These are the voyages of the Wandering Stewarts. Their 6 week, 2000 mile mission is to explore the Natchez Trace from southern Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, to seek out the last of the 8 Missouri State Parks they have yet to visit and to boldly go where no Higginsville resident has gone before (by bicycle).
Map of Our Natchez Trace Bike Trip
Monday, October 4, 2010
Not your typical bridge!!!
SUCCESS!!! Time to head back home!
Only lodging in town----Motel DESPARATION!!!
Day 32 - We had a very lazy morning enjoying a large motel breakfast and catching up on blogging, since we have been without an internet connection for a few days. It was very cold this morning, so we were happy not to be getting an early morning start in the chilly air. The TV weather mentioned that the morning temperature was 16 degrees below normal for this time of the year. We left the motel at the 11:00 AM checkout time and pedaled over 13 miles to return to where we had left off on the Natchez Trace. There were some large mansions southwest of Franklin that we passed as we returned to the Parkway. We stopped for lunch at Leipers Fork, TN. just before heading north again on the last 13 miles of the Natchez Trace. There were much fewer roadside attractions than there had been, but we did enjoy the unusual double arch bridge that passes 155 feet above Hwy 96. We lost 270 feet in elevation in the last 2 miles of the Parkway, so we had a fast descent to mile marker 442, the last one of the Natchez Trace Parkway. We immediately rewarded ourselves for pedaling the entire length of the Natchez Trace by stopping at the famous Loveless Cafe for desserts. We had to battle a cold, north wind all the way to the end of the Parkway, but at that point we started heading back west toward Missouri, so it wasn't as much of a handicap any more. It was nearly 4:30 PM, so we had to hurry to get in as much daylight travel as we possibly could on roads very busy with commuter traffic. We did have a narrow shoulder, however, so it made the travel tolerable, but we did not reach Dickson, TN. until after 7:00 PM and it was already dark. The shoulder of the road had grown to over 10 feet wide the last several mile, so we felt quite safe. We located a very cheap motel (the only one in town) quickly in Dickson after covering nearly 55 miles and averaging 10.5 mi/hr today. We were very happy not to be camping in temperatures that are supposed to get near freezing tonight.