Natchez Trace (Biking) 2013

  • Countdown to the Natchez Trace! (10/17/2013) - Trails sure do get in your blood. I finished the 1,000-kilometer Vía de la Plata Camino a few years ago — it's an ancient pilgrimage trail in Spain — and am halfway through running/hiking it a second time (I hope to do the second half in spring 2014).
  • Day 1: Natchez to Port Gibson (10/25/2013) - Ed and I drove from my conference in Biloxi to Natchez this morning. The trip took about 3.5 hours. We stopped at the Natchez Visitors' Center. Natchez, by the way, is known for its wealth of antebellum homes turned into B&Bs.
  • Day 2: Port Gibson to Clinton (10/26/2013) - 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.
  • Day 3: Clinton to Kosciusko (10/27/2013) - Today we were biking from Clinton to Kosciusko, Miss., a trip that would take us around Jackson. Before we set out, we'd heard from other cyclists that biking around Jackson on the Trace was "white-knuckle biking." It's called that because so many locals use the Trace to get to and from work quickly.
  • Day 4: Kosciusko to Eupora (10/28/2013) - Back in Clinton, before we reached Kosciusko, a woman learned we were biking the Trace south to north. When she heard, she kept exclaiming, "You're going uphill all the way!" I didn't think too much about it, for none of the materials talks about a huge elevation change.
  • Day 5: Eupora to Tupelo (10/29/2013) - 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. The day started out cloudy, but the sun came out around noon and overall it was a very pleasant, warm day.
  • Day 6: Tupelo to Collinwood (10/30/2013) - Today Ed and I set another record: we biked 90 miles (145 km) to Collinwood, Tenn., farther than either of us has ever biked before. YIt wasn’t as difficult as we’d thought. Maybe it's because we’re becoming conditioned. Anyway, as I wrote yesterday, we had taxis drop us off on the Trace, since the only routes there were along busy roads.
  • Day 7: Collinwood to Hohenwald (10/31/2013) - We’d been hearing for almost a week about a big storm coming Thursday, our day to bike to Hohenwald. Normally, weather forecasts are wrong, but this one was right. We woke up to light rain, which was predicted to intensify during the day. First, we biked over to The Dragonfly, this cute little coffee and gift shop.
  • Day 8: Hohenwald to … Nashville! (11/1/2013) - Our last day, and we're headed to Nashville, baby! It was hard to believe our adventure was almost over. So, last night the storm really kicked in, with rain and high winds. Then, this morning, it was very foggy when Bill served us our breakfast: bacon, eggs and pancakes. Yum!

 

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