End of the Blues Blues
CHASING THE BLUES, CHAPTER 30: Indianapolis, IN, to Nashville, TN
Monday, April 27—Indianapolis
After our self-guided tour of the Indiana statehouse—another story for another post—we walked back to the Residence Inn just before noon and put together some lunch from our supplies on hand and leftovers from the night before. Crown Hill Cemetery dominated our afternoon agenda. Our motivation was finding letterboxes, but even the noxers (non-letterboxers) rate it in the top ten Indianapolis attractions, according to Trip Advisor.
Ensconced on the National Register of Historic Places, Crown Hill is the burial site of President Benjamin Harrison, poet James Whitcomb Riley, industrialist Eli Lilly and numerous other notables. Founded in 1863, the cemetery sprawls over 555 acres traversed by 25 miles of roads. More than 200,000 have been interred there, yet space remains to fill burial needs for another 200 years.
|The crown of Crown Hill|
|Loved this concept|
We made plans to follow I-65 due south into Nashville the next day.
Tuesday, April 28—Indianapolis, IN, to Nashville, TN
When we left the hotel in Indianapolis, we decided it was time for us to check out the Indy Motor Speedway before leaving town. We’ve been to the city numerous times and never made it to the famous car racing mecca. Not that we were interested in a tour, we just wanted the “been there, seen that” threshold of familiarity.
|Empty stands at Indy Motor Speedway|
|Cheekee Monkey does it again!|
|Abraham Lincoln memorial in Louisville riverside park|
Wednesday, April 29—Nashville, TN
Our day began with some letterboxing around the city—on the Vanderbilt campus, behind the oldest bar in Nashville, in Centennial Park. While we were in the park, we decided to visit the Parthenon, a Nashville landmark. Built in 1897 as part of the city's centennial celebration, this imposing edifice is a full-size replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece. Intended as a temporary structure for the exposition,, the first Nashville Parthenon was constructed of insubstantial materials, which eventually rendered it hazardous. It had proved so popular with the local citizenry and visitors, however, that the structure was rebuilt with concrete in the late 1920s. Today it serves as an art museum and a popular event space.
Near the library's main entrance, on the corner of Church Street and 7th Avenue, sits La Storia della Terra, a 20-ft. tower of books made of marble, granite and quartz from five continents. Created in Germany in 2001, the column consists of 26 books, one for each letter of the Roman alphabet.
Driven by a flourishing health care industry and robust job market, downtown Nashville is in the midst of a construction boom—office buildings, restaurants and stores, hotels, and residential properties. "If there's dirt, they're moving it," Ken observed as we passed one construction site after another.
A few more letterboxes after the library, and we retired to the hotel where we did some construction ourselves, building dinner from lunch leftovers and existing supplies. We even had time to relax a bit before heading out in search of some Nashville blues.
On 2nd Street, the city's intensely touristy stretch of restaurants, bars and taverns, we found the Nashville location of B.B. King's Blues Club. The happy hour duo was still playing—a fellow named J. Curly Speegle on guitar and vocals accompanied by a diffident bass player, who couldn't tear his eyes from Curly's hands. We surmised that the two don't play together regularly as the guitar, bass and vocals often seemed to be proceeding on their own without regard for one another. Song selections leaned more toward Eric Clapton than Muddy Waters from this pair who billed themselves as southern rock.
|Another B.B. outpost|
This was our last day of chasing the blues, and it has been a great ride. When we started out 40 days ago, we were novices. Today, we still are, but we've learned a lot and heard some fabulous music and met some talented musicians. Our decision to stick with small blues clubs rather than concert halls afforded us opportunities to really get to know the people we were listening to. They were uniformly friendly, appreciative, and instructive, leaving us eager to continue chasing the blues in our future travels.
Chapter 30 Stats:
- Miles driven: 377
- Weather: sunny to partly cloudy, 35° to 72°
- Letterboxes found: 28
- Miles walked: 11.25
Last Dose of Blues Music (for this trip)
Gene Deer in Indianapolis
Tony Coleman and the King's Men in Nashville
|The beautiful Eastman angel, a Crown Hill landmark|
|Lovely markers and landscaping throughout the cemetery|
|Lush grounds of Crown HIll|
|Nashville Public Library|
|Food Court at Nashville Farmers Market|
|Moving dirt, and rubble, in Nashville|
|Tree-laden Calvary Cemetery on Lebanon Pike in Nashville|