Day 33 – Escaping to Mammoth National Park and more music

While talking to Sylvia (another traveler) the day prior I realized that I was close to Mammoth Cave National Park, a place I wanted to go to. I did some research and decided I should go today because during the week some of the tours are not available.  I mentioned it to Ben and he decided to come with me. We did our best to wake Flavio to invite him along but he was knocked out. The drive took me up north to Kentucky an hour and a half away. The cave itself is enormous. There are 400 + miles of known cave passages and they are still finding more. It is not as picturesque as Luray Caverns which I wrote about here but it’s still well worth the visit. The cave was used to mine for saltpeter and was instrumental to our supply of gunpowder in the war of…

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Day 32 – Exploring Nashville

This morning I woke up wanting to do some walking around town. I met an Italian gentleman by the name of Flavio in the hostel and we both decided to cross the bridge to east Nashville to eat at a Thai restaurant for breakfast.  I took the opportunity to take a  picture of the skyline while crossing the bridge. We had a great meal and wound up walking around a bit more before eventually winding up back at the hostel. There I just hung out talking to people for a few hours. I met another traveler named Ben that was going to the Gulch for a free concert sponsored by Nashville Scene celebrating their 25th birthday. Flavio and I decided to check it out. The opening act was Alanna Royale which was really good. After a few hours we went to eat and subsequently went to listen to some live music…

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Day 31 – Nashville and the most luxrious hostel I’ve visited

I arrived to Nashville at night and pretty tired from the drive. I was rewarded by this super sweet hostel. www.nashvilledowntownhostel.com. This is probably the most expensive hostel I’ve stayed in but it is also the nicest. I know a lot of people cringe when they hear the word hostel but as you can see some hostels can be as good as hotels if not better. I’ve never stayed at a hotel where you had a complementary pool table, foosball table, piano, and guitars one could use. Weekend rates are $40 and weekdays are$35. A note about the staff… They are all super friendly and go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. This is the magic you walk into. The rooms look like this: The bathrooms are like this. There is a kitchen on every floor and perfect wifi. Everything is really clean considering the amount of foot…

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Day 30 – White water rafting in the pigeon river

In the morning I poked fun at breaktime about his night shenanigans and took off to find a better wifi spot before white water rafting. I found a subway that had much better speed than mcdonalds and plopped there for a few hours to post the last content on the smoky mountains. White water rafting was fun and at no point did I feel any sort of danger. In fact I think I would have been very comfortable going down in my inflatable kayak on my own. The river was supposedly class 3 and 4 rapids but I really think that it was only a class 3. For those interested in the class structure wikipedia has a good description. Perhaps if the river had more volume it could have made it to a 4. I took my waterproof video camera but it failed to recognize the large memory card I…

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Day 29 – Changing plans & Catching up on my posts

I anticipated rafting today. The pigeon river has some class 3 & 4 rapids and I had booked an 11am trip with Smoky Mountain Outdoors. It was raining heavily and I decided to postpone the trip until tomorrow. I’ve spent the last 6hrs at this mcdonalds posting content and waiting for the images to upload extremely slowly. 🙁 After sitting all day and having mcdonald’s as my only sustenance I felt I needed to do some sort of exercise. I decided it was time to visit the fire tower in Mt Sterling. It’s a 2.7 mile ascent and an elevation gain just short of 2000. I took a lumbar pack to make good time and I flew up to the top in an hour 7 minutes. Today was the first day I noticed a positive change in my fitness and it made me extremely happy. This is the view from…

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