Friday morning was our last day following the Natchez Trace Parkway. Only 54 miles to go.
And with another early start, we knew that we were going to cross the finish line well before lunch.
First picture of the last day on the NTP. Although much of it is lined with trees, there are many areas where it opens up.
Some to natural areas like this, most often to farmland.
Hmmmm - the story board seems to be missing. If you google NTP and Sunken Trace you can find many pictures of this feature. The 'sunken' areas of the trace are the sections where the ground was relatively soft - the walkers, riders and wagons wore it down.
You can also see summer pictures of the Sunken Trace with are much more alluring. I didn't want to take someone else's photo for you to see but there are many on the internet.
Since it was so cold being so early in the morning - Derek and I left Cassia and Rufus in the van as we came to look. We decided not to climb down.
Continuing on through the trees.
Next stop - Mount Locust. A main destination on the south end of the Parkway.
A stop not to be missed.
Enjoying our conversation with the Ranger and the volunteer hosts from Ohio. We were early - they said they liked early visitors! Very friendly folks.
Scott was our tour guide - he knows his stuff. Sadly, Derek was able to hear much more of the history then I was since I had a four and a half year old spurring me on.
Walking on a part of the Old Trace. This is the Mount Locust Inn and Plantation site. It is one of the oldest structures still standing in the area known for historic homes. Mount Locust was home to five generations of Chamberlains, with the last leaving in 1944.
One of the things that I haven't mentioned yet but should is some history about the Trace. This is from the NTP material. "By 1785, an increasing number of boatman known as "Kaintucks" were floating flatboats down the Mississippi River to sell their goods at the markets in Natchez and New Orleans. Without an efficient way to navigate up the River, the boatman walked north on the NT to make their way home. A day's walk from Natchez brought the Kaintucks and their gold to Mount Locust."
And beyond. For a meal of corn mush and milk and a place to sleep the cost was 25 cents.
Picture courtesy of Cassia - she is becoming quite the photographer.
The tools to the right would have been in an outbuilding - since there are none today the tools are shown in what was a bedroom for six boys!
This was the ONE girls room!
We really enjoyed our visit at Mount Locust. Derek found a kindred spirit in Scott - I think they could have talked the day away. After breakfast we finally continued on our way.
Our last stop - 10 miles north of Natchez.
The 35 foot high mound covers eight acres and measures 770 feet by 435 feet at its base. Two secondary mounds sit atop the primary mound, bringing the total height to approximately 60 feet!
It was cold and windy but we braved our way to the top.
The last few miles…..
Sad but true.
Back to the real world. Making our way through Natchez. We may have stopped to have another look around the downtown but since it was still quite early and cold and windy, we decided to continue on.
Heading west over the Mississippi River - our first time going this direction. Two years ago was our first time at the Mississippi River, you can read about that here of our time in Vidalia and our visit to Natchez here.
From Mississippi to Louisiana.
It wasn't long before we were in the middle of Louisiana and traveling through Alexandria. Since we hadn't planned to keep going I was a bit unprepared for this city. I usually have a google map on the iPad so that I know where to send Derek - and it isn't big enough to have a detail map on my paper map. So - we had to wing it. We did well though - nice that the signs were easy to follow.
A view of the downtown as we went by on the highway. It looked clean and interesting but quiet. Maybe we should have stopped…..has anyone been to downtown Alexandria?
And that was our day.
After a stop at Walmart on the outskirts of Alexandria we carried on to the Lowe's in Leesville for the night. Again I was unprepared. Derek pulled into McDonald's so that I could do a quick search, but he couldn't find a place to park so pulled out again. Because the road was so busy I was able to bring up the internet and find Lowe's all while we waited to turn. Lowe's was just around the corner - although not visible from the main street so we would have missed it. Nice.
Well, that was our five day Natchez Trace Parkway excursion. As mentioned we highly recommend. Here are some links if you are looking for more info.
Google+ - http://bit.ly/1cPRM6e
Google+ - http://bit.ly/1cPRM6e
Tune in to my post tomorrow night to find out all about our new - yes, NEW, travel plans. Somewhere along the way through Tennessee we decided that something had to give - the weather or us. Since the weather seems to be settling in for a cold winter - we are off to find the HEAT!
If you are looking for more of Rantin' n Raven we are not hard to find out there in the social media world. We are on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. See you there!