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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Friday, February 7, 2014

North then Southwest then Southeast in Mississippi

Friday February 7,2014  Comfort Inn Columbia, Ms 4:15 PM CST Room 119

Delayed getting on the road this morning by a call from Betsy all upset about the heating system at the house. Bill had gone down to the car but for some reason hadn’t returned to the room and I really didn’t want to give Betsy directions without consulting him. She and I were on the phone a good ten to fifteen minutes—the temps have been below zero and that sieve of a log cabin allows the heat to escape and the cold to get in without any real conservation of energy. As a result the logs feel cold to the touch, there is a constant draft from the doors and windows. She had turned the heat up to 75 or so and the downstairs was freezing this morning. She was quite upset that I hadn’t read her email, FB message or call. What she forgot, I guess, is that she is an hour later than we are so her 8am messages weren’t received because I wasn’t up at 7 am!! I guess I plug the cell in and keep it turned on at night for the rest of the trip. It probably would have awoken me with its calypso ring. Anyway, Bill called her back and said if the registers are still hot when she gets home then things are fine—if not, to call Dave. I hope she doesn’t have to do that.


At any rate, I flew into the dining room at 9:55 when breakfast ends at 10! Fortunately, they never really pick things up right on the dot so I was able to have my muffin, sausage, juice and coffee. Headed South from Vicksburg and rejoined the Trace for our last day. Cloudy and 33 but the weatherman said there’d be sun and warming sometime today. Ever the optimist I put on my Uggs and sweater and scarf anyway. As I’ve mentioned before they have done a lot of sprucing up and expanding of the historic sites along the road. Not sure if it is to attract more travelers—I hope not, even though there is quite a bit of traffic in the summer—bicycles, antique car clubs, tourists ect –it never seems congested. I’d hate to see that change.

Much of the land in this area is wind blown loess that was deposited here thousands of years ago. Though it has compacted through the ages, it is very finely grained and easily eroded by wind and especially by water. That was certainly evident at Owens Creek and its waterfall,which is severely undercut. There are several more mounds including the majestic Emerald Mound, which is a National Historic Site. The road going to it is certainly not befitting such a distinction and the cows who graze at its base are in no way impressed. Especially, Madame white-faced Hereford who’d gotten herself free to roam the road and luscious grass that the others could not reach. She gazed at me with those impossibly long eyelashes and I knew she didn’t want me to rat her out, Promised I would not!

They have revamped the Locust Grove site—an old plantation and house –the only one on the Trace—so much that I didn’t realize we’d reached it and the house cannot be seen from the road with its new split rail fence. I’ve stopped many times before so it wasn’t a big deal.

The last, and a new to me, stop along the road is The Elizabeth Female Academy, the faculty of which included Audubon. Can you imagine? Within five miles we came to the end of the Natchez Trace in Natchez—the Southern Terminal. By the time we arrived the sun had made a weak appearance and the temperature had risen to 40. We left the Trace and headed East on Rte 84 toward Monticello. That whole intersection area of the Trace with 61 and 84 has been under construction the last several times we’ve been here. The Natchez Bridge is rather ornate and I’m glad that you don’t see it at the same time as the NT Bridge-it would overwhelm the stark elegance and simplicity of it. The street lamps between the two makes a lovely colonnade into the city, one of the nicest in the South. For now, however, we are backtracking in Southern Mississippi toward the East.

From Monticello we took rte 27 to Tylersville and then 98 into Columbia where we are staying tonight. The fellow on the desk is from Metairie,La and was so thrilled that I knew what it is. Perhaps that is why he gave us a King room with a Jacuzzi.

When I was in Nashville in the Fall I discovered a pecan beer put out by Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co in Kiln, Ms  ( Maybe I’ll suggest Bill check out the birthplace of Brett Favre, while we are there.)  So tomorrow we are headed there for a tour and tasting and will most likely stay in Covington or environs in La. We will visit Abita Springs Brewery and Bayou Teche Brewing Company as we cross Louisiana.


Not much in the area that appealed to me for dinner—Mexican, local southern food restaurant, which I’d usually choose and a steakhouse downtown. Think I’ll make a ham and cheese sandwich instead. I’ve been happy I brought sandwich makings—fun picnics on the road or easy dinner if I don’t feel like going out. Bill went for Mexican—uh,oh—hope not too many Huevos Rancheros, though I travel with a can of apple cinnamon room spray and a travel candle. The rooms are non-smoking so they aren’t smelly but sometimes Bill…..well, TMI, I think!

As we pulled into the driveway the temp was 54 degrees and the computer said it is 56—either way, what a heat wave. I’m thinking maybe a hoodie and sneaks tomorrow ipo sweater and Uggs but then again the overnight temps are still a bit cold. We’ll see when I get up. For now, going to read USA Today which I love and maybe watch a DVD before Blue Bloods.

  Anyone watch Leno last night? Very classy. I’ll miss him but I love Fallon. I hated O’Brien so was glad when Leno returned but though it was hard for him to go, it is time to make room for, as he said, the next generation and I think Fallon will do him proud. Plus, I’m glad it is back in NYC. ( Fallon is a St Rose grad and from Saugerties so I’m a bit biased—I’ll ignore his Brooklyn birth!)

Well, it is time for sandwich and fruit for dessert. Tomorrow Lazy Magnolia! Can’t wait. BTW, Bets called while I was typing—furnace is fine—it is just the draughty house that the poor furnace just can’t battle successfully. Until tomorrow—good night KandB


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