Saturday, March 8, 2008

Now This is Camping!

Three to Four inches of snow on the ground, but they do not have the equipment to clear the roads like at home. The local news is still warning to stay off the roads. The news broadcast show the interstate highways to be a mess at 8am. There is suppose to be a lot more snow in Kentucky.

If we were not pulling the trailer there wouldn't be much of a problem. Will wait to see what happens around noon and see if we move up to the Mammoth Cave area.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday On The Trace- Our 100th Day On the Road!

Two sunny days, now a rainy drizzly day with a promise of snow by sundown. Harry wisely chose to winterize the trailer before we left the Trace State Park, knowing we would be in some cold ( not just cool) weather by evening. Not as many stops today because it was gray, "cool" and off and on raining. There were 2 minor detours due to bridges being rebuilt so we stopped for lunch in a small lumber town, Collingwood Tennessee. At Fall Hollow we stopped to stretch our legs and walked to view the several waterfalls in the area. Towards the very north end of the Trace at Birdsong Hollow is a double arched bridge that was completed in 1994 and won the Presidential Award for Design Excellence in 1995. The bridge rises 155 feet about the valley below. That "valley below" is where the old trace used to end and is where we "ended" our last trip on the trace on the motorcycle! On our adventure today we were also fortunate to see two coyotes, several deer and a very big flock of turkeys! The day was complete!
The only problem for the day was the evening's weather forecast - SNOW! After leaving the peace and quiet of the Trace, we fought our way thru the Friday- 5 o'clock- going home- 6 lanes of bumper to bumper traffic thru Nashville! We needed to be parked before the storm hit! We are parked at Nashville Country RV Park, just north of Nashville. It is 8pm and the ground is white. The temp is 30 degrees. IF we get the projected 3 to 5 inches and the roads are bad, we may be here another day. But all is not lost - Harry has cable TV and wifi!

Tupelo , Mississippi

What a beautiful day to drive the Natchez Trace! Our first stop was Mount Locust, a restored historic inn. As we traveled north, the map showed us where the original trace went and when we were actually traveling on top of the old road. On several occasions we left the trace to explore small towns-Port Gibson, Clinton, and Oprah’s hometown of Kosciusko. The trace followed along an 8 mile long reservoir then alternated between rolling open farm fields speckled with grazing black and brown cattle and then pine and oak forests with their limbs stretching over the roadway to make a branching, woven tunnel. Our last stop for the day was the Trace State Park, just west of Tupelo. As we entered the park, we were greeted by several groups of deer and their half grown fawn, skittering across the road in front of us. The campground was quiet and we parked right by the serene peaceful lake.

Thursday morning was another sunny day (65 degrees again) and we drove to Tupelo. We found the Tupelo Hardware Store where Elvis’ mother bought him his first guitar when he was only 11 for $7.90! The gentlemen who greeted us were very friendly and offered lots of interesting information about their charming town and the eclectic displays in their store! We found Elvis’ restored home where he was born in 1935 and strolled thru all the displays that told of his life in Tupelo until the family moved to Memphis when he was 13. Back at the trailer, we got our chores done- Harry cleaned house and fixed a pot roast and I did laundry.

Friday we move on up the Trace thru the NW corner of Alabama and into Tennessee. Our destination for the night is a park just south of Nashville. There is threat of SNOW on Friday evening so we plan on being parked before then. Imagine- SNOW! The folks around here are excited about getting some but we are not!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Touring Natchez

The Welcome Center for Natchez is right by the bridge from Louisiana and is well stocked with pamphlets and information on what to see and where to find wifi! With that task taken care of, we set off to explore the old Mark Twain, Mississippi river town, starting with a run down the hill to see the big river itself. “Under the Hill” is the rogue section where the riverboats landed and the loads where unloaded and then the pockets of the rivermen were emptied in the taverns and hotels. Now the only big riverboat is a casino tethered there! We wandered thru it and also the colorful Mark Twain Guest House and Tavern! Up and down the main streets checking out some of the opulent antebellum homes and even doing a little shopping. After a yummy lunch of pulled pork at the “Pig Out Inn” with extra BBQ sauce that is served warm, we found the Melrose House, which is a National Historical Park and we were able to tour it. This home was built in the 1840’s by a Pennsylvania lawyer who moved to Natchez to make his fortune after the Civil War. We both were amazed that all of the furnishings are original to this home.

The temps started out in the low 40’s this morning and finally worked their way all the way up the scale to 50. The sun even dared to come out and shine! On our way back to the State Park I finally saw 2 deer! Last night Harry saw our first armadillo! 2 and ½ months on the road – looking for an armadillo and we finally saw one!! We can move farther north now!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Natchez Mississippi

Goodbye Texas! Hello Louisiana! Route 82 across the Sabine Pass and we saw the Gulf of Mexico for the last time. Louisiana gave us a warm welcome- the temps have been in the high 70’s for 4 days now. Our 1st night out of Texas was back to Lake Charles at the Sam Houston State Park. Harry likes that $8 per night! Spring is in Louisiana – pink azaleas are in bloom, trees are turning green and the delicate little blue, purple and yellow wildflowers in the forest are starting to blossom. And there are forests that are over 10 foot tall - - - oaks, pines and Cyprus! In Texas, the tallest trees were the palms and then the rest were 10-foot tall mesquite. The state park was full of ROBINS and they were all singing at the same time! We have to travel slowly now so they can keep up with us. Saturday we ventured as far as Chicot State Park just north of Ville Platte via one of Harry’s “shortcuts”. - which took us cross-country past crawfish farms and rice paddies. Chicot State Park is a deep forest that surrounds a bright green algae covered lake, checker boarded with Spanish moss draped Cyprus trees and supposedly infested with bass. We rode our bikes up and down winding 9 miles of roads and still have not covered it all. Sunday we explored Ville Platte (which means flat village) and we put 11 more miles on our bikes. We’re moving on to Natchez on Monday.

Well, so much for Louisiana - - Natchez by noon on Monday. We found the Natchez State Park about 18 miles east of town and got a good spot to park, just up from the lake. Not going to go exploring Natchez today as we have thunderstorm warnings, tornado watches and tornado warnings for the whole southwest Mississippi area as we sit in the trailer waiting for all the bad stuff to pass. The TV stations are showing most of the heavy stuff going around us again with high winds, trees down and roads closed. There were a few reports of tornados touching down. The temps this morning were in the 70’s and it is to get down in the 30’s tonight. The temps for Tuesday are only to make it to 50 degrees. We’ll need to dress a bit warmer when we return to Natchez! We won’t be seeing any more temps in the 70’s for a while. Maybe we’ll find some wifi in town!!