Cruising on Last Dance

This blog archives the adventures of Glen and Jill Moore and provides a means of communication for friends and family. Exploration and adventure have been synonymous with boats and water for centuries. The joy of adventures shared while exploring new places and meeting new people has built a strong bond for Glen and Jill. Last Dance is the platform for the exploration.

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." St. Augustine, 354 - 430

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910

"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats." The Wind in the Willows, 1908, Kenneth Grahame, 1859 - 1932

"I've never believed speed and ease are conductive to living fully, becoming aware, or deepening memory, a tripod of urges to stabilize and lend meaning to life." River Horse: a log book of a boat across America, 1999, William Least Heat-Moon,1939 -

The Great Loop -- The current adventure is a circumnavigation of the Eastern United States, cruising north up the east coast through New York into Canada, across the Great Lakes to Chicago, navigating multiple river systems south to Mobile, along the Gulf coast to the Florida Keys and back to St. Augustine. This trip by boat is commonly referred to as the Great Loop. Progress and current location are indicated by the red line on the map to the right. It was titled the Traceless Path in recognition of a German sailor we met in St. Augustine who published booklets of his travels with hand-drawn, detailed maps describing his travels across the water as the Traceless Path.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cumberland River - Nashville

Last Dance Entering Nashville, by Lynda on Erika Lin

Nashville is a beautiful city located on the Cumberland River in middle Tennessee, with history, architecture, music, and state government as attractions.  The city has a dock in downtown that provides easy access to town.

Last Dance and Erika Lin at the Town Dock

The Cumberland River is a beautiful waterway, worthy of a side trip to explore.  The lure of the river was greatly increased for Glen since he has many relatives and friends in Nashville, which lies along the river’s shore.   Professional colleagues Jay Stele and Michelle Wilcox are now working with the school system in Nashville.   And, Raleigh Sapp is now retired in nearby Clarksville, home of his Alma Mater, Austin Pea University.  It was wonderful to have the opportunity to visit with these friends again.

Nashville is also home to Glen's Mom’s sister, Aunt Louise (Chris to everyone but Mom and Glen), two cousins, Emily Passino and Martha Stinson, and their families.  Distance and busy work schedules have kept visits much too infrequent.  A ride up the river helped reduce that statistic.

The location on the river was interesting as well as convenient.  The city dock is under an old bridge that has been converted to pedestrian use only.  It was a wise move on the part of the city to save a beautiful, architecturally interesting structure and convert it to other uses.  Some weekends it gets heavy use as the Tennessee Titan’s football stadium is across the river.  (If you look closely at the bottom of the above photo, you can see Last Dance’s bow rails.)

Knowing that Last Dance and crew were staying in Nashville, the city celebrated with a fireworks display, conducted over the river, immediately behind Last Dance.   Such a generous act on the part of this city.

Nashville is filled with interesting commercial and government architecture, both old and new.  The building in the background, originally the Bell South Building, now AT&T, is the most photographed because of its resemblance to Batman.  The new buildings vary in design and function.  There are a number of successful highrise condominiums in downtown. 

The state capitol is actually on a tall hill, only a couple blocks from the river – gives real meaning to “Capitol Hill” in this city.  The two photos below of the capitol only capture one of many of the magnificent government buildings.  In the Nashville Centennial Park, (yes, the 1876 centennial) there is a replica of the Parthenon, full size and accurate.

A weekly free concert on the courthouse lawn (which is actually the roof of an underground parking garage) provided a great evening of entertainment – not only the music, the people watching (there were thousands on the lawn), and the interesting line of food trucks (a new phenomenon – who wudda thunk selling grilled cheese from the back of a truck was the road to riches), but with all these interesting aspects, the two large, lighted statues of a male and female torso were most captivating.  They moved (only when you weren’t looking).  The profile changed.  No, they were not rotating as if mechanically driven, they just moved once in a while.  Art in the park.

While the city of Nashville is worthy of a visit, the real reward of this side trip up the Cumberland River was time for friends and family.

Glen, Aunt Louise, Cousin Emily

Aunt Louise had the whole clan to Sunday brunch at her apartment complex.   A buffet lunch requires a lot of walking to settle the always-too-much-eaten-at-the-buffet syndrome, which the beautiful grounds of the complex provided.  

Cousin Martha and cousin-in-law Art operate a construction company, Trace Ventures, focusing on rehabilitation of older homes.  Viewing the portfolio of their work brought more great architectural experiences.  Makes one want to own an older home in Nashville but, alas, the home prices have not plunged in Nashville like in Florida.

Cousin Emily, cousin-in-law Mike, and first-cousin-once-removed Anne (all cousins really, but in an attempt to be accurate in writing brings the more complex relationship titles) joined the crew to pilot Last Dance from Nashville, through a lock, and into Old Hickory Lake.  Emily, in particular, seemed to enjoy the experience and began talking about opportunities to crew for longer trips in other venues.

Emily did crew again as Last Dance left Nashville, heading downriver.  As evidenced by the images, lively conversation and an enjoyable stint at the helm for Emily were among the activities as the cousins visited along the river.

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