We decided to skip the Hwy. 82 ride this morning from Eupora, and instead took a lesser-traveled road that required repeating 2.5 miles (4 km) of the Trace. However, it was no big deal.
So, the day started out cloudy, but the sun came out around noon and overall it was a very pleasant, warm day. Shortly after we got on the Trace, we passed through a roughly 8-mile (13 km) stretch that had been hammered by a tornado in 2011. (The tornado blew through the entire state.) While nature is restoring the area, the havoc the tornado wreaked is still evident (see photos in slideshow).
On a happier note, we hit mile 222 (357 km), the halfway point. Yes!
Leaving Eupora Behind
As we continue heading north, the fall colors are slowly becoming more and more evident. We’re hoping for a great show of color, because we left home when the colors were barley a week from peak color. And by the time we return home, we’ll have missed peak color. So we really hope we can catch some great color down here.
Anyway, we hit mile 266 (428 km) at the end of the day. This point is also where the Tupelo Visitors’ Center sits – which is the main visitors’ center for the Trace. The center has fantastic displays on the Trace, a movie and gifts, plus knowledgeable staff.
The only disappointing note for this day was that there was no good way to get to our hotel, La Quinta, about 3-4 miles (4.8 – 6.4 km) away.
Somewhat like our trip to Eupora’s B&B, we were facing busy roads without shoulders. The visitor center staff, park ranger and locals all gave us different advice about the best way to get there. Between walking our bikes, cutting through parking lots and braving four-lane roads without shoulders, we made it! But we booked two taxis for tomorrow morning that can take us and our bikes safely back to the Trace.
Luckily, it was worth the effort. This La Quinta is a wonderful place. Plus, right across the street is South, a higher-end restaurant with great food and I think the best wait staff I’ve encountered in my life. From the server to the bartender to the owner to the maitre d’, everyone was beyond attentive. And the food was great!
Note: Sadly, South closed in 2017.
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