Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Natchez Trace Part 2

Looking back at this point in my trip, I wish I had made the decision to just stay put at Rocky Springs and not push it for the rest of the day.  Hindsight is 20/20 right?  I guess I know for next time at least.  

It was about 2 in the afternoon when I left Rocky Springs.  I was thinking that with the extra hour of daylight I wouldn't have a problem getting to Jeff Busby State Park around mile 180.  I made it in plenty of time, but at the expense of spending more time visiting the sights of the trace.  

Back on the road

Around mile 90 you come to what I consider to be the highlight of the trace between RS and JB.  The trace runs right along side of the Ross Barnett Reservoir in Jackson, MS for about 10 miles.  The best part of it is that is all you see.  No buildings, no crowds, just you, the trace, and the reservoir.  The only drawback to this portion of the road is there was a little more traffic.  With the close proximity to the state capital, this section of the trace is used as a bypass for many of the residents.  This was the only portion of the entire trace where I felt like anyone was trying to rush me.  I'm not easily persuaded and never sped up.  I was on a mission to take it all in.  I came to a great overlook on the reservoir, so I had take a little while to lay back in the grass and enjoy the peace.  

Me enjoying my little spot of peace and quiet.

I'm not always a huge fan of the solitude that comes with being alone, but it's not always a bad thing.  I am always surprised at how refreshed I feel after an extended period away from it all.  It gives you too much plenty of time for reflection.  You can only hide from yourself for so long when you have that kind of time.  The amazing thing I always find is how much you truly learn about yourself.  It can be an emotional roller coaster.  One minute you're laughing and the next minute you're crying.  You'll catch yourself yelling at the top of your lungs, talking to yourself, singing to the radio, and sometimes just sitting there silently.

There isn't a lot to get real excited about between the reservoir and Jeff Busby, but that was the perfect time for all of this emotional dwelling.  It's a good stretch and no less pretty than any others.  The only real landmark I even took a picture of was a sign depicting the area where the former Choctaw boundary was when the former travelers were making their way through to Nashville.

I arrived at Jeff Busby State Park around 6 in the evening.  I headed up the road, following signs, to an overlook in the park.  It wasn't much of an overlook being in Mississippi, but it was still worth the 2 minute drive.  After I was satisfied with the sights, I headed to the campground to claim my spot.  I got some puzzled looks when all I set up was a hammock.  Most of the other residents at this park were is motor homes, so I was a little out of place.  The good thing was that, like all the other parks, it wasn't that crowded.  The only problem I had was that the person directly beside me decided to crank up their generator right as I was laying down.  Luckily they only ran it for a bit and cut it back off.  

My bed for the evening.

Dinner time.

The sky that first night.

I have to admit something.  My night didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped it would.  I've been doing plenty of camping early this year, but the weather is completely different now.  The warmer weather makes for a completely different camping experience.  The two biggest factors were bugs and the dew.  I got eaten alive and by midnight I had crawled up into the cab of my truck and gotten a lot more comfortable away from the bugs.  When I got up everything that I had left out was soaked from the dew and I spent the entire next day trying to dry it out.  Lesson learned!

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Until Next Time,

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