Natchez Trace Parkway
Trip Start Mar 01, 2009
59Trip End Ongoing
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Many historic sites dot the Trace, and we stopped at several: Meriwether Lewis' grave, the Pharr Indian Mounds (burial mounds dating from 1-200 A.D.), and the old French Camp
We camped at Rocky Springs, one of two campgrounds located directly on Natchez Trace Parkway. We arrived around 5:30pm and were surprised to find only one or two pads available. Most of the occupants were French Canadian snowbirds, and all were in RVs. We were able to set-up our humble 2-person tent and even fit in a walk before dark. Rocky Springs is heavily forested and connects to the Old Trace (the original path formed by migrating buffalo herds and Native Americans before U.S. postal carriers and traders utilized it in the early 1800s).
The night sounds at Rocky Springs were amazing. We heard packs of coyotes howling, which sounded more like whining and painful cries than the more common wolf howl. Two owls repeatedly called back and forth to one another throughout the night, and some kind of deeply mournful grunting was heard occassionally; we think it might have been a cow?
While I've not yet been west of Chicago, thus far, the Natchez Trace Parkway is by far the most aesthetically pleasing, pristine landscape I have ever seen. Truely amazing. Maybe we'll return to walk the Old Trace at some point. But for now, we continue moving south to New Orleans, and exit Natchez Trace Parkway at Utica, MS (southwest of Jackson) to merge onto I-55. The weather along the Parkway is already warming and sunning up, which, despite my desire to be unpredjudiced, and Emerson's insistance that the first lesson of travel is "the indifference of places", can only cheer a Florida girl.