Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Natchez Trace Parkway

This turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip. 440 miles of beautiful scenery.  We found the Fall in full glory.

We found history.  The trace is an ancient route use by the Indians and by traders. Now it's a narrow almost deserted (when we were here anyway) highway, immaculately kept and utterly beautiful.  And sometimes you can walk the original path.
Some of the path is part of the Cherokee Trail of Tears.  And along the way there are burial mounds tracing the paths of the Indian tribes.  

These gravestones mark where thirteen unidentified Confederate soldiers were buried, directly along the path, so that no one would ever forget them.  It was a sad place, not only because of what it was but also because of the faith people have that things won't change.  Now, you have to make a special effort to go and see these gravestones.  No one routinely passes by here anymore.  The road is some way away.  

For me, one of the loveliest places along the Trace was Mount Locust, a house not a mountain!  It was built in the 1780s as a home and then as an Inn along the trail.  It was a very basic house, completely isolated, surrounded by huge oak trees and farmland.  It is one of the most welcoming places I have ever been.  

John too was taken with the calm and welcome it seemed to give.  It's odd really, because this was in effect a small plantation.  They had slaves, and there was a beautiful area that was the burial site for the few slaves they had.  So you'd think it wouldn't be the comfortable place that it is (to me, anyway).  
And so, moving from the history of the Native Americans to the history of slavery in the south, we got to the end of the Parkway.

I'd like to do it again and next time take longer.  I don't suppose we shall.