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A Natchez Trace Coda: Nashville’s Parthenon

parthenon nashville, natchez trace

2012. I was late. MTM and I were both working in Nashville, and we shared a car. I tore into Nashville’s West End, past Vanderbilt‘s grand entrance, on a mission to pick MTM up from a meeting before he scolded me.

My turn was up ahead. On my left. I forgot my blinker and skidded into the turn lane. The landscape changed while I waited, lit from within by a brightness older than Time.

I looked to my right and saw Nashville’s Parthenon, built on the path where buffalo once wandered. Where natives prayed. Where pioneers stumbled to the end of their trek of the Natchez Trace.

To my left, I saw a lone road sign. Almost illegible.

Natchez Tr.

I veered my car onto that ageless remnant and vaulted onto a two-year odyssey to breathe life into To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis.

It’s fitting that I end my time in Nashville, and in a sense, my walk of the Natchez Trace, with a visit to the storied concrete palace of the gods. I stood outside in the sun. The columns blurred together as a little girl whispered……..

You have other stories to tell.


Click here to see photos from my visit to the ancient end of the Natchez Trace: Andra Watkins Tumblr

You still have DAYS to share your way to a free trip to Charleston!! Tweet, Facebook, type and review your way to Charleston, South Carolina in the To Live Forever Journey to Charleston Contest. The more you enter, the better your chance to WIN. Click here to find out more: Support My Aching Feet.

You’ve heard me blather on and on and on about the book. You’ve watched me drag my tortured body across three states. So, why not READ it? To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is available in paperback and e-book formats at these outlets: Click to Purchase To Live Forever.

Another most excellent Reader Question. You keep ’em coming, and I’ll keep answering.

31 Comments Post a comment
  1. Heh. This post makes your driving style sound similar to that of a tipsy Cary Grant’s in North By Northwest. Or maybe it’s me, as I didn’t sleep last night and am a bit droopy and loopy…

    April 8, 2014
  2. Lance #

    Doing the videos and reader questions along the way made me feel like I was side by side with y’all. Except my feet just hurt normal every day style.

    April 8, 2014
    • My feet still hurt. I’m hoping for normal every day style very soon.

      April 8, 2014
  3. After knowing you, I can easily see you driving like that… veering, forgetting to signal. 😉

    Just kidding. And have fun on your North of the Border adventure!

    April 8, 2014
    • I’m ready for some North of the Border adventure. I may sleep the whole time.

      April 8, 2014
  4. Where’s the hat? Bring back the hat! We love the hat!

    April 8, 2014
    • The hat does hide how abominable my hair looks most of the time.

      April 8, 2014
  5. Looks like you might get some decent weather. Today’s a little dicey, but tomorrow and Thursday look pretty good. Have a great time. Learn lots.

    April 8, 2014
    • I want to eat lots of Chinese food. The real deal, as it’s so hard to get on the East Coast.

      April 8, 2014
  6. April 8, 2014
    • I’m so glad I didn’t send the hat back with my parents. I have several questions to answer, and I’ll be sure to wear the dang hat in at least one of them.

      April 8, 2014
  7. I had to laugh at the video, because that’s the exact question I would ask!

    April 8, 2014
  8. Well, it’s kinda saccharine, but this song came to mind. “The World is a Circle” from the motion picture sountrack of Lost Horizon (1973)

    April 8, 2014
  9. It’s really interesting that they choose to put the Parthenon there in relation to the Trace. Synchronicity works across all kinds of time-lines.

    April 8, 2014
    • When I discovered that connection, I thought it was very interesting as well, Lisa.

      April 8, 2014
  10. tarakianwarrior #

    That’s the same question I would ask. Is life getting back to “normal” now that your walk is over? Are you missing the road? I liken your traveling to being pregnant (I know, weird), it’s a journey and you have a little buddy inside of you that is all yours, then you have to share it with the world…and it’s no longer just yours. I missed my buddy in my tummy and I’m curious if you miss the road. 😀

    April 8, 2014
    • Can I answer this question by video, Lori? I’ve gotten to where I like doing them, and I have several in the queue. This is a great one to answer that way.

      I have a freaking ton to do now. The walk was building the snowball and pushing it uphill and pushing it uphill. I still feel like I’m pushing it uphill, but I have to shift gears on my blog and stop talking about the book every day. I’ll keep punching it until the contest is over on the 15th, and then I need to give readers a break from it. And, I’m going to give myself a break, in a sense. I’m changing my blogging schedule after the 15th. I’ll do posts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I have two books to write, with two looming deadlines. I’m excited about both those projects and the possibilities for them, but I need to get them done.

      I’m going to be flying over you today. I wish we could land and say hi.

      April 8, 2014
      • Oh, just read this response, Andra, and am so excited that there will be more. While I’ll miss your daily posts, I understand the shift, which I’ve had to make myself, and I’m not writing fabulous books.

        (It would have been my question as well).

        April 8, 2014
      • Penny, I’ll still be very much around. I’ll still interact on each post and elsewhere online. In the end, it really won’t be a big change as much as a shift to posting on days when people are more active here.

        April 8, 2014
  11. I love the way ideas come to you, and yes, many, many other stories to tell.

    April 8, 2014
    • Thanks so much for sharing your news by email. That’s precisely why I think I have much more to say on this particular subject. I’m glad that message got through, and it made a difference in your specific situation. Please keep me updated on how everything is going, and please tell Scott I’m thinking about him (and you.)

      April 8, 2014
  12. Nashville? I don’t understand it. That Parthenon is Greek to me.

    April 8, 2014
  13. I bet Meriwether Lewis would love to set the record straight on his death. The little bit of research I did while reading your book left me scratching my head. Most people seemed a little too quick to consider his death a suicide. That he died of multiple gunshot wounds (including one to the abdomen) makes it all very suspicious.

    April 8, 2014
    • I wish he could set the record straight, Marie. That he can’t was fodder for my writerly imagination, though. I’m very grateful to him for that.

      April 8, 2014
  14. I have read the book and loved it. Must re read the contest rules to pick one of the many ways to enter!

    April 8, 2014
  15. NIce post. It did surprise me to learn that the home of Grand Opry also has a Parthenon:)

    April 9, 2014
  16. I so look forward to what’s coming next, Andra. There is something really exciting when a passion is ignited, and your writing has been a passion for a long time, but I feel like something additional, the booster rockets, maybe, have set you apart for something more. It’s a wonderful aspect of your talent to see you make it personal and to share it with us as you have. The reader question is beginning to haunt us all!

    April 10, 2014

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