THIS WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MAY 10, 2011.
We have a tradition that we began several Summer Trips ago. We set a date to leave and usually plan a long first travel day. Often in our excitement, we end up ready to go and twiddling our thumbs the day before. So we just look at each other with that "what are we waiting for" look, then we get in the car and GO! We drive till we don't want to drive anymore and stop for the night. I'll confess that this has gotten a bit more organized through the years, so with this trip, although we'd planned to leave early this morning, in the back of my mind, I'd hoped to leave late Monday afternoon. I'd researched possible options for Monday night and discovered Clarksville, TN about an hour northwest of Nashville. It's best known as the home of Fort Campbell and Austin Peay University.
We pulled out of our driveway at 3:00 p.m. EST and arrived in Clarksville around 6:30 p.m. CST after a leisurely stop for dinner in Mt. Juliet, TN, a suburb east of Nashville. That allowed us to avoid rush hour traffic through Nashville which can be a nightmare and still arrive in Clarksville before dark. We are staying at the Magnolia Tree Bed and Breakfast situated in a beautiful area of what we discovered to be a lovely town. After getting settled in, we immediately headed out for a nice long walk in the immediate area of the B & B. That felt good!!
Next up was a drive down to their restored riverfront area that includes a Riverwalk closely resembling our Riverfront Greenway in Knoxville. Those who have followed our travels in the past know that I've never met a college campus I didn't like, so the last thing on our list was a tour of Austin Peay University. It seemed pretty quiet so we guessed graduation must be over and the students have gone home for the summer.
Then it was back to enjoy our room at Magnolia Tree. With 230 of our 575 miles behind us, the drive to Hermann, MO today will be easy. Whenever possible, we avoid interstates, but my original planned route had taken us through Cairo, IL and up the Great River Road (Illinois Highway 3). Quite possibly, Cairo is under water (that's where the levee was blown up a few days ago), so we'll head up I-24 through Paducah, stop at the Illinois Welcome Center to ask about flooded roads and then make our way (hopefully!) over to the Great River Road crossing the Mississippi just south of St. Louis.
The owner of this B and B is known for her delicious breakfasts. The bad news is she didn't want to serve it until 8:30. We've changed time zones so that's 9:30 for us. We talked her into moving it up till 8:00, but my stomach is growling and I NEED coffee! We hope to be on the road by 9 CST.
Thanks for reading!