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Random thoughts and pictures from our travels in a LazyDaze motorhome.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Natchez Trace Parkway

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I guess I have a thing about barns. They are disappearing so rapidly. All the ground on either side of this one was recently cleared, leaving her to wonder if she was next. All the barns in this part of  the country have that covered overhang over the opening in the loft. I believe most were used to dry tobacco, and are all open in the inside, ie., there are no floors. This one was along the highway going from the Cedars of Lebanon SP to Murfreesboro, TN. The park itself was nothing spectacular, just a nice place to stop with peace and quiet. Carla and I have decided that everybody south of the Mason-Dixon line MUST have a fire at night. People bring in half a pickup truck load of wood to burn. At Harrison Bay SP, I swore we were surrounded by the Confederate Army with so much smoke.

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The next day we entered the northern terminus of the Natchez Trace Parkway, which is about 20 miles southwest of Nashville. The actual trace did indeed go into Nashville.

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We stopped shortly to admire the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge, which extends over a highway and a beautiful valley. A nice person took this picture of us.

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A pic looking eastward from the bridge…

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A little dark on this picture, but Carla likes split rail fences. It is dry here, and the trees do not have that luster.

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A better pic for color. Who is that Yahoo in the picture?

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A little trail into the woods. The trace parkway tries to follow the actual old trace itself, but in many areas it can not. But, you can easily see where the old trace is located in the woods. You have to remember that in 1800, this WAS the southwest U.S, but most of it belonged to the Indians. The U.S. convinced the Chickasaw and Choctaw through treaties to allow the trace through their lands. The Natives were smart though, they operated ALL the stands (concessions, river ferries, food stops, etc.) along the entire route. During the war of 1812, Andrew Jackson was supposedly charged $75000 to move his army across the Tennessee River by ferry, which was run by the Chickasaw. Standard charge was 50 cents per person, a dollar if you rode a horse.

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Another barn…

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This is way she walks in front of me…

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A plot of tobacco to show the masses how it was done. To generate a unit of tobacco for sale, it took 250 hours of work. For the same unit in wheat, 6 hours.

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There are three free campgrounds along the length of the trace. The first is at the death and gravesite of Meriwether Lewis, located at Grinder’s Stand. There is some quandary on how he died, of which you can read in the hyperlink.

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The Trace was a very important byway in the early history of the country. A relatively fast way to get from the important port of New Orleans to the Ohio via Nashville surrounded by wilderness, the Chickasaw and Choctaw.

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Two large oaks immediately east of the original trace at Grinder’s Stand.

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A supposed replica of Grinder’s Stand, probably within 50 feet of the original location. A wonderful thing to see after spending several weeks on the trace, slogging through crap of all kinds and getting eaten alive by bugs.

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