In Search of Autumn – Percy Warner Park, Nashville

In Search of Autumn – Percy Warner Park, Nashville

Saturday, October 22, 2017

Today we are heading to Nashville, the capital of Tennessee and Country Music. Before we meet up with Solo’s sister and his cousin for lunch we are going to hike in Percy Warner Park.

Observations and surprises

When I visited Solo for the first time, it was so important to him to introduce me to his neighbors and relatives. It was strange to me, but he said it was the custom. This time I was mentally prepared to be introduced to more friends and family. I mentioned it a few of days ago only to learn that it would not be necessary this time. It makes me wonder. Is this is a part of the changing climate in the United States of America? Or is it because I met some of those people last time? Things have changed here since 2013. It was visible on those past few bike rides when I lost my way. In 2013 Solo told me, that if anything happened to me while being out alone cycling, I could knock on every single door. Even if a murderer lived behind it, they would invite me in, serve me delicious sweet tea and take good care of me until my problem got solved. Behind every door, I would get to know Southern hospitality and get the help I needed. Everybody would make sure that I would get home safe. This time, when I finally lost the way–actually after finding back home–it had terrified Solo. He had imagined the very worst things to happen to me. Of course, nothing bad happened to me, my GPS, and a bit of common sense was enough to get me back home safe and sound. But still, something must have changed since the old days of 2013. This cannot only be because of the upcoming election, can it?

Something else is surprising for me too. Many people are displaying signs in their gardens or next to their driveways whom they are supporting in the upcoming election. Of course, there are campaign posters in Europe during an election too. But never before have I seen anybody putting the signs up in their gardens. Sure your neighbors might know whom you are going to vote for if you are somewhat engaged in politics or discuss politics with them. But still, there is some secrecy around it in Europe. Not so much here, it seems.

Percy Warner Park and The Appalachian1

On our way to Percy Warner Park, I see for the first time parts of the area where parts of The Appalachian is set. Even though I hadn’t seen it before, the book’s descriptions and my imagination had been pretty close to reality. On our way to the Park’s entrance, we are driving through Belle Meade, a wealthier part of Nashville. Here we do not see the typical family homes or farms but mansions. Huge houses, with my new talent of getting lost I would never find my way out again if I were invited in.

Hiking in the Park

Finding a parking lot is surprisingly hard. Not only are there only few parking places left, but many people in the park. We thought to come here for a walk in some sort of solitude. But it is more like a tour in a small city mall, only that it is outdoors and under trees. The sunny Saturday with temperatures above 20˚C has encouraged more people to take a tour of the park, than what we expected to see. Also, there is a race through the park ongoing while we are visiting…
Percy Warner Park is beautiful. I expected a park like the ones I know from Europe, but this is more a forest with some openings and beautiful hiking paths through the woods. Shaded by trees, it makes for a great spot to be on a warm day. As so often before we are running out of time. Only too soon we are heading out of the park and toward the restaurant to meet up with Solo’s relatives for lunch. I would love to come back to this park. On a day when fewer people are visiting and with much more time to explore it. There is even a bike route through the park. I need to come back at least two more times, one for more hiking and one for cycling. Not to mention we still haven’t found the beautiful fall foliage…But I suppose I won’t be back here during this holiday. Even though I have a total of 3.5 weeks in Tennessee, it is still not enough time to see it all for long enough.

On our way back home, after lunch, we stop at a sports store, trying to find a better solution to carry my camera. Trying out those bags I realize that if I take off my battery grip, I can store the camera in my little bag. The problem solves itself, kind of…

Tomorrow we are going to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park…

1 The Appalachian by Kirk Ward Robinson, ISBN: 978-1-5143-6449-9

If you liked this post, you might also like the other stories from my In Search of Autumn adventure:

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