“The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read one page.”
Have you ever heard the story of how the John B. Stetson Company came about? It’s kind of a long story, but the original Stetson hat dubbed “The Boss of the Plains” was actually created by John B Stetson on the fly while traveling with a group out West. When he returned in 1865, he borrowed some money and started a modest company that would end up an American heritage company nearly 150 years later.
Would John B. Stetson’s legacy been as great had he not ventured West? We will never know. But feeling inspired by uncle Stetson, a few of us decided to pack our car with a camera and a stack of hats, and head down to Nashville.
We hit the road bright and early and got a few hours of driving in before we stopped for pancakes and coffee in Maryland. Awake and energized, we continued our Southwest adventure.
Virginia welcomed us with picturesque views that lasted throughout our short drive through “The Old Dominion”
Anxious to hit Nashville, we skip lunch and grab some snacks at a gas station in West Virginia, but then we got distracted by some picturesque windy roads and decided to grab the camera…
Back on the road! The rest of West Virginia was a blur, but we all perked up as soon as we saw the “Welcome to Kentucky” sign. We took I-64 for another three hours and landed at Willie’s Locally Known in Lexington. We were in deep-fried-and-bourbon-flavored-everything heaven. If you are ever lucky enough to find yourself here, order the fried green tomatoes, the blackberry habanero chicken wings, and the ribs. Try any of the local bourbons on the rocks and wash it down with a pint of KY bourbon ale. The atmosphere was laid back with a dark ambiance and the live music was homegrown bluegrass and folk by the Rumpke Mountain Boys. Unfortunately it was too dark to take any photos of the restaurant or food, but you can tease yourself here by looking at the menu.
We each walked out of Willie’s in a fried food coma but knew we had to muster up the strength to drive the last three hours to our final destination, Nashville. Naturally, a heavy rainstorm joined us that stretched out the duration of our drive but we finally made it around 1 am! All of the plans we had made in the car to visit downtown once we arrived vanished when we checked into our hotel and swan dove onto our beds.
Check back Monday for day 2 when we explore Nashville!