The Natchez Trace

October 17, 2007

A Little Run Down The Trace


Sharyn and I do not get to ride together as much as we would like to, so we both are really looking forward to this day. Since she can't sweat, riding in the summer is just out of the question for her, so we get in as much fall riding as we can. She is the best passenger a rider can have, for I never know she is back there unless she is massaging my shoulders. I've had the privilege of having her as a passenger for 32 years and she's a real blessing. We sleep in late, in no hurry on this day and meander over to one of my favorite breakfast spots, Loveless Café.


I drop her off to get our name in the hat, and take the Redbird next door to gas up. On Saturdays, you'd better be ready to wait if you're gonna eat at Loveless and this time is no different. When I come back, she's sitting outside in a porch chair.

“Honey, how longs the wait?” I ask.

“They said 45 minutes.”

“Well, we ain't in no hurry so we'll just enjoy the fresh air” I tell her.

It's a full 45 minutes but the wait is worth it. There's another couple who sit down and we talk about bikes and such before they get called up. Finally our buzzer goes off and in we go. Their breakfast is up to the billing, and the biscuits and homemade preserves just hit the spot. And boy, do these folks know how to make sweet milk gravy. We finish up and we're out the door and on to the Trace. I'm surprised and I comment to Sharyn –

“I figured the leaf peepers would be out in force today, but looks like we've got it to ourselves.”

“Yes, it is a bit surprising, but it sure makes it nice” she replies.

Today, I decide I'll be a bit of a leaf peeper myself since traffic is absent. I just wave an occasional car on past me, as I stop and take several shots of the brilliant colors along the way.


This time of year reminds me why I still live in Tennessee. We get 4 distinct seasons, each unique in its own way. You can pretty much ride year round with a little heated gear. It's easy to get out of the towns quickly and you are out in the country and out of the crowds. Each little settlement has it's own unique personality, and the folks generally act like they're glad to see you. And the roads are just as good as any you will find in any state – and the pavement is superb. We wander down the Trace for about 100 miles and see maybe 6 cars and 3 bikes. I'm looking for a road off the Trace that should take me to some pretty good roads. I know it's near the Tennessee/Alabama line, but that's about it. I see what I think it is, but there's no sign. So I figure I'll keep on and if I come to the state line, then I know that was it. When we get to the line, I just do an about face and take the road I thought it was. My internal GPS is working and I drop right to where I wanted to be. We are working our way back north in a lazy fashion to the best hamburger place in the state – Soda Pop Shop in Lynnville, TN. It's a place well known to locals and a few outsiders. We meander along some great roads with wide, lazy sweepers and no traffic. The colors are just magnificent, some of the best we've ever seen. We ease into Iron City at the junction of 227 and 242 for a coke and hydraulic break. I can tell it's hunting season with all the ATVs and camouflage. The lady behind the counter in the little country store seems glad to see us.

“You've sure got a great day to go riding” she offers.

“Yes ma'am, we do. And it sure beats working” I tell her.

We both laugh as I wander back outside. Sharyn has picked up a homemade chocolate confection in the store that's out of this world.

“Hey sweetheart, that's gonna ruin your lunch” I warn her..

“Well, I got you one too” she smiles.

We just take a nibble of them, and then mount up. After a long series of more sweepers, we touch the outskirts of Lawrenceburg, and I tell Sharyn –

“Folks always get this place and Lewisburg (where I'm from) crossed up. This is a big Davy Crockett town.”

Davy Crockett actually spent some time here back in the days when he was roaming around. They have a State Park named after him next to town. We ease on down the road toward Mount Pleasant and then wiggle back down 166 where I miss my cutoff at 245. It sure couldn't been because I was traveling too fast. It's another about face then we take it up to Yokely Road that will bring us into Waco. In Waco, just a quick turn and we are in Lynnville. Most folks don't know that the founder of Mars Candy Bars had a big dairy farm in this area and was famous for supplying his chocolate confections free to some local events. We arrive at the Soda Pop Shop, park the bike right out front and wander in.


This place is where the rest of the hamburger shops come to take pictures for their advertisements. Their double ½ pound burger is two half pound patties with real strips of bacon and enough cholesterol to clog your arteries in the first bite. I settle for a single ½ pound since breakfast is still down there. Sharyn and I decide to split an order of onion rings – cause it's big enough for three people. The young man that waits on us is originally from California – San Diego in fact.

“Yes, I was out there in September, but a little farther north” I tell him.

“I've been here 6 years and I wouldn't go back” he says with a grin.

He's a good server and we tip him well. The burgers are excellent as always and we are stuffed to the lid. Some local musicians are bringing in their gear. One of them starts to pick a little bit, and I can tell he's the real deal. We'd love to stay, but it's getting dark and some of our kitties are outside, so we saddle up and head for the slab.

As we run I65 into Nashville and get swept up in the crazy traffic, I can't help but count my many blessings – a wonderful riding partner, a great bike and beautiful place to ride. What more could a man want for a perfect day?