Posted by: carogouin | August 15, 2009

night out in nashville

As we left the Smokies, we made a quick stop at the Bass Pro shop, where they claim to be the masters of all that is ‘outdoor world’, though we couldn’t even find a simple atlas with a directory of campgrounds/RV parks across the US.   BTW – we received confirmation from the campground host in the Smokies that our Jeep Cherokee with a rooftop tent is still considered a “tent” and not an “RV” – thank god.  Also of note: she had never seen our kind of “tent” before and was immediately impressed.

on the road

On the road

We were able to find some other Tennessee directory of campgrounds and after 3.5 hours of driving, we arrived at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, situated down Nashville’s Music Valley Drive (where I was expecting to see live bands everywhere, but alas, it gets its name from the Grand Ole Opry).  At the campsite, they put us way in the back far from all the RV’s and, regrettably, also the bathhouse. At least we had a shady spot, but no matter where you are in Nashville, it is hot and humid. 

plenty of space to camp.

Plenty of space to camp

beautiful campsite, away from it all.

Beautiful campsite, away from it all

Unfazed, we unpacked a few things and headed into town to see some real live music.  We were not disappointed this time, as there were plenty of places to choose from.  We decided to avoid the famous joint Tootsies and opted for an alternative dueling piano bar called the Big Bang.  Having grown up around a piano, I have a soft spot for that instrument, and it proved to be highly entertaining.  Pat and I situated ourselves in the middle with a clear view of the performers and watched the fanfare of bachelorette parties (must have been at least 6), drunken middle aged men unable to hold themselves up and the entire Big Bang crew (with t-shirts that read “Bang This”) do a cute little dance to Staying Alive.  Although all of that kind of sounds awful, it was actually a great show.  There were always 2 pianists/singers who took turns playing requests from the audience.  The range of repertoire was incredible and their voices amazing – they were definitely American Idol quality and beyond, but maybe it’s just me being a bit envious.

night out in Nashville

Night out in Nashville

The next day we decided to lounge around the pool in the morning, then braved the heat and went for a bike ride into downtown Nashville in the afternoon.  The folks at the campground were very helpful and gave us maps to the new bike path that connects Opryland to Nashville.  The path was spectacular going over brand new bridges and tunnels under the highways, hugging the river most of the time, with a nice selection of  local parks along the way. It was about a 4.5-hour ride round trip, with a stop for dinner in Nashville, so we were both pretty exhausted afterwards.  Sorry, didn’t bring the camera with us!  One highlight on the way home was when an old General Jackson paddle boat steamed right past us – a prelude to our next stop: Memphis on the mighty Mississippi river.

post bike ride at camp.

Post bike ride at camp



  1. Looks like you are having a great time. We are reading about it. We can’t get over how great looking that tent is. Do you take the ladder in at night? Love you.

  2. Yay! Love the post, keep ’em comin’!

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