You’d think with all the traveling I’ve been doing lately that I’d be ready to stay at home for a while. And I thought I was until a friend who’d seen my Burgess Falls photos expressed an interest in seeing the falls herself. Since I’m living solo and working (mostly) virtually, we loaded up the car and headed out. It’s times like these I love my life.
The only potential crimp in our plan was that my friend has a wonky knee and I’ve been dealing with some foot pain, probably something to do with plantar fasciitis and/or heel spurs and/or something else. I’ve been trying self-treatment (massaging, stretching, and exercises other than walking), and while it seems to be getting better, I wasn’t sure how it would hold up to a hike. But I didn’t want to miss the opportunity, so I decided to give it a try.
We made it! It was breezy and cool but the hike up had us warmed up pretty quickly. It was interesting to see how much difference a month makes in nature. Most of the leaves have dropped in that area, so the first falls were more visible. Also, the rapids were more…well, rapid. It was a great day for a hike. My foot was screaming by the time we got back to the car, but a little rest and some ibuprofen seemed to take care of the worst of it.
Our original plan was to drive up one day and back the next, but with both of us being footloose. we decided to spend another day exploring. Also known as shopping in some parts of the country.
We spent almost a whole day exploring downtown Cookeville, TN. To be honest, I hadn’t anticipated it would take that long, but shop owners are super friendly and happy to chat. We spent hours walking through a shop called The Market Place on the square in Cookeville.
Upstairs is a nice little culinary shop. Downstairs is a HUGE gift store feels like it goes on for miles. There’s not a single square inch of display space they haven’t used. There was so much to see that we had to take a break for lunch (Harvest Bread Company) halfway through. The funniest part was that neither of us bought a thing there. In fact, after walking all over Cookeville, the only thing I bought was a jar of vegan handcream and four green peppers ($1 total!) at the farmers’ market. We really just enjoyed being out on a nice (if windy) fall day and chatting with everyone we saw.
And here’s a Cookeville, TN attraction you probably won’t see in any guidebooks:
I don’t know what they call it, but I call it the Cookeville Market Gum Art Wall. I don’t chew gum, but I did wish for a piece so that I could contribute to such a valuable community resource. (If you’re visiting and want to see it, go to the northeast corner of the Market Square building.)
By mid-afternoon we decided we’d conquered all we could do for the day. And really, after the gum wall, what else could there be? There’s a craft center we would’ve liked to visit, but not with a limited time budget. So we headed to Nashville, where we used one of those hotel budget coupons to get cheap (really!cheap!) rooms. Our rooms overlooked two bars, so we weren’t hopeful for a good night’s sleep. But luck was on our side as the bars never got noisy at all and we both slept (cheaply) like logs.
After exchanging morning knee and foot reports, we decided we could both tolerate more walking and went downtown for a bit. But first, breakfast:
I’ve passed Nashville Biscuit House on my travels in the area, had heard good things about it, and suggested it as a good alternative to our previous two mornings of McD’s oatmeal. I did enjoy having a biscuit for a change.
Once fueled, we went downtown and walked around for a few hours. I specifically wanted to visit the Hatch Show Print shop. I love the vintage posters and the different typography. I did buy something, but you’ll have to wait to see it until I have it framed. (I know, I’m such a tease.)
I also met my One True Love as we passed an exhibit in the corridor outside the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum:
Meet Red Bike with Star by artist Daryl Thetford. It was love at first sight, but unless a lottery win comes my way, I suspect it will forever be an unrequited love.
I did find a red bike (sans star) I could have afforded:
These bikes were available for rent at VERY affordable prices. I think it was $5 with the first hour free, and then $1.50 per hour after that. My friend isn’t much of a bike rider, so she wasn’t interested in renting a bike. Fine with me, because I noticed they didn’t offer helmets or locks and I didn’t happen to pack mine. I’ll do it some other time, because shiny red bikes are a thing for me.
Not long after that, we were both starting to limp a bit and it was after noon, so we decided we should start heading back to Memphis. Plus, the ibuprofen was in the car.
Even with the achy foot, I had a great time. We’re already planning to go back in the spring. Perhaps my foot will be healed by then. Actually, I hope it’s healed in a few weeks. My parents and I are planning at trip to the coast for Thanksgiving, and if the weather’s nice, I’d love to get in some long beach walks.
Other than a quick overnighter this week and a day trip next week, I should be sticking close to home until Thanksgiving. But you just never know, do you?
I hope your week is off to a great start!