It took me a while to punch through work and the other obligations that kept crowding in, but we finally have a mission profile that will take us to New Orleans and back.
This year’s ride won’t be on a par with Long Way Round but it will offer some high points:
We may see an old friend of mine from high school – 40 years ago! – if our schedules allow.
We’ll ride the Natchez Trace again. We rode the Trace exactly once 15 years ago and we’re looking forward to seeing it.
We’ll get to ride along the Gulf Coast from Mobile, Alabama, to New Orleans and we’ll ride part of U.S. 61, immortalized by Bob Dylan in his 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited.
We may get the chance to visit the African American Military History Museum, which has a special permanent exhibit for Jesse Leroy Brown, the U.S. Navy’s first black aviator.
And on the way home, we’ll do a one-day layover in Nashville and have dinner at the Loveless Café, one of our favorite places. We’ve been there before, but never on the motorcycles.
Note from the mission historian: The Loveless Cafe has no relation to The Loveless movie, a 1981 film noir by Kathryn Bigelow starring Willem Dafoe.
The restaurant began in 1951 when Lon and Annie Loveless sold fried chicken and biscuits out of their home to travelers on Highway 100. The food proved popular, they converted the house to a restaurant and later built a motel.
The motel eventually closed – small shops occupy the rooms these days – but the restaurant’s Southern culinary fare has become part of American mythos. You may have seen the Loveless Café on TV, on shows that venture out of big cities in search of country fare.
So Linda and I have made a date at the café. Being there on the motorcycles at the end of a ride will make the Loveless Café part of our folklore, too.