Tupelo MS to Franklin KY

Four states today! For two hundred miles we rode the leisurely Natchez Trace Parkway — a two-lane highway, no commercial traffic, 50 mph. Farmers in the Ohio River Valley used to float all their goods down the Mississippi River to Natchez or New Orleans, sold everything (including the lumber to make their barges), then walked all the way back home along this route. The Natchez Trace was an old Indian trail, abandoned for many decades (once steamboats enabled upstream traffic), now managed by the National Park Service. It’s a beautiful road, walled in by giant trees and graced here and there by springs and creeks. You kind of have to imagine the history, as few sign of the early 19th c. pre-steamboat days still exist.

The meditative bubble was burst when we reached the Nashville area. My empathy for the suffering of flood victims there got a little eroded when we got damn lost among badly marked roads. Circling, circling, puzzling, cursing… then ZOOM — five-lane I-65 north outta town to the peacefulness of Kentucky.

We’re relaxing now in our Holiday Inn Express — why is it we are so smitten by hotels that offer fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies? Trouble is we never remember which ones they are. Every night is cookie roulette.

We’re looking into an excursion to Mammoth Caves tomorrow.

Oh, the four states: Mississippi, Alabama (just a corner), Tennessee, and now Kentucky.

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