Sunday, June 30, 2013

Natchez Trace – Columbia, TN to Kingston Springs, TN - Sunday, June 30, 2013

           We finished the Natchez Trace!!  Actually there were only 442 miles – don’t know where they come up with the 444 miles.    

But before we finished I stopped at Liepers Fork – ½ of the motorcycles in the county were there – a Sunday ride with breakfast in Liepers Fork.  I was there before any of the gift shops and antique shops were open, what a bummer!  However, the Dukes of Hazard gang must have been in town – saw their cars parked there along the main road!!  Even the sheriff! (from the 1980's TV show) 

Farther along the Trace is the beautiful double arched bridge.  Note – Cal is on the bridge.  We saw lots of wild turkeys today.  It was a beautiful drive, but more hilly. 
Approaching the Double Arched Bridge

Natchez Trace Double Arched Bridge

Cal on the Double Arched Bridge
After lunch at Loveless Café – the other ½ of the motorcycles were there, we continued driving cross country on curvy hilly back country roads past some beautiful homes and farms.  It was a lovely drive. There were lots of horse farms with black wooden fences.  I quick snapped the photo of the horses before Cal came by, as they turned to watch this ‘creature’ go down the road.  We continued to Kingston Springs, where we stopped for the day.   

Finishing The Natchez Trace

Loveless Café (two hour wait)

Tomorrow we will continue cross country north toward Kentucky.                      

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Natchez Trace – Napier, TN to Columbia, TN - Saturday, June 29, 2013

            Last night the night sky was brilliant.  Buffalo River B & B is out in the country (3 miles off the Trace) and there are no lights in the area at night – it was dark, so the sky just sparkled with stars.  Later the moon shone so clear and bright.

            We awoke this morning to the smell of a wonderful southern breakfast.  A “bikers” breakfast was being prepared for us and three other guests. Until breakfast was ready, Cal and I sat outside on the porch watching birds – saw a pair of beautiful eastern bluebirds, and drinking coffee.  The cattle strolled by, saying good morning on their way to the river.  It was a beautiful cool morning-69

We spent more time over breakfast than we normally do, but it was worth enjoying the food and company.  On the Trace we had to drive back almost 10 miles to begin where Cal left off yesterday.  It was 9:00 before he began riding, but the weather was beautiful. 

Today we went by the Meriwether Lewis historic site.  There is a replica of a cabin in which he lived and his grave site (died 1809).  Mr. Lewis was part of the Lewis & Clark adventures.   If you know anything about Mr. Lewis, there is still a mystery as to whether he was murdered or committed suicide at this site. 

Grave Site
Today I hiked to several nature sites (15 min walks).  One was a lovely water falls (see photos), another was a phosphorus mine.  Along the Trace they have preserved a tobacco barn, have planted a field of tobacco nearby, and there is some drying in the barn (see the series of photos). 
Tobacco Barn

Tobacco Field

Tobacco Drying in the Barn

Another Tobacco Barn
Also there is an area of the Old Trace on which you can drive (see photos).  Plus I saw a flock of wild turkeys in search of food in a field by the road. 


The terrain is becoming very hilly, and Cal is noticing each hill on his bike!  At the top of the ridges there are some lovely views.  We keep saying “what goes up must come down, what comes down must go up”!  As soon as Cal rides down a hill, surely within in a short distance there is another hill to climb up!  It goes on and on, mile after mile.

We have one more day on the Natchez Trace.  So far Cal has ridden 415 miles on the Trace (total 444), and a total of 690 miles from the Gulf of Mexico!  Today was the beginning of week 3.  Tomorrow, weather permitting, we should finish the Trace.  
Wild Turkeys

Friday, June 28, 2013

Natchez Trace - Tuscumbia, AL to Napier, TN - Friday, June 28, 2013

            We had a change in the weather overnight!  Yesterday was unbearable, and this morning was so cool and beautiful, 76 degrees.  Wow what a relief!  After a quick breakfast which I made with the items in the refrigerator, we were back on the Trace.  The temperature was wonderful however there was more and more cloud cover the farther north we went and the clouds were getting very heavy!  After we crossed the Tennessee River it began raining, so we pulled into a pull-off by the river and waited for 2 hours until the rain passed.  By then the temperature was down to 72.  We ate an early lunch so Cal could get on the road.  He then rode till 4:00 – the latest he has been on the road for this trip.  By then the temp was up to 86, but it was still comfortable.   He did not get as far on the Trace as he had hoped for our overnight reservation.  We just simply drove to where we needed to be.

Tennessee River Bridge


Enduring the Rain - Enjoying the Cooling Change
          We are at a farm-stay B&B.  The gal had a new studio (art) built out on a farm that has been in the family for at least 3 generations, and she added space for 3 B & B rooms.  She just opened in February of 2013 - Buffalo River B&B.  The cattle with their calves are just across the fence!  In fact two parties have driven in this afternoon/evening to tell her that a cow in on the road.  It happens to not be hers, but a neighbor’s, whose fences need repairing. 

           Today we crossed into the State of Tennessee.  As you can see from the photos I hiked by some streams of water.
State Line - Notice the line of trees on the line





         Tonight after dinner in Mt Pleasant, TN we returned to the B&B and sat on the porch to watch the sun set.  This B&B is so lovely and comfortable.       

Buffalo River B&B


Beautiful Stream along the Trace



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Natchez Trace – Tupelo, MS to Tusmbia, AL - Thursday, June 27, 2013

            It was a HOT day!  When Cal stopped after riding 50 miles it was 94 degrees in the shade!  With the heat coming off the pavement it was even hotter than that!  He made 40 miles with no problems, but the last 10 miles were a grind.  Too many hills, except for one section that was downhill!  He did stop after each 2 ½ miles and I did not get very far from him.  In fact the last 2 ½ miles I stayed right behind him, so if he felt he had enough, I was right there for him. 

            When we were in Port Gibson at the B & B, the gal told us about a service that will make accommodation reservations along the way.  They are primarily B & B’s that you do not know about otherwise.  So last night we looked at this service and gave him a call.  He made reservations at River Side Cottage, located 10 miles off the Trace.  So after Cal stopped I picked him up and we followed the directions to this B&B. 
Wow! What a beautiful location, overlooking the Tennessee River. Look at the photos!  AC and a shower are the most important things when riding is over.  We will enjoy the property later.  It is a cute cottage with kitchen and laundry.  The kitchen is stocked with breakfast items, so I will be making our own breakfast, plus there is fruit and water.  The cottage could sleep 4 persons.                   
Riverside B&B Cottage

Tennessee River From the B&B

            Today we crossed the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway.  This is a canal with a lock and dam system that connects the Tennessee River to the Gulf of Mexico, at Mobile, Alabama via the Tombigbee River.   
Bridge over the Tenn-Tom Waterway
The Tenn-Tom Waterway


           We entered Alabama around noon today.  So we have conquered Louisiana and Mississippi!  Tomorrow we will exit Alabama when we enter Tennessee. 
            Along the route today there were Indian mounds plus there was a pull-out for a cave springs.  It is a small cave with a springtime spring.  Right now it is dry. At another location there was a cemetery for 13 unknown Confederate soldiers.


Also the wheat in the area is ready to harvest.  A field near the B&B had 3 combines harvesting this afternoon.  It appears that after the wheat is harvested the ground is worked and soybeans are planted.  We have seen soybeans just sprouting out of the ground.  The growing season must be long enough for that.

We went into the towns of Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia (Quad Cities).  First we drove around checking out the towns and the campus of the University of Northern Alabama in Florence, at the same time looking for a place to eat dinner.        
At 8:30pm it is 88 degrees but feels like 94!!  We are enjoying the AC, doing laundry and relaxing.