Nashville: NYC mixed with country vibes

That’s the way I viewed Nashville after I spent a couple days there. It’s honestly so unique and hopefully I’ll go back in the future. Walking towards town, music becomes louder each step and you fill with happiness. There’s so much to see in Nashville and a lot of good people too. The bars come even more to life at night as people sing at the top of their lungs. From gorgeous architecture, museums, restaurants, and plenty of music…I think there’s something for everyone!

View of Batman (AT&T) Building in Nashville, TN
On the way to town in Nashville, TN

The Parthenon

Walking about 2.5 miles from my hotel to here was a bit out of my comfort zone. I’ve never really walked on city streets by myself, but it was well worth it. Most of the days spent there I used my Canon Powershot G9 Mark 2 and for a small camera…I’m impressed! When I arrived at the park, I was astonished. The Parthenon in photos do not do it justice. The scale of this replica is absolutely incredible. Looking up, I felt everything dissipate and it was just me enjoying a new experience. This is the only full size replica in the world and let me tell you…please go check it out! The architecture was phenomenal and I’d love to visit it again to take more photos.

Museums and tours

One highlight of my trip was definitely seeing a variety of Johnny Cash’s belongings. The museum is located across the street from Florida Georgia Line’s restaurant which has great music! Adjacent to the museum is the Johnny Cash restaurant which I didn’t eat at, but the atmosphere seemed very neat. Walking through the museum, I was able to see some of Elvis Presley’s belongings as well. The day before, we visited the Grand Ole Opry which highly successful country artists become members of. The wooden circle came from The Ryman which is near downtown Nashville. These artists are invited to this place and it’s a very high point in their career stepping into that wooden circle. On the tour, we saw the fitting rooms and we had the chance to stand in that special circle too. On the last day, we finally visited American Pickers store. They had antiques on display from their show and many were for sale too! Growing up watching this show, it was phenomenal to see their picks in person. These three experiences I remember very well from my trip!

One of my photos from the Grand Ole Opry tour!

Country music

Growing up, I used to think country music was the worst! Now that I’m older, I can really connect with some songs. Most of country music tells a story which I’ve learned to appreciate. I went to Nashville with an open mind and I’m glad I did! I enjoyed some time at the New Year’s Eve concert in Nashville but two performers stood out to me the most. This wasn’t from the New Year’s Eve concert, it was from the third floor in Florida Georgia Line’s restaurant. These two young singers held my attention throughout their performance. They engaged with the audience and were very approachable as well. The name of this fantastic duo was Lance and Lea.

Quick shot on my iPhone from New Year’s Eve concert

Lance and Lea

While in Nashville, we saw Lance and Lea perform twice. After I spoke with them in Florida Georgia Line’s restaurant, we exchanged our social media handles. It was actually really neat to have a talented duo follow along with my aspirations as well! A couple days later, we went to Ole Red for dinner. When I walked in, I heard their music playing and I didn’t care when dinner was! Lea had approached us during their break and told me “you’re the guy who takes photos!” and gave me a hug afterwards. They’re truly the most down to earth singers I’ve met and I highly suggest you should listen to their music. I’m proud to say, I could relate to a lot of the songs! Lance and Lea are definitely two I hope for future success within country music.

Meeting with Lance and Lea in Florida Georgia Line’s restaurant

The Opryland Hotel

The last time I stepped into a hotel that made my jaw drop was Mohegan Sun. Now looking back, it’s nothing compared to this place. After the lobby, the whole place opens up to a waterfall and restaurant. A bridge takes you up closer to the waterfall and keep moving and you’ll soon reach more openings. Waterfalls, plants everywhere, and could I mention going on a boat through a small river? There were many restaurants located within the hotel and I had a fantastic vegetarian burrito. The hotel was still decorated from Christmas and it must be an incredible place for the holidays. The main thing I’d go back to here for is that vegetarian burrito though! A-Frames in the woods are more my style, any wooden house I see…I dream of living in. Anyways, what else is there? Oh, more restaurants!

Where to eat

I had dinner at many places throughout the week but nothing beat Ole Red. I ate a vegan burger with vegan nacho cheese and let me tell you…I was very impressed. The atmosphere in Ole Red feels so alive and it always brings some positive vibes. Another restaurant I’d suggest going to is Acme, which has different foods on each level. I mowed vegetable sushi rolls and a garden salad. Disclaimer, the one sauce at the table isn’t ginger sauce…I learned that the hard way. The last place I’d recommend would be the City Tap House. From incredible corn dip, pizzas, burgers…basically anything you could possibly want to eat is there. These are my top three places I ate at in Nashville but try other restaurants! Believe me, Nashville has a lot to offer. If you wake up early, be sure to get breakfast at the Frothy Monkey and you MUST have a firebender. It was possibly the greatest espresso I’ve ever had. I hope you might ponder checking out one of these and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Tofu/Quinoa bowl from the Frothy Monkey

Thank You!

To anyone who read this blog, I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I definitely covered a lot of ground in this trip and created many photos. Nashville allowed me to meet wonderful people and expand my creativity onto city streets. I’d encourage anyone to check out this unique destination whenever they get the chance. I hope this post helped inform you about Nashville if you plan on going. I loved it here and I’m certain you would too. Until next time…stay adventurous my friends!

-Alex

Jay Peak: A challenging icy ridge

My close friend Cole and I decided the day after Christmas that we’d hike Jay Peak. We knew this mountain had a ridge and desired to climb it since this summer. Considering we were both busy, we never really had the time to do it. Hiking in the winter has its challenges and it was well represented throughout this one. Here’s to my last hike of 2019 and let’s get right into it!

Does the trail head exist?

I think part of this has to deal with my friend and I both on about 3 hours of sleep. We always use AllTrails to find directions to our hikes but it kept taking us to the right of where it was. We didn’t realize this until 20 minutes later. The positive about this was the fact that it brought us down a windy road to a huge open field. It was a bunch of farm land and the sky was lit in pink which created a wild scene. Once we found the trailhead, we jumped out of the car and started as soon as we could.

Trailhead for Jay Mountain

Before the ridge

I found this part of the hike very easy and my friend did as well. Although icy, it wasn’t too bad for a climb. It was a gradual incline and there were multiple switchbacks. Without the use of my Kahtoola, I fell a handful of times. I specifically remember an area on the trail that had a dropoff to the right with a little coverage of trees. I had fell right next to it from the ice and I’m happy to say I fell where I could catch myself away from that dropoff. Adrenaline shot through me but in the end it’s a risk that could happen through any winter hike. There were many falls after that as well, but they were in locations without the potential of any dangerous injury. It became even more interesting once we reached the first false summit.

Rock scrambling

Reaching the first false summit, my friend and I had to navigate a very narrow area of the trail. We began climbing up the side of the trail adjacent to another drop off but clung to the wall for safety. We both look after each other so we made sure nothing would occur that we were actually putting ourselves in danger. One of the last false summits was even tougher due to more ice and snow. We continued to rock scramble a bit and when we reached the last false summit it appears to be the highest point. I must admit that it felt a bit demoralizing. Once we hit the top though…we were very happy to complete a new mountain.

Looking at Jay Mountain from the last false summit

A quick stop

We didn’t stay at the summit for too long since my friend had to get back in time for work. I ate the amazing PB & J sandwich from Stewart’s, took some photos, and began to head down shortly afterwards. Understanding that we had to go up and over a couple false summits was definitely discouraging. We took our time and once we kept descending, we took frequent breaks to hydrate. When we were near the car I had to sign us out and I realized all of the destinations said “Jay Range”. I didn’t realize it was considered a range before we went, but I’m glad we did it. It’s one of those adventures that I’m sure both of us won’t forget any time soon.

View of Adirondack Mountains from Jay Mountain
Clouds rolling over below the ADK mountains
Looking at Whiteface Mountain from the summit

Thanks!

I really hope you enjoyed this blog and maybe found some parts useful for your own reference. I always put in mistakes that have occurred without certain gear to emphasize in a way that it is useful. Especially crampons. These adventures and photos mean everything to me and I can’t to see what’s in store for 2020. I’ll be going away soon and I’ll be covering a blog on that as well! To everyone out there, keep adventuring as we get closer to 2020!

-Alex

About Myself and T & H

My name is Alex and I’ve become inspired by the outdoors since I was introduced to the Adirondack High Peaks. Although I live in Saratoga Springs, my brother and I frequently make day trips to go hiking or practice photography. There’s something different about spending time outdoors rather than sitting inside all day. If I have to get up at 2 AM to hike 5 mountains, I’ll do so (true story). When something has such an influence on you, nothing will get in its way. After hiking about 40 miles in two weekends and battling winds on a ridge in Franconia, NH I had realized something. I need to share my adventurous stories with others and provide tips to help them out in the back country! Now I’m certain many of you are thinking, what exactly is T & H?

T & H (short for Travelers & Hikers) was something I had thought of when I wanted to create a unique name for my blog. Something that’d resonate with people and felt very authentic. I knew that T & H would be an outlet to anyone with wanderlust and hopefully inspire many. At the end of the day, I want to create strong relationships with people who have a passion for the outdoors. Not only that, but I’d also like everyone to know that hiking is a teacher for our mentality and physical health. You’ll understand this throughout the stories I’ll tell and the tips given to you! Now what are we waiting for? Let’s get into these adventurous stories, what they’ve taught me, and what they’ll teach you.