Another sunny, beautiful day. The first few hours were pretty cold; when we first started, it was 40. The Trace was also very shady, which didn’t help. But we warmed up quickly.

Almost immediately, we came upon a famous part of the route: the Sunken Trace. While much of the old Natchez Trace trail has disappeared due to time and development, a few parts remain which you can walk along for a short bit. The Sunken Trace is famed because it’s 30 feet deep, the old “highway” worn down by so much traffic and I suppose erosion and other natural factors. It was impressive to see.

Later we came upon Rocky Arbor. This is the site of a former thriving town that dwindled to nothing due to a number of reasons. There was a 1-mile section of the Trace you could walk here (we did), plus some city ruins to see.

We met and saw a number of interesting people today. At the Sunken Trace, we came across a group of about 5 septuagenarian couples, all driving Corvettes. They were friends, and one wanted to drive along the Trace. We were leaving when they were arriving, but they quickly zipped past us. With their gray hair and tiny cars, it reminded me of the Zor Shriners in a parade.

Two couples rode by on enormous, tall bikes. The woman had a huge American flag flying behind hers, and she called out, “Friends! Hello! Hello!” A few hours later, we ran into a 71-year-old man who said the couple had helped him with his bike chain the previous day. This man was just one more day away from a thru-bike of the Trace. He’d only started biking three months ago and decided to thru-bike this route. He said the first day he rode 82 miles, and the next day 72. Ed and I have been a bit nervous about one upcoming 95-mile day, but if a 71-year-old (who was not in shape) can pop off 82 and then 72 miles, we can muddle through 95.

Tonight we’re staying in Clinton, a charming city on the edge of the capital city of Jackson.

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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