Waking up to the sound of birds is truly heavenly. Originally I woke up at 7:30 to check my phone and see what time it was, quickly I fell back asleep. Again I woke upa couple hours later and didn't hear anything from Rosie's tent so I decided more sleep was in order. The last time was after 10:00 and I was sweating. The sun was beating in and turned my small one person tent into a personal sauna. I tore off my light sweatshirt, removed my sleeping bag, and un clipped part of the rainfly to get some air circulation. I think all of the noise prompted Rosie to do the same. We decided to text Brett and see if we were still meeting for lunch, meanwhile we set up our lawn chairs and took in the beautiful day. I decided to catch up on the blog a bit while Rosie shaved her legs (I'm introducing her to a whole new world!) She is loving it and I am so happy she was able to come along. We got word that we would meet at 12:30 for lunch so we packed everything up ms headed to meet the boys. Edleys is a highly recommended place to eat, it was amazing! I got a pulled pork sandwich with jalapeño ranch, BBQ, and fried pickles with a side of macaroni and cheese, and bean salad-phenomenal! We talked about our plans for our next stops, where we should eat in Memphis, and our lives. It was as if Matt and Brett were long time friends that we were in town visiting, nothing awkward about our new friendships made and that's what makes it so real. After lunch we parted ways and headed to Walmart so Rosie could pick up a pillow, razor, and sleeping mat since mine wasn't thick enough. After Walmart we headed to Tennessee's Parthenon replica which was pretty cool, we didn't pay to go inside but took some photos outside. Before we headed over though I wrote some more blog while Rosie organized some of her clothes and the car. How quickly an organized car can become a hurricane disaster on a roadtrip! Our last bucket list item for Nashville was line dancing at Wildhorse Saloon, which started at 5:00 so we headed back downtown. So many outfit changes take place when you are rolling around with your closet, I threw on jeans, my boots, and braided my hair in preparation to dance. We got there a little late but joined right in, it's been awhile since I've lined danced back home at Cadillac Ranch and loved to be back on the dance floor. It was Rosie's first time and we had a blast, good to know I have someone to go with me at home now! A live band started playing on stage and we would all still dance on the floor with the instructor. It was so hard for me to make the call that we should head out to make it to Memphis at a decent hour. Originally I figured we would leave around 7:00 to get there around 10:00 but after having so much fun we didn't end up leaving the saloon until 7:30. It breaks my heart to leave Nashville, I absolutely loved it here. But I know Memphis awaits, and so many other cool places and people to see! We got back on the open road and have a 3 hour drive to Memphis, arriving around 10:30 we will approach the Memphis Fire Department in hopes of them being as accommodating with open arms like Nashville. The only thing we didn't know about the fire department until we arrived was, it was at a county jail. Quickly I Googled fire stations nearby, we went to one which was about 15 minutes away and found out that it was in a more urban setting and no where to really safely pitch a tent. Next came Googling campgrounds nearby, most were either closed or far away. We settled on going to a campground at a National Forrest 30 minutes away in hopes that the gates will be open and we could just pay in the morning. By this time it was after 11:00 and we were both exhausted with the idea of finding a place to sleep for the night. We drove out to the middle of no where, found the State Forrest which we had to drive on long paved forrest roads to finally get to the campground. Good news was, there was no gate. We pulled into a site and decided to start unloading the tents. When I mentioned good news earlier, consequently there would be bad news coming. We had our tents, pillows, and sleeping bags in hand ready to set up when we heard rustling in the woods; no big deal I thought. We had seen two raccoons on our drive in, and I did sleep in the woods for 6 months amongst many creatures. Before I could fully get that thought through my head, it sounded as though whatever was in the woods was charging towards us, we ran for the car as quick as we could, got in, locked the doors, and put the headlights on. Nothing was in sight. I will admit that even a squirrel in the woods sounds the size of a deer, but I have never heard something sound as if it was going to charge me, so in my mind whatever it was; was the size of a bear. Meanwhile, in the car we were fending our lives to not get eaten by the 30 million mosquitos buzzing around the vehicle. swatting the roof, dash, and ourselves we finally got them all, and then realized the back hatch was not shut all of the way. I got out, slammed the trunk, and got back in to fend for our blood all over again. Heart racing from the bull in the woods ready to charge us, frustration from all of the mosquitos in the car, I began to get really hot and stuffed up in the car, I needed air. We wouldn't be able to sleep in our car here, it was too stagnate with the windows closed. We decided to head back towards the city and try and find a Walmart parking lot to stay at. On the way, I spotted a huge modern building that resembled a church; it had a huge parking lot, was well lit, grass, and well it was a church. We pulled in and I could see it was Breath of Life Christian Center, we drove all around and decided to park around the back of the building where there was a small piece of grass well lit to set up camp. After everything was set up and ready to go it was nearly 12:30, we climbed in and Rosie asked me if I had some kind of weapon in my tent, knowing me well I replied, well I have one of my pocket knives. I felt relatively safe with our decision to camp where we did, but unlike me; Rosie did not camp in a different place every night for 6 months. I wanted to make sure she was comfortable with all of the decisions we made as well. It took me a lot of light sleeping and tossing and turning to finally pass out. Though I was awoken by some loud banging and 18-wheeler noises, that after a few slams of ruckus I decided, what the hell is going on? I unzipped my tent and rain fly and peeked out to find the dumpster being emptied, how soothing. Soon thereafter I fell back asleep, but not for long.
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