The Hatter & the Hound Tour - Tennessee
Our original idea once we left Austin, Texas was to meander our way across Louisiana and Alabama up to east Tennessee through Gatlinburg to see the fall colors of the Great Smoky Mountains. Unfortunately, my injury coupled with Cate's need to have some down time to get some work done motivated us to make a b-line through Arkansas, only stopping once to get some fried catfish at a small highway diner. For some reason unknown, a stranger at that diner ended up paying for our dinner who disappeared without giving us the chance to say thanks. It was a nice surprise at the end of our long day and was a true testament to the kindness of the people of the South. After spending the night in Memphis, we explored Beale Street in the early morning, and it was a stark contrast to the liveliness it must experience once the sun goes down. I filled my belly with chicken fried steak at Boogie's Cafe and embraced the comfort food of my youth. Once we got to Nashville and at our friend's house on the Cumberland River, everything wonderfully slowed down a few notches. We were so happy to have a quiet and beautiful place to stay for two weeks with Nashville's skyline in the near distance. Drew Park, the owner of the property, is one of the kindest and most generous humans I've ever had the pleasure of meeting and made our stay here truly magical - especially with his roasted tomatillo green chili and jalapeño corn bread he cooked us. We spent the days relaxing by the river and the nights with friends at local honky-tonks. Claire and I also had 5 editorials planned for the week. One evening the talented and sweet country music star Kasey Musgraves stopped by to get measured for a Havstad Hat that she would be wearing for her CMA performance. Also while in town Cate put on an event hangin' with the folks of Imogene and Willie to promote their Havstad Hat Collection. Our time in Nashville ended after a day's drive out to the country near Leiper's Fork where we ran into Cate's pal Butch Walker while stopped for lunch and after a night out on the town at the infamous Robert's Honky Tonk. Our month-long whirlwind of a tour came to an end, and with tears in our eyes we all hugged good bye grateful for the fun times, the adventures and the challenges we overcame together. Much thanks to our sponsors who helped make it all possible: White's Boots, Drew's Brews, Woolrich, Hydroflask, Polerstuff, and Trust Co. Much love and respect to Cate and Rachel who drove that 50ft rig cross-country like boss big-rig mamas, Charlie for being an awesome road-dog, protector and snuggle bud, and to Claire for all her love, hard work and the million ways you are my right hand.