Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Natchez Trace: May 18th or The First Rule of Bike Camping Is You Don't Talk About Bike Camping

Our motel from the night before

Chad's Restaurant
Sleeping indoors is definitely not overrated, especially if one has endured a number of nights, and mornings, in the rain.  And while it was drizzling Sunday morning, the weather forecast called for clearing skies.

We'd gone to Chad's the night before (remember?  I had the chicken fried steak - still sticking to only one fried meal a day, thank you very much) and as they weren't open Sunday mornings we asked if they might suggest a place for breakfast.  Well, Faye, who happens to be Chad's mom, offered to let us come in for breakfast while she prepared for Sunday lunch.  Really?!  We went over there Sunday morning, and she made eggs and sausage for us.   It was really nice, and then, after we paid and were going to leave, she said something really nice about how she could tell this was a good father-daughter trip.  (I believe I'd set the record straight, as it were, that I was not his peppy younger wife.) Great way to start the day!
The day did turn out to be sunny but with a cool breeze, which was perfect for cycling.  We stopped at the Meriwether Lewis campground and checked out the memorial to him.   There's a "mysterious death" story here, but I haven't gone on to research it.

My BBQ sandwich with some of the best fried okra I've encountered - definitely freshly made.

The trading post - where we had lunch.
Sunday was also the day the road stopped being pretty flat.  In fact, one hill nearly kicked our asses.  Thankfully, halfway up there was a scenic stop.  Yay!  Reason to get off the bike.

Fall Hollow was really nice and gave us a chance to rest our legs.  For the record, it was a mile long hill at a 13 degree grade.   Just sayin'.

Over the past week I've seen a lot of different animals.  Early on it was snakes (mostly dead on the road), and then turtles, lots of birds (cardinals,  blue jays, and these small indigo/purple-winged things - clearly, I'm not a birder), plus wild turkeys, a few deer, and a quail with chicks.  I'd also seen a number of dead armadillos, but then, I saw these -
live, little armadillos just rooting around the leaves.  I have to say, they were pretty damn cute.  The next day a woman at the gas station (mmm, mmm, good) said they carried leprosy.  Not so sure about that.

Finally it was time to set up camp.  Here's something that's a bit tedious about the Trace and its "bike friendliness."  There is a scattering of "bike primitive campsites" (meaning you can pitch a tent, but don't expect a bathroom other than the great outdoors itself) designated with a bike symbol on the map, but the symbol never appears on any of the signage on the parkway itself.  It's kind of like a club - if you don't already know about it, you won't find it.  Thankfully we found ours that night - it was off the Trace, but at least it was there.
Where we spent our last night on the Trace.
And since I know you're waiting for it - here are Sunday's grammar issues:
Care to add a few commas for clarity and flow?

One of my biggest pet peeves - the comma splice!


  1. I have to put fried okra on my bucket list: looks crazy good (remember when I was prego and got addicted to fried green beans from Hero burger?!!!!!)

  2. I wish I had your gift of punctuation and the finer points of grammar, but I don't. Despite reading numerous guides like The Elements of Style (made bearable by Maira Kalman's illustrations), Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, and others, the rules just don't sink in. I am a whiz at identifying what's in colour (i.e. yellow with a hint of black to sadden it).