The Hendersons       GGTG  III - Getting to Texas


A Cross-Country Driving Trip in Our S2000

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The Trip East


Visits Back East

Getting to Texas

The Trip Home



Getting to Texas to Visit Our Son and Daughter-in-Law

8/14 - We were only about 11 miles from the start of the Natchez Trace Parkway and had not much more than 200 miles to go to get to Tupelo, MS. For those of you not familiar with the Natchez Trace, here is a little background. From the early 1800s to the mid 1820s farmers in the Ohio River Valley would build barges and load them with their crops, livestock, and other items. They would float the barges down the Mississippi to Natchez or New Orleans and sell everything, including the barge. After all, there was no way to get the barge back up river. Then, with money in pocket, they would walk or ride horseback to get back home. Their route took them north northeast from the southwestern corner of Mississippi, across the northwestern corner of Alabama, and up through Tennessee. They braved bandits and Indians, animals and natural obstacles to get home with their earnings from the last harvest.

Now there is a very long and very narrow national park that generally follows the route of the old Trace. There is a two-lane road with a speed limit of 50MPH most of the way and closed to commercial traffic. Access is relatively limited. There are places along the Trace where you can read about and see information about the Old Trace. The Natchez Trace Parkway stretches 444 miles from Natchez, MS to Franklin, TN, and is a wonderfully peaceful way to spend a couple of days. When I say narrow I mean narrow.

    Entering the Natchez Trace Parkway south of Nashville

    Not all turkeys are in DC

        Rico outside an old tobacco barn and tobacco drying inside

    A short section of the old trace you could still drive

        The Trace - we consider it a must see

    They mow the verge

Presently you are in Alabama. Then you cross the Tennessee River. Wow!!! You are in Alabama for relatively few miles and then enter Mississippi. Only a little further and we were off the Trace and into Tupelo, MS.

        The Tennessee River and entering Mississippi

        Pharr Mounds

    French Camp

We continued south toward Natchez and saw some of the Spanish Moss that I remembered from our 2006 trip. There didn't seem to be quite as much this time, but it is something to see.

        Moss in a tree and Port Gibson

8/15 - We drove into an area where there had been significant damage to the trees along side the road. We could see no indication of fire and wondered what had happened. A little further along we saw a sign that reported that a tornado had passed through this part of the Trace in April of last year. The damage continued for miles. It looked as if the tornado had followed the path of the Trace and damaged trees on both sides for a long way. I could not help thinking about the fact that if you were on the Trace when a tornado touched down there would be no place to go.

This part of the Trace had transformed from primarily deciduous trees to pines - southern yellow I suspect. Further south it would transform again. We had been surprised when we crossed the Tennessee River. Neither of us remembered it from our prior drive on the Trace. Then we were surprised again when we got to the Ross R. Barnett Reservoir. Was that there last time??? It stretches for about 15 miles and is fed by the Pearl River and the Yockanookany (I kid you not) River.

       Entering Louisiana and a Paddle Wheeler

    The corn here was burned from a drought

We left the Trace at the southern end and were just a few miles from our B&B. We got settled in and checked on local restaurants within walking distance.

8/16 - We took our time getting out of the B&B and walked around to see some antebellum mansions. We stopped in Magnolia Hall and learned that it was built by Thomas Henderson - THAT'S MY NAME! We went on to Stanton Hall and had lunch in their restaurant. The live oak trees outside are HUGE and must be hundreds of years old. This evening our host, who is a trained musician, gave us a piano recital. We got to sit in this historic house while sipping wine and listening to works by Schubert, Brahms, and others. What a treat.

8/17 - We took our time getting away from our B&B as we did not want to get to our son's house too early on a work day. We headed west out of Natchez and immediately crossed the Mississippi River into Louisiana. We passed through Ferriday (sp?), the birthplace of Jerry Lee Lewis. It looked like the kind of place a guy like him would have come from. I didn't take any photos. It was too depressing. We continued on to our son's home in Frisco, TX.

8/18 - I got my oil and filter changed today and will do so again when I get home.

8/19 - Busy day helping our son with sprinkler system issues. Never got around to posting for the day.

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