A beautiful day greeted me as I began my trek down the Trace.

After recommendations by everyone I met in Nashville, I stopped in at Loveless Cafe, near the north end of the Trace Parkway, and had breakfast, even though it was lunch. And the biscuits are everything that everybody says they are.

One of those tourist-embarrassing moments: As I was leaving, I stopped at the hostess stand to ask where to buy postcards… One of the two women there turned out to be their famous biscuit maker, Carol Fay. She told me where to buy postcards… in the gift shop across the parking lot. I thanked her for the directions to the postcards but said nothing about how excellent the biscuits and breakfast were. Sorry, Carol. The food was excellent. (Note: Fay has since passed away.)

After my botched encounter with the celebrity chef, I picked up a couple of postcards and headed out on the road for the highlight of my trip.

The Trace was beautiful. A meandering, park road with plenty of places to stop along the way.

Not much traffic, so I was able to enjoy it. The overlooks and design of the road make it particularly enjoyable.

I stopped at a couple of spots where the actual Trace route crosses the parkway. It’s maintained as a hiking trail — which, of course, it was originally. I walked about a half-mile up the Trace; I’ll spare you all the inspiring words about sensing 500 years of humans using this trail; just use your imagination. It’s a beautiful place to hike, with the trees — even when bare — providing a nice canopy. Oak leafs crunched under my feet and the trace itself was worn down two feet or more from the surrounding terrain.

One of the highlights of the north end of the Trace is the Double Arch Bridge at mile 438, just west of Franklin (the mile markers run from south to north). As the name says, the bridge is has two beautiful arches and reminded me of the bridges on California’s SR-1 through the Big Sur area.

Exiting the Trace at SR-7, I got a hotel for the night in Columbia, Tenn. The weather was getting nasty.

Next: On to Mississippi.


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