Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Natchez Trace - Tennessee

Day 25 - Bucksnort, Tennessee to Meriwether Lewis campsite, Natchez Trace, Tennessee  60.2 miles

We had a lazy start this morning.  We met Greg, just as we were leaving the Travellers Inn.  Greg and his wife Heidi started their cycle tour in March.  They were travelling from California, along the Southern tier, and heading for home in Wisconsin.  We shared stories and route tips, talked about trip highlights and then of course, got down to business.  Where is the best place to EAT?  Our life has quickly become focused on the next fill and we truly appreciated Greg's advice to visit a little bakery in Centerville where we enjoyed a fabulous lunch.

Ritz Kayz - Centerville, Tennessee

We were thrilled to arrive at the Natchez Trace early afternoon.  The Natchez Trace is rated as one of the USA's top 10 cycle routes.  It is 444 miles long crossing three states and is a designated bike route.   No commercial vehicles are allowed, a low speed limit is strictly enforced, cars are required by law to give you 3 feet when passing, camping is FREE and there are designated bike only campsites!

Natchez Trace Parkway

We were joined for lunch by 3 strapping young men from Jackson, Mississippi.  They had just graduated from high school and were on an adventure along the Natchez Trace before they all reported for boot camp.  They had all signed up to be US Marines.  They had fabulous tales of the exciting things and places we were about to visit and horror stories of hills to come.  (hills also seem to be a topic of conversation)  It was great to see 3 young guys enjoying the outdoors!

Meriwether Lewis Campsite, Natchez Trace
As we settled down for the evening, we were very particular in choosing the place to set up our tent after reading the following safe visit suggestions:

-fire ants can inflict painful bites -do not disturb their mounds

-do not touch poison ivy leaves, roots or vines

and our personal favourite warning - also our GIGGLE OF THE DAY:
-be alert of copperheads, cottonmouths and rattlesnakes; don't put your hands or feet in places you cant see.  

Could that be a fireant heading towards our map?

The armadillos, lizards, and vultures have taken a back seat on our critter watch list!

View Bicycling directions to Meriwether Lewis National Monument, Hohenwald, TN, United States in a larger map