip.  The facility has tours every 15 minutes nearly every day of the year, and if you are in the area I highly recommend it as a trip stop because it is very interesting.

What amazed me most about the entire facility was the lack of modernization.  The distillery dates back to 1866, and was the first registered distillery in the United States (which, obviously, makes it the oldest registered distillery in the United States!).  Much of the process equipment is very old (I wouldn't hazard a guess as to how old!) and the only concession to modern times I saw was some computer process controls in the distillery itself and some PVC pipe in places.  There is even very little stainless steel piping in the process itself, most of it is still copper.  The tanks are copper, the barrels are Eastern White Oak, and the whiskey is mellowed through Eastern White Oak charcoal much as it has been done since the beginning.

The Jack Daniel's Web Site has a lot of interesting information about the facility including a "Virtual Tour".  The onsite tour lasts about an hour and 15 minutes, and is time well spent if you are in the area.

Some of my photos are somewhat dark because flash photography is prohibited in most of the buildings.  AGirl has some additional photos on This Page of her web site.


A Pair of V-Stroms at The Visitor's Center
(the Goldwing wasn't with us)

The Visitor's Center
November 19, 2006

The Visitor's Center
November 19, 2006

The Visitor's Center
November 19, 2006

The Visitor's Center
November 19, 2006

The Rickyard
November 19, 2006

The Rickyard
November 19, 2006

The Sawmill
November 19, 2006

The Sawmill
November 19, 2006

The Sawmill
November 19, 2006

The Fire Brigade
November 19, 2006

The Fire Brigade
November 19, 2006

The Still Area
November 19, 2006

The Still Area
November 19, 2006

The Still Area
November 19, 2006

The Still Area
November 19, 2006

Mellowing Area
November 19, 2006

Mellowing Area
November 19, 2006

Just Some Process Buildings
November 19, 2006

Just Some Process Buildings
November 19, 2006

Just Some Process Buildings
November 19, 2006

The Fermenting Area
November 19, 2006

The Spring Water Source
November 19, 2006

The Single Barrel Bottling Area
November 19, 2006

The Single Barrel Bottling Area
November 19, 2006

The Single Barrel Bottling Area
November 19, 2006

The Single Barrel Bottling Area
November 19, 2006

Just A Cool Bridge
November 19, 2006

AGirl and a bronze statue of "Mr. Jack"  Mr. Jack is the one on the right ;)  Jack Daniel was 5'-2" tall and wore size 4 shoes.  I don't think they got the height right because she is taller than 5'-2"!

Next to this statue is a large tree with most of the lower limbs sawn off.  According to our tour guide the limbs were removed because they kept knocking Mr. Jack over.  The shoes of the statue are actually size 4 so he doesn't have a lot of support ;)


Our Route To and From
Jack Daniel's Distillery
 
CHEATHAM LOCK AND DAM -- November 24, 2006
GPS Coordinates: N36.31741 W87.21698 +/-
I've been to the Cheatham Dam Recreation Area many times, we used to have family reunions there every year.  While trying to think of somewhere I could ride I realized I had never seen the dam itself, so off I went.  As dams go it isn't a very imposing site since it only raises the river level about 5 feet, but it is interesting to see.

The US Army Corps of Engineers oversees the dam and lake, as they do most navigable waterways in the country, and their web site for Cheatham Lake is at This Link

All of the photos are taken from the upstream side since access to the other side of the dam was gated off so that I could not get over there.

 
CENTER HILL DAM -- December 10, 2006
GPS Coordinates: N36.09658 W85.82737 +/-
Not a lot to see, but at least I got out and rode a while.  And, before you ask, yes it was a little on the cool side.  It warmed up to the mid 50's though so it wasn't too bad (except for the crosswind that was blowing me all over I-40 coming home!).
130 MILE CUP OF COFFEE -- December 22, 2006
GPS Coordinates: N36.50925 W87.27569 +/-
OK, so it's not a 4,000 Mile Thanksgiving or a 700 Mile Seafood Lunch but it's not that warm around here either!  My boss gave all of his staff some gift cards for Christmas, and one of them was a gift card to Starbucks Coffee.  Having never even set foot inside a Starbucks I decided it was time to do so, and since it was relatively warm here today (41 when I left home and mid 50's when I got back) I decided it was only natural to pick a Starbucks that was about 50 miles away.  So I loaded up and headed for Clarksville, TN to grab a cup of coffee.  Since Clarksville is my original home I admit to riding through town for a bit, but what the heck, it's been 20+ years since I've seen some of it.

If you look at the third photo showing my route you'll see that I did manage to avoid the interstate completely.  I took Old Highway 41-A to Clarksville and came back via Highway 12 through Ashland City.  After all, I did learn how to turn a short trip into a long one from the best ;)

 
MISCELLANEOUS PLACES AND PHOTOS
This is just a collection of photos that I have taken at other places I have ridden my motorcycle.  Some of them have significance only to me, some are just nice photographs.

Radnor Lake
Nashville, TN - May 14, 2006

Radnor Lake
Nashville, TN - May 28, 2006

Edwin Warner Park
Nashville, TN - July 3, 2006

Edwin Warner Park
Nashville, TN - July 3, 2006

Former TDPC pistol range (Parking Lot)
Smithville, TN - July 23, 2006

Former TDPC pistol range (Bay 1)
Smithville, TN - July 23, 2006

Former TDPC pistol range (Bay 2)
Smithville, TN - July 23, 2006

Former TDPC pistol range (Bay 2 & 3)
Smithville, TN - July 23, 2006

Former TDPC pistol range (Bay 3)
Smithville, TN - July 23, 2006

Former TDPC pistol range (Gated "County" Road)
Smithville, TN - July 23, 2006

Couchville Lake at Long Hunter State Park
Nashville, TN - August 26, 2006

Couchville Lake at Long Hunter State Park
Nashville, TN - August 26, 2006

Couchville Lake at Long Hunter State Park
Nashville, TN - August 26, 2006

Couchville Lake at Long Hunter State Park
Nashville, TN - August 26, 2006

Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave, KY - September 2, 2006

A Map of my travels through December 31, 2006
PLACES I HAVEN'T GOTTEN TO YET
Below is a partial list of places in this area that I want to visit on my motorcycle.  They are not in any particular order, and while I haven't been to them yet I will in the upcoming months.  Stay tuned for more photos!

Alabama Space And Rocket Center
Huntsville, AL
Tail Of The Dragon / Deal's Gap
Tellico Plains, TN
Great Smokey Mountains State Park
Gatlinburg, TN
Barber Motorsports Park
Leeds, AL
Oak Ridge Museum
Oak Ridge, TN
Big South Fork National Park
Jamestown, TN
Cumberland Gap National Park
Cumberland Gap, TN
Waverly, TN
(to see the airport runway I designed)


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