Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The Natchez Trace Parkway runs 400 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee and largely follows the original trace. The original trace was a series of Indian tracks that eventually became a route for postal services and then used by traders from the Ohio River Valley who transported goods down the Mississippi River to Natches or New Orleans, selling everything including their boats and walking back north. The original trace lost its significance by 1830 when the steamer took over. The parkway has a 50mph speed limit and commercial vehicles are precluded from using it. There are points of interest promoted by roadside signs and the whole thing is a visual delight and almost free of traffic. At present the trees (oak, elm, chestnut and pine) are on the verge of turning yellow and gold so I am just a little too early yet. There is some wildlife to be seen, mostly squirrels, elk and turkeys. My original aim was to make Nashville by the end of today. and would have had I not been bumped off the trace by a large detour, so stopped short and stayed at Hohenwald about 80 miles south of Nashville.