The Hendersons GGTG III - Getting to Texas
A Cross-Country Driving Trip in Our S2000
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
8/19 - Busy day helping our son with sprinkler system issues. Never got around to posting for the day.