Knoxville to Nashville, Tennessee and onto Kansas City, Missouri
The start of our road trip proper and one of the days I’d been looking forward to most. We have two days hauling to do covering big distances but it starts with the two hour drive to Nashville, Tennessee and a visit to a couple of places we like.
Breakfast and coffee
Because I’d route planned all the way to Palm Springs with military attention to detail, I have finally discovered parking is free for those visiting the Pinewood Social. I must have paid more than $50 over the years visiting here! It’s a nice place, does a decent breakfast and has a bowling alley if you have time (we didn’t). If I keep eating biscuits like this over the coming months I’ll need to rebuild the engine to a 4.0 to compensate.
Barista Parlor is one of my favourite places for coffee anywhere. There are a few of them scattered across Nashville but the shop on Gallatin Avenue is the one. They have slow drip coffee coming out of old science laboratory type contraptions and interesting old bikes inside. Some people came up to us as we sat enjoying the place wanting to know if the Porsche was ours, turns out one of them has a 964 (and his father a 993). Bizarrely he also knew a lot a about watches too and we shared a couple of the same ones (do all 911 owners have a Speedy?). He’d not heard of Guinand even though he owns a Sinn who started the brand so I managed to out-geek him a little with some history about connections to the Porsche Design chronographs in the 70s.
I have a little wiro-bound booklet for each day printed out detailing where we are going, the distances, where we stop, the times we need to leave by etc. They even have a little logo on each page. Without doubt, the most nerdy thing I have ever done. The beauty of them is they remove the need to think. In the morning you know exactly what you are doing without the need to open a map. These print outs highlighting an issue just a few hours in – our timings were unrealistic. We were supposed to leave Nashville between 10 and 11am yet here we were sipping on an extra Cortado as the clock approached 1pm.
The long road ahead
Probably the most uneventful part of the whole road trip is today. To reach Mount Rushmore we had to put the hours in somewhere and using the faster Interstate roads. We had fun chasing a modern 911 heading in the same direction for a while and later talking to the owners of it at the rest area we both eventually ended up in. Other than that it was little different to say a drive between London and Glasgow; being often pretty from the window, but dominated by a large road and the need to arrive somewhere fast.
The heat inside the cabin was not causing us the same issues seen in the Carolinas and it was comfortable enough. Old Porsche 911s swallow big distances with ease and are more than happy cruising at 3,000rpm in sixth all day long. They’re economical too for what they are, not that it matters when petrol is half the cost I usually pay.
Aside from the air conditioning we were trouble free. The washer jets on the driving side of the car’s windshield were a little weak if we wanted to be picky. If the whole car hadn’t become covered in insects which got bigger the darker it became I doubt it would even warrant a mention. Some of the insects were huge, a sort of hybrid between bug and small bird? Getting out of the car after over 11-hours and more than 700 miles we both felt fine, no back ache, our legs were not stiff, and we could still hear each other without the need for shouting. There can’t be many old sports cars out there capable of this.
If anyone ever asks me anything about this place I will have nothing to add, we were just not here long enough to discover it. What I did learn was it’s really confusing what State Kansas City sits in, sometimes it’s Kansas, sometimes Missouri (pronounced by some as Miz-or-a). Speak to someone on the Missouri side and they say Kansas is awful and vice versa. One girl I spoke to simply said “I want to move to LA”, but that seems to be a theme across America with the 20-somethings. Speak to people 35 and over and you’ll often hear “I want to leave California”. It must take 10 years to realise the grass isn’t greener, or at least for the cost of taxes to sink in.
The Fontaine Hotel was a decent bed for a night before another big day ahead. Luckily we didn’t notice the pool was closed until 7am until after we’d got out.