Visiting Vidalia, LA 4/19/09

Our next plan of action was to camp near the beginning of the Natchez Trace and gather all the information we needed about it, before starting out. The 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway, which runs from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN, commemorates an ancient trail first used by animals and later Native Americans, early explorers, "Kaintuck" boatmen, post riders, and military men. Farmers would float their produce down the Mississippi River, sell their flatboats for lumber, then walk home via the Trace. Portions of the Trace later developed into county and postal roads.

Jim found this great campground situated right on the Mississippi River directly across from Natchez, MS. The river walk extended from in front of the campground to a couple of miles into town.

After we got the trailer all set up, Jim and I walked a little while on the river walk. It was a beautiful day. We saw mockingbirds, orioles, and even an energetic red-headed woodpecker trying to drill a hole through a metal street sign!

I enjoyed watching the tugboats pushing the barges down the river.

We gathered some info on the Trace from the campground and read in the small print that trucks over one ton were not allowed on the road, the same as commercial vehicles. No where did it say that on the web site. We were in a dilemma. Our truck weighs 1 1/2 tons but it's not commercial. We decided to drive a little bit on the Trace the next morning to give it a test drive and to see if anyone stopped us. If so, then we'd have to change our plans, but we were going to keep our fingers crossed that it would work out ok.
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