Wow!!! What an adventure!!! Empty nesting can be wonderful and challenging. We are free to start checking off our bucket lists, but our ages show that we are not as young as we think.
This past week John and I experienced an adventure of a lifetime. We rode 440 miles down the Natchez Trace, from Franklin, TN at Leiper’s Fork to Natchez City on our bikes with all of our luggage. I look back now and will say it was fun, but at the time, it was not. The week was much colder and much rainier than we anticipated. We had some changes we had to make right in the middle but we did it!!! What did not kill me strengthened me. There was so much that I learned on this journey, but also I learned about my husband.
We knew we would have challenges when we started our journey, we just didn’t know how many. We met so many wonderful people along the way that helped us in some unexpected ways. We started our journey at Leiper’s Fork just outside of Franklin, TN. We stayed at a wonderful Bed n Breakfast and our hostess was so helpful to make sure we had everything we needed to start our journey, including a way to the Trace after dropping off the first rental car.
We started on our bikes after our wonderful rest in a beautiful room and an Eggs Benedict Breakfast. The rain started that day and kept going on and off for the first two days. We saw some wild life and beautiful scenery close up. But what I learned here was that you can start with a beautiful beginning and great hopes but there will be rain and challenges, but if you know and you are prepared you can make it through those tough times. I was not necessarily in shape, I was cold, I got sick and I lost feeling in a big toe from frost nip for about 4 hours. But we kept going to find rest at the Hardware store. A very simple abode, that was clean. I learned to trust John and to follow closely so that I would have an easier ride as well as a safer one. When I fell at this place the gentleman at the Hardware store was so kind and gentle in helping me up. I have bruises, but nothing that would keep me from continuing our journey.
We interrupted our journey with a wedding, going 5 hours to and back in one day. A little detour sometimes is worth it, especially when we are showing love to someone else. It may take more effort but it’s very necessary. In doing that detour we were blessed to meet a couple at the Sachem BnB that were so very accommodating. Tom came and picked us up further than we expected d/t the rain and then allowed us to keep our van at his house when we continued our journey to Natchez. The one thing we especially enjoyed about this couple and their BnB was the simplicity and homeyness that they brought. They did something a bit different in that they sat down to eat breakfast with us, which most BnB’s will serve but not necessarily sit down. We got to know Tom & Jeannie well, they carted us back and forth a couple of times and were so gracious about it.
We continued our journey and were blessed on our third day with sunshine
and a little warmth and a tail wind. We could actually make progress. We felt good about the journey at that time. I put my music on and pedaled away, thus the name of the blog. We continued to our next BnB where we met Carol. Her home was beautiful, but crammed with precious memories. She was so precious, originally we had ordered dinner from her, she is a wonderful cook, but unfortunately we did not remember. She heard me say that I wanted a steak after such a long ride and knew she did not have that so she graciously gave us a recommendation for a restaurant that might accommodate us. She later told us she didn’t have the heart to remind us since I wanted a steak. Some people in our lives don’t tell us when we hurt them and we do it so unintentionally, we need to learn how to be flexible and go on.
Each turn in the road and each BnB taught me something about our life together. Hoping not to bore you all at once I will continue this journey later this week. Please join me and realize that Life Is Challenging but the commitment is worth it.