|Fall colors at the New Trace|
|Fall colors at the Old Trace|
|Falll colors at the lake in Natchez Trace RV Resort|
The Natchez Trace Parkway (the Old was started in 1801 while the New began in 1930) gently winds among low hills from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, crossing Alabama at its northwestern tip. This All-American Road, like its sister Blue Ridge, is maintained by the National Park Service, to commemorate the original route following the ’traces’ of bison and other game. In essence, it was the original path of the earliest Americans on the move (much like us)! Parts of the Old Trace is preserved and an added bonus was the fall colors draping its sides (my favorite season!).
|them ol' cotton fields back at Donnivan Slough|
Improved communications (steam boats, stagecoach lines, and railroads) and the development of ports along nearby rivers made the route obsolete as a means of commerce. As a result, no major population centers were born or developed along it. Thus the Trace and its alignment between Nashville and Natchez come down to us today almost completely undeveloped and unspoiled as an unhurried forest lane, with the exception of the cities of Tupelo and Jackson, Mississippi which developed later.
|native-American ceremonial mound at the Trace|
Despite being rendered blind and deaf from a high fever at the early age of 19 months, Helen Keller, through the dedication of her beloved teacher Anne Sullivan, was able to graduate from Radcliff, cum laude. She went on to write 14 books and was a sought after inspirational speaker until she died at age 88 in 1968. A moon tree, from a seed carried in the Apollo 14 space flight to the moon, is growing well on the grounds of Ivy Green, her birthplace and childhood home in Tuscumbia, Alabama, a short diversion from the Trace.
|Helen Keller's birthplace and childhood home in Alabama|
Another draw to the Trace is Tupelo, Mississippi which is the birthplace and home of Elvis before he headed for Memphis and stardom. Gospel singing influenced the star’s music so much that the church which he attended as a boy and teenager was relocated to the site of the home and museum, only one block from its original location. We were surprised that the Elvis landmark had so many more visitors than Ivy Green. I guess pop music and rock n’ roll has a wider appeal than rising above one’s handicap! But I enjoyed holding young Elvis’ hand for a photo!
|flock of wild turkey fleeing from Bill's camera|
We were not able to complete the Trace. But we promised ourselves that when we cross the Gulf States again, plying between California/Arizona and Florida for snow birding, we will complete the southern portion around Jackson, Mississippi most especially to see the unique Windsor Ruins, the patches of red clover, and yellow wildflowers on a river bend!
Jack Daniel’s Distillery
|the natural spring from where Jack Daniels comes from|