Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rock Dundee, Cypress Swamp, Mississippi

Wild flowers along the route
Today was an unbelievable day of wildlife viewing as we get closer and closer to the Mississippi  River:

-countless birds
-turkey vultures and buzzards

Armadillo plods along - a kindred spirit?
-snakes (getting bigger!)
-lizards (getting bigger!)
-countless insects (getting bigger!)
...and the most exciting of all....our first alligators.

We enjoyed a picnic lunch along the pearl river and watched an airboat whose occupant appeared to be on an gator hunt.

Airboat - rest stop on the Natchez Trace

It seems to be more and more challenging to find campsites the further south we move.  The distances between sites are just out of reach.  Today, we paid the price of a late start and by 2pm the temperature was in the high 90's and the humidty index was at 88%.  We could feel our energy being drained out of us by the second.  We still had over 60 miles to go to reach our targeted campsite and soon began to accept the fact that we were not going to make it - the heart was willing but the legs were not.  On the bright side, we found a Quality Inn with a pool and air conditioning.

As we look over our maps, it looks like motels and Band B's may be the way we will have to go until we reach New Orleans.   We have thoroughly enjoyed camping throughout our trip, but if this heat and humidity keeps up the air conditioned motels will be a blessing in disguise.

The end of the road in Clinton

Giggle of the day:

We couldn't resist taking a short hike through Cypress Swamp.  It was amazing - the colours, the sounds, the smells!  We rounded a bend and low and behold a HUGE alligator lunged from the swamped and took a chunk out of Jane's leg.

Alligator bite?

It was at that moment that Rob, aka Hollywood Rob, aka The Rock and now to be known as Rock Dundee (after Crocodile Dundee) sprung into action.  He jumped into the swamped and wrestled that gator!  Go Rock Dundee!

Cypress Swamp - Natchez Trace

In truth, during our hike we rounded the bend and saw 2 of the cutest little alligators sunning themselves on a log in the middle of the swamp. We were thrilled to see them in their natural environment....but, of course the alligator sightings bring a whole new dimension to choosing the perfect spot to pitch a tent!

Our first alligator sighting - Cypress Swamp - Natchez Trace


An unexpected trail closure....

View Bicycling directions to Quality Inn Clinton, Johnston Place, Clinton, MS, USA in a larger map