Monday, May 12, 2014

Natchez Trace Day 1 or One Person's Frappucino Is Another Person's Vienna Sausage

After a solid breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express we made our way to the Natchez Trace Parkway.  Unfortunately we totally missed the Visitor's Centre where we might've purchased the bike book because it wasn't on the Parkway itself but on a highway leading to it.  Thanks!

It was a beautiful morning, and it was so nice to be on a road where the cars give you a wide berth without shooting you resentful looks as they pass you.  We only saw two other cyclists yesterday (clearly day trippers - are you paying attention to the hierarchy?) but got waves from motorcyclists on the route.

My father and I had both eaten early - he before he went to 8am Mass, I just shortly thereafter - and didn't leave the hotel until almost 10:30 so by about an hour into the ride, I was wondering where we were going to have lunch.  We pulled into one of the historic sites, Mount Locust, and it was then that I found out that food was few and far between and not on the Trace.

Let me go back a month or so before we started on this trip.  I sent my father a couple of emails suggesting that we carry just a small camp stove so we might have coffee in the morning.  Oh, no, no, no.  No need for that.  We'll just get coffee on the road.  Lesson here?  Trust your intuition.

Thankfully the ranger had a list of services off various mile markers on the Trace although they weren't always close or convenient.  Needless to say, I was pissed.  Clearly my father's and my need for food differ.  The ranger did suggest a place another 15 miles up the Trace and two miles off it (yes, that means 4 extra miles!) that had an all-you-can-eat buffet with the best fried chicken.  It could've been corn dogs for all I cared at that point.  So off we pedaled, in somewhat stony silence, to Mr. Dee's.

It actually was really good (although not ad hoc good - sorry!), and I ate my share of fried chicken, stewed okra, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese.  Good thing, too, because for dinner I had beef jerky, three Samuel Adams', and a Fig Newton.  My father had spicy Vienna Sausages, three Samuel Adams', and a Fig Newton.  Okay, I tried two Vienna Sausages - they have the weirdest texture but desperate times call for desperate measures.

We set up camp after a day of cycling 64 or so miles.  We had a little rain on our way home from Mr. Dee's, but nothing apocalyptic.  I made a fire, we played cribbage, and then did our best to wash up in the park bathroom.  Lights out by 10:30pm.

In the morning, I drank a Frappucino I'd purchased at the gas station when I was shopping for "dinner."  I offered my father a swig, which he took, and then said "One man's Frappucino is another man's Vienna Sausage."

A side project is finding misspellings or poor grammar on the National Park Service signs.  Yesterday's find was this:
Really?  You didn't think to spellcheck this before carving it into wood?  I have the feeling a little White-Out is not going to fix this one.


  1. Today Emma draw Gavin wearing a princess dress: I can't imagine the face of the daycare ladies!
    On another note, I have a interview tomorrow for a job I didn't apply to and that I won't get anyway since they need someone in 2 weeks. Looking forward to read you tomorrow!

  2. We are enjoying your postings. John is just too hard core for me. It would have been 6 Sam Adams for me! How many spelling mistakes are there in the sign..inquiring minds want to know!

  3. Jerky and S. A. For dinner?! That rivals the dinner I gave Ernst last wee: two granola bars. And we weren't even biking on a road with sparse food options!!