Wednesday, September 14, 2016

145: Old Man River

Great place to relax in Natchez
We started our day with a lovely, leisurely breakfast at Pleasant Hill. Boy, I love these Southern breakfasts!  This one was caramel French toast, sausage, grits and fresh fruit.  Oh boy, oh boy. If you want the recipe I can get it to you!  We sat on the loggia at the B and B and enjoyed visiting with the other guests, Ann and Dennis. They are from Arkansas, just enjoying a couple of days in Natchez. I think about a trip like that fondly - to just be somewhere and not pack up and go each day! That seems like such a luxury after our four very peripatetic months on the road.
Lodging at the beautiful and historic Pleasant Hill B and B - exquisite!

Since breakfast was served at 8:30, we were not able to get on the road until about 9:30. Our initial plan was to just go a short way to the first city with a place to stay, since we were both pretty tired yesterday. But we got 30 miles into the ride, and were feeling pretty spiffy, so we committed to going all the way to Alexandria - about 71 miles.
The Big Muddy

We began the day crossing the Mississippi River. The last time we saw her, we were up in Minnesota. That was 3500 miles ago. While in Natchez, we enjoyed lunch at a restaurant right along the river. We watched the barges and were curious about what is moving up and down the river. Well, wouldn't you know it - a huge proportion of the goods (87%) headed downriver is the corn, soybeans, and wheat we have rolled past for thousands of miles!  We cannot get away from it! (In fact, we have now ridden past the soybeans and corn here in Louisiana that are dried and ready for harvest.)

We love the afternoon clouds
We did well today because we are just riding along the upper fringe of that Gulf coast plain. We have left the mountains behind, that is for sure! In the entire day, I recorded only 362 feet of climbing, and the largest part of that was captured on bridges and overpasses!  It's pancake flat out here. The terrain, plants and climate remind me very much of my home state of Texas. It was pretty warm by mid-day, but when we stopped at a little drive-in for a root beer float, the clouds started to come in, and we finished the ride with the benefit of some shade from the high clouds. We even had a few sprinkles come down.

We had some barbecue for dinner and I can tell I am getting close to Texas . . . the main offering is beef!

By the way, those spiders are called "banana spiders" or "hurricane spiders" around here. They are long and yellow (hence banana) and apparently they only appear in hurricane season. I got a reasonable picture of one - see below.  She is silhouetted there against the sky, about 2 inches long!
Banana spider

Some final shots from our trip down the Natchez Trace Parkway: the only remaining structure from the early history of the road, a small home that became an inn (or "stand") to offer travelers a meal and a place to stay; and the cemetery for the slaves that worked at the home. Now, I don't have any grand aspirations about being remembered once I am dead. But my heart was heavy this day, paying my respects to those who lie in these graves and whose names are not even known to us.

The day's report:  Natchez to Alexandria, 71.7 miles/7162 to date

A new state:  Louisiana, and another big milestone - we are back west of the Mississippi!
Mount Locust Stand

Interior, as it might have been


No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you, but want to know who you are. If you are not registered to comment, please include your email in your comment so I can respond directly to you.