This post has been a while coming, but let's go back in a time a week or two to recap what the bus has been up to since our last update!
The past few days have brought the GMB Crew out of the foggy mountains of Shenandoah National Park and through the Great Smoky Mountains, all while en route to Nashville, TN.
After having been informed that the Shenandoah was most definitely bear territory during our dinner at the Big Meadows Lodge, I had the great idea to wake up early the next morning and go for a quick solo run. You know, to see a bit more of the park and it's inhabitants up close. Out of courtesy to my still sleeping crew members, I decided to be extra quiet while leaving and not tell any of them where I was heading or when I expected to be back. Smart, right? For whatever reason, they didn't seem to think so! They said something along the lines of, "We thought you had been eaten by a bear," and, "you should really leave a note if you do this again." Fair points, lesson learned. Sadly, I had to inform them that I didn't even get to see a bear. Instead, I found a beautiful waterfall! After this morning's "debacle" was over, we took advantage of the showers at the campground before completing our journey along Skyline Drive. The weather never changed, it stayed foggy and rainy the whole way through. We're a little bitter that we didn't get to take full advantage of all the park's vistas, but driving through the fog and rain had an eerie beauty of its own.
Our next stop was in Huntersville, NC, just outside Charlotte, to visit Crew Member Shane's cousin Shawn and his family. It was super kind of them to host us for dinner and share their home with us, Shane's little cousin Liam even donated to the DOCF! We really appreciated your company and we hope you guys enjoyed seeing the bus!
Leaving Huntersville, we had a good bit of ground to cover before we would stop in the Great Smoky Mountains for the night. We managed to find some time to stop in Asheville along the way, making a quick stop at Wicked Weed brewery to get a beer and a sticker (for the growing collection along the bus' stairwell). The road from Asheville to the mountains became gradually more isolated as we did our first major nighttime driving stint. It got a little hairy driving through tunnels and tree canopies as we climbed up the pitch black, empty, winding mountain roads. Our fuel was running just about empty as we pulled into our campsite at 2am, but we made it! The next morning we got to use our reserve tanks for the first time and we took off on the long trip through the mountains over to Nashville.
After a few hours of driving we were pulling into downtown and bringing the bus down Broadway Street! We parked just across the river from the city center outside of the Tennessee Titan's stadium and made that our home base for the night. That first day we got some AWESOME bbq at Jack's and worked down the bars from Tootsies to Acme, waiting for our two friends from home, Paige and Ryan, to meet up for the rest of the weekend. Once they arrived, we filled up with dinner at BB Kings and worked our way back up Broadway in reverse. It was more of the same; good food, good music, and good times! After trying to sleep everyone on the bus that night, we made the prudent decision to split a hotel for the next night and give the bus a much deserved rest.
Our two days in Nashville were a ton of fun! We met a bunch of cool new people, all who were super friendly. We can't wait to come back and have a good ole' time dancing to some honky tonk and enjoying good company. You were a wicked good time Nashville, but now it's on to NOLA!
-Jeff and the GMB Crew