I went fishing in a river once when I was 12. Outside of one deep sea fishing excursion where the work was done for me, that was the last time I’ve held a fishing stick. Or rod, or whatever. That Tennessee morning though, I was going to change all that brave the nearest watering hole for some fish. I reluctantly woke up at 6:30, woke my friend’s satchel ass up, and was ready to go. We dressed like we were going polar ice fishing in the Actic, and then felt kind of ridiculous when we walked outside to 60 degree weather.
I’d like to tell a big fish story about how I caught the biggest big mouth trout the state of Tennessee had ever seen, but instead it was just a regular old Tennessee fishing story. It went something like this:
Well, ya know this boy we was gonna go down to the river with, you see he’s my buddy’s cousin’s friend. He’s got this boat we was gonna fish in. Well I guess the truck that was haulin’ it’s battery died and it wouldn’t start. My friend told him about it last week but he don’t listen. He don’t keep care of that truck cause he don’t wanna put any money in it. I don’t blame him. But it took him a couple hours to get that battery changed out, so we run out of time, cause I had to get back on the road. We was lookin to push a good 500 miles that day and oughta hit the road by 10:00, so we packed it back up and headed to the house.
Whew. So we didn’t get to go fishing. The trout can rest easy…for now.
My girlfriend took first shift, the first time she was behind the wheel so far. This also begat another first, as I snuggled in for the first solid nap on the trip. My girlfriend is one of those people who has to take their own pillow with them everywhere they go. While normally I take great pride in making fun of these people, my mouth remained closed as I propped that pillow against the window to get one in deeeeeep.
I woke up to see a billboard of a winery right off the interstate. Wineries were to us like hitchhikers to Dumb and Dumber’s Harry and Lloyd. “There’s another one!” “Pick em up!” These two Tennessee grape houses were much better than the tourist crap we had the day before. They were nothing super special, but they were good enough to add to our bottle collection in an already tightly fit car. I know at least one bottle is going to break before we get there…I’m just hoping it’s not a red.
Right after the winery and getting the right kind of gas, I got one of the biggest nose bleeds ever. Luckily, my girlfriend had stocked her glove compartment with a years worth of Wendy’s napkins. They finally came in handy. As I was struggling with bloody napkins up my nose, rejoice filled the car as the check-engine light went off. Hallelujah! We sang chorus songs in the car with the bloody napkins up my nose for the next several miles. It was a time to celebrate.
The only other real point of note along the way were the absurd amount of tire shreds along the way. I won’t get into my soap box about that as I already wrote a blog post about them a few years ago. Cracker Barrels also made a surge on the tally sheet, proving the fact that Tennessee people love them some Crack. The carcasses also got much smaller through Tennessee proving that you don’t have to shoot a deer to hang their antlers above your big screen.
Miles: 538.7 (total: 1207.5)
Time: 7 hours, 30 minutes (total: 20 hours, 50 minutes)
Money spent on gas: $50.03 (total: $142.06)
State License Plates: 3 (total: 30)
Cracker Barrels: 16 (total: 20)
Roadside Carcasses: 10 (total: 37)