Friday, June 21, 2013

Natchez Trace - Natchez, MS to Port Gibson, MS - Friday, June 21, 2013

          Another hot humid day!  Cal finished the ride into Natchez and then we wound through town to the beginning of the Natchez Trace.  Two years ago, in the spring, Cal rode the majority of the Trace, so we know what to expect.  It is a beautiful tree lined parkway, with no commercial traffic, and a speed limit of 50mph.  There are information posts along the way discussing the history and importance of the Trace in Southern and American history. 

Beginning the Natchez Trace Parkway

Parkway Bridge - in Natchez, MS
Information Sign about the Natchez Trace
Natchez, MS Street
After lunch I went ahead to find a place to stay in Port Gibson, MS.  Two years ago we stayed at the Oak Square Plantation house, a B&B.  At that point a daughter was trying to keep things going as Mama was not able to do so (Alzheimer’s was underway).  It was a beautiful place, and the furnishings were lovely antiques.  Well as I drove into town, I wondered how things were going for them in the past two year.  I got my answer when I saw the property was “For Sale”, and there was no life at the place.  Later I was told they had an estate sale this past weekend.  Oh My! That would have been “something”, with all the lovely furnishings in the house. 

I continued down the street and found the lovely Isabella B &B.   No one was home so I called the phone number listed.  The owner was in Jackson for the day and would not return until 5:00 pm at the earliest.  I asked her about other lodging possibilities in the area and she said, just a motel on the edge of town.  Well I would have not given $25 for that place!  I called other plantations in the area listed as B & B, but none of the phone numbers worked, so I took this as a message they were no longer in business.  I finally called the gal back to ask if she cared if we just “chilled” on her back porch, until she returned, as it would have been for us an hour drive into Jackson and  then back in the morning.  She said that that would be absolutely ok, but that she was going to call her friend who has a key to the house to see whether she was back in town.  Within minutes I received a call that her friend Brenda had just returned to town and was stopping over at the house with a key.  She would put the key in a hidden location for me.  I told her I was within minutes of the house and would return to meet her friend.  We were so thankful that we could get into the house as soon as Cal arrived in Port Gibson.  It was 6:00 before they return home.  By then we had eaten a great dinner of ribs from Billy Bob’s BBQ.  He wanted each of us to try a sample of his ribs before we bought.  What a salesman! 

Isabella Bed and Breakfast
Entrance Hall

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In talking with the owner of Isabella’s we were told the rest of the story about Oak Square B &B. Within a month after we had stayed with them in March 2011, it was discovered the daughter had cancer, and she died within 6 weeks.  Oh My!  Mama’s Alzheimer’s has of course continued to the point she does not know anyone.  AND the rest of the family wanted their share of the money out of the property.  So tag sales and about 6 days of auctions have pursued, the last one being last weekend!  Such a sad story for a beautiful home that was built in about 1912 to look like a “Big House” on an old Plantation!

Cal rode 53 miles today and finished at about 2:00.  He was tired and hot!  Tomorrow night we hope to be in Jackson, MS.

Port Gibson is very fortunate in that it was not burned during the Civil War. General Grant declared that it was “too beautiful to burn”.  

As you drive through Port Gibson, on the right side of the street is the Presbyterian Church.  It is very unique in that at the top of the church steep there is a gold hand with the pointer finger pointed upward to heaven. 
First Presbyterian Church with the Hand Pointing to Heaven






Close-up of the Gold Clad Hand

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