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Old 09-29-2012, 05:25 PM   #46
Dr. Greg OP
Tryin' to get home..
 
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: ABQ, New Mexico
Oddometer: 1,133
Saturday 9/29: Tupelo, Mississippi - Gallatin, Tennessee

Well, I think I'm gonna split today's ride report into two parts: (1) I'll write tonight, and (2) I'll write tomorrow morning. *I'm gonna get too hungry and tired to finish it all in one sitting...


Continuing on the Natchez Trace...

I left Tupelo, Mississippi in good weather. *Nothin' really to photograph in Tupelo (although the motel had a nice life-sized cutout of Elvis, but you've seen Elvis...), but I started takin' pictures as soon as I was outta town:


When I get frustrated with traveling, I'll try to remember quotes like this:


I believe this is a cotton field. *Somehow that ties in pretty well with my "Civil War" theme, so I snapped it:



The Tennessee River...

The Tennessee River always impresses me (I've seen it once before) perhaps because I don't expect it to be as large as it is...


Here's a view in the other direction:


And here's a view where I stopped just after crossing the Tennessee River. *Compared to the, um, Rio Grande, this is a RIVER!


Ironically, when I crossed the T. River IIRC I was actually in Alabama. *Crossed over the NW corner of Alabama when riding from Mississippi to Tennessee...

No point to the next pic...I just liked the "Trace" and I liked this bridge...


And here's the Alabama/Tennessee state line:


Kinda interesting comments, if you can read this:


And don't ya think that this Tennessee State Seal has a "mushroom cloud" in it? *Makes sense, lotsa work on the A-Bomb was done at Oak Ridge National Lab. *After all this Civil War stuff, I may turn into a pacifist...


Another pic at the AL/TN state line...just showin' you what a GORGEOUS day it was:


And one "final pic" at the AL/TN state line...as a Westerner I can't get enough of the beautiful Eastern deciduous (think I spelled that OK) forests...


Another "Trace" pic...no reason, just snapped it.


Since "Civil War" is why I'm doing this trip (well, that and a few other things), this sign caught my eye:


So I stopped at the "county Welcome Center"...


This ol' boy inside was really fun to talk to...I just love talkin' to the locals at these places:

I told him I was gonna put him on the Internet and he'd be famous...

Another "Trace" pic...I swear, I can't help myself!


The DOGWOOD MUDHOLE...now that's gotta be a name for the ages...


See? *It was a BEAUTIFUL day. *75 degrees! *And about 50% humidity. *What a nice change from the previous few days of 95 degrees and 105% humidity (well...)



Meriwether Lewis' Final Resting Place...

Some of you may recall my June 2012 "Lewis & Clark" trip...one of the pieces of "unfinished business" from that trip was my desire to see the place where poor Meriwether Lewis committed suicide. *So here I am...this is actually the "information center"...



You're gonna have to "bear with me" for a while here...to me, this is HOLY GROUND. *I've done so much reading about the Lewis & Clark expedition (as well as the aforementioned trip) that this whole area just brings a tear to my eye. *Poor M. Lewis had a "melancholy temperament" (just like Dr. G, BTW) and the pressures of dealing with the Madison administration (after the Jefferson administration) were just too much for him.


Y'know, the dates of Lewis' demise are pretty close to the dates "right now"...makes it even more personal...


Yeah, this is a "hokey" painting, but I liked it...


"Grinder's Inn" is where Lewis stopped for the night...that fateful night.


This is the site of "Grinder's Inn"...ain't much left now but the memories:


Another plaque about the "Trace"...


And here is the ORIGINAL "Trace"...you can still see the route. *Pretty cool. *I walked along it, and tried to think back to 1809, when Meriwether Lewis rode this route, conflicted...


Here's the engraving (or whatever you call it) on Lewis' monument:


And here's the "marker"...a large shaft, broken. *To signify a life ended prematurely. *That's for sure.


More words...like I said, you'll have to forgive me. *I get carried away with Lewis' situation...


OK, enough. *But can you IMAGINE the transition Lewis had to make: from leading an expedition to "open" the American West...dealing with the Blackfeet...dodging all kinds of hazards...to finally having to travel back to Washington, DC to hassle with the Madison administration about their refusing to reimburse his expenses... * I mean, no wonder he was stressed. *Poor guy. *But what a legacy. *Cheers, Meriwether...there are those of us who remember you well.

Well, folks, I think I'm gonna take a break and do something else for a while. *When I start writing these reports I tend to "get into it" and wanna keep going, but I need a break.

Maybe I'll finish up the RR this evening, instead of putting it off. *I hope some of you out there are enjoying this stuff. *Even if you weren't, I'd enjoy writing it up. *Kinda like "unless you write it down, it never happened."

See ya later,

--Doc
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