Saturday, July 5, 2008

First Day on the Natchez Trace Parkway

After a relaxing breakfast the hotel, we loaded up the bikes and headed for the northern terminus of the Natchez Trace Parkway. If you haven't been on the Natchez Trace before, let me say it is a beautiful as everyone says. In the beginning it is gentle inclines and descents with wide sweeping curves; not a challenge to ride at all so all you have to do is just enjoy the scenery and history. The only really hard parts of the ride is deciding which sites to stop at and keeping your speed under control. I kept us pretty much on track by deciding which sites to see; David kept our speed at the posted limit.

We stopped at the entrance sign for the Trace and fellow bikers took our picture and we took theirs. We stopped at a couple of overlooks. And we stopped at the Meriwether Lewis site where he met his untimely death (suicide or murder - it is still debatable). We exited the Trace for gas and a bite of lunch at Collinwood Tennessee where the gas station is also the only restaurant in town. We had a very nice lunch and asked some locals about the upcoming detours on the Trace.

There were two detours for bridge replacement. Neither detour was very long and we were back on the Trace in a matter of minutes. One of our last stops of the day was immediately after crossing the Tennessee River in Alabama. We stopped at the site of Colbert's Ferry and were able to take pictures back at the bridge we just crossed. (I did snap a few as we were crossing.)

Our hotel is a Bed & Breakfast in Belmont Mississippi. The hotel dates from 1924 and is furnished with period furniture. I asked when booking about air-conditioning and private baths - so we are okay. Unfortunately, it doesn't even come close to having internet so we are at the local Subway for a WiFi connection.

Tomorrow we visit Tupelo. We will probably take the back way as Tupelo is only 40 miles away. As we near Tupelo, we will need to exit the Trace as it is being resurfaced. The road report calls for 36 miles of milled surface roads and neither one of us is a big fan on driving on milled surfaced roads.

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