Riding the Natchez Trace


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I haven’t taken a vacation in a very long time.

This week I’m riding with a motorcycle buddy. We’re headed out for 6 days and 5 nights riding our motorcycles and camping out. The route will circle from Chattanooga, Nashville, the Natchez Trace, New Orleans, Dolphin Island, and Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and back through Alabama to Chattanooga. She is a professional Archeologist and a facinating woman. I love to listen to her take on the places we will visit. I’m thankful to call her my buddy. LOL

The trip starts riding down the Natchez Trace Trail.  Historically it was a rustic trail the Native Americans used for trade and travel. Lewis and Clark traveled the trail on their explorations. It is a 450 mile trail that is described by the federal park service as “lifeline through the old southwest”. It is designated as a national scenic trail. We’ll camp along the way and visit various historic cites. The trail is rustic and you have to travel away from the trail for gas and civilization. 

Meriwether Lewis died and is buried in a place called Grinder’s Stand along the Natchez Trace. Story has it:

“On September 3, 1809, Lewis set out for Washington, D.C., where he hoped to resolve issues regarding the denied payment of drafts he had drawn against the War Department while serving as the first American governor of the Louisiana Territory. Some accounts say he carried his journals with him for delivery to his publisher. Lewis intended to travel to Washington by ship from New Orleans, but changed his plans while en route down the Mississippi from St. Louis. He decided to make an overland journey via the Natchez Trace and then east to Washington. The Natchez Trace was the old pioneer road between Natchez, Mississippi, and Nashville, Tennessee. On October 10, 1809, Lewis stopped at an inn on the Natchez Trace called Grinder’s Stand, about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Nashville. After leaving dinner, he went to his bedroom. In the predawn hours of October 11, the innkeeper heard gunshots. Servants found Lewis badly injured from multiple gunshot wounds, including one to the head. He died shortly after sunrise.” (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meriwether_Lewis)

Was it murder or suicide?

We plan on touring New Orleans and the french quarter. Can you say

Beignets Baby!~

Then we’ll travel the coastline and hit the beaches along the way. We have a ferry ride planned.

I’m going to take about 10,000 pictures. I’m going to put my face in the wind, feel the sunshine on my back and enjoy being alive. I’m going to bask in the gratitude of living.

I’m going to appreciate the Earth and the blessings of her bounty. I’m going to be grateful for friendship and the love of comrades.

There is a lot of time to think in the solitude of riding a motorcycle.


Perhaps we all need that. Stop and think. Give some consideration to protecting and preserving mother Earth. There are little changes that we can each make that will help. Walk a little longer. Consolidate trips. Drink from a re-useable container. I’m sure you’ve heard it all.  So come on! Make those changes.

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One response to “Riding the Natchez Trace

  1. Have a fantastic trip, and be safe. I am sure you will come back with lots of story ideas!