We Wonder Where We Will Wander travel blog

Entering the Trace from the southern terminus

Mount Locust Plantation and Inn, site of one of the "stands" where...

On the porch enjoying the sights at Mount Locust

Interior of Mount Locust as it would have looked in 1820

An original part of the Trace at mile marker 41.5

The Trace was traversed for over 1500 years by many people

We hiked about a mile of the this portion of the Trace

Our first campsite at Rocky Springs mile marker 54.8

Hiking the Trace at Rocky Springs; note our walking sticks with medallions...

Dennis walking the Trace at Rocky Springs

We had campfires every night with gathered wood

Walkway through Water Tupelo and Bald Cypress at mile marker 122.0

RV at the Cypress Swamp rest stop

We met Greg at the Cypress Swamp and spent time with him...

Greg traveled from Jackson to Tupelo, Mississippi and back

Sunset campfire at our next stop, Jeff Busby campground at mile marker...

Restaurant at French Camp, a town that dates back to the early...

Inside of the French Camp restaurant, 1/2 the building is the original...

The original blacksmith shop from the early 1800's is still there and...

Illinois Memorial at Vicksburg; this commemorates all soldiers who fought during the...

The granite is from Stone Mountain in Georgia, there are 47 steps...

The memorial was dedicated in 1906 at a cost of $200,000!

Muzzle of a cannon from the Battle of Vicksburg

Missouri monument

Monument dedicated to African American soldiers of the Civil War

There are over 1,300 monuments and statues at Vicksburg National Military Park

The statues range from everyday soldiers like this to General US Grant

Monument dedicated to Union Major General U.S. Grant

Remains of the USS Cairo, the first ironclad ship=built in 1861 and...

All of the iron/metal survived and it is now on display at...

As we were heading to Tupelo we saw Greg biking back to...

Birthplace of Elvis Presley in Tupelo, MS-the house is still in original...

Dennis entering the house; it was built by Elvis' father and grandfather

Bed where Elvis was born in 1935

A car similar to this was used in the move of the...

Sitting on the porch of Elvis' birthplace home

Elvis Memorial Chapel built after his death in 1977

The church the Presley family would attend in Tupelo and where Elvis...

Interior of the church as it looked in the late 1930's

13 year old Elvis and Dennis

Just a few of the cars at the Tupelo Auto Museum

High end cars had intricate hood ornaments or mascots

A very rare Tucker car, my namesake :)

1967 Roth Wishbone; we were surprised to see it had won an...

A car Elvis purchased for one of his employees

All the movie posters of films Elvis starred in

Keith Paluso at the Blue Canoe in Tupelo, he was very successful...

Another spot Dennis applied his LAOD sticker-The Blue Canoe in Tupelo

We send postcards to our favorite people at the Ontario Elks, here...

We began our adventure in Natchez, the southern terminus of the Natchez Trace. Our first stop along the Trace was Mount Locust Inn and Plantation, a home that dates back to 1780. Mount Locust was home to generations of the Chamberlain family with the last leaving in 1944. As the growing number of travelers along the Natchez Trace increased many turned their homes into a “stand” which was nothing more than a crude inn. Weary travelers would pay up to 25 cents for much needed food and accommodations.

Our next stop was to actually hike the original Trace before stopping at Rocky Springs, a National Park campground where we stayed two nights. From there we took the car and did some exploring above and below the campground. The Trace leads you through 444 miles and traverses 3 states and 10,000 years of history. It was a pathway for the local Indians (Natchez, Chickasaw and Choctaw nations), settlers heading west, explorers, military, slaves and Kaintucks (people who boated their cattle and goods down the Mississippi River).

On our other day we took a day trip to Vicksburg National Military Park, the site of a decisive battle of the Civil War that waged from March 29 to July 4, 1863 which gave the Union control of the Mississippi River.

Our next stop along the Trace was Jeff Busby National Park at mile marker 190. Along the way we stopped at Cypress Swamp where we hiked about a mile through water tupelo and a bald cypress swamp. There we met Greg, a gentleman who was biking a 160 mile portion of the Trace. We exchanged niceties and possible stops and lo and behold, we met up at our next stop! We set up camp at Jeff Busby and as the sun was setting, here pedals up our new friend, Greg. He set up his tent next to our rig and he sat by our fire that night and we shared a glass of wine. The next morning he joined us inside the RV for a hot cup of coffee before he set out on the next leg of his trip. This is one of the reasons we love RV’ing so much is all the nice people we meet and become friends with.

The next day we did some car exploring to include backtracking to mile marker 181 to the historic village of French Camp. It was founded in 1810 when the LeFlore family opened a tavern and an inn. Today French Camp is known for the French Camp Academy, a school for troubled children in grades K-12. The Academy has restored and maintained many of the historic buildings, they run a bakery, a restaurant and a bed and breakfast. We highly recommend the restaurant, amazing food!

After two nights at that campground and 8 days of dry camping we traveled a whole 66 miles to Tupelo, Mississippi and stayed at a full hook-up campground. Our primary purpose was to visit the birthplace of Elvis Presley and visit the Tupelo Auto Museum. Elvis was born in 1935 in a small 2-room house his father had built. Something we learned was that Elvis was a twin but his brother, Jessie, was still born. The house stands on the exact spot where it was built in 1934 and has been restored/refurbished to how it looked in the 1930’s. The Elvis Presley Birthplace Park now consists of the house, a museum, the original church the Presley family attended (relocated), a “Walk of Life” and 3 sculptures of Elvis scattered throughout the park.

We were very fortunate to visit the Tupelo Auto Museum before it closes in a few days. Jerry Spain and his wife, Jane had accumulated over 185 cars that they displayed for all to enjoy. Jerry passed away 13 years ago and now his wife wants others to enjoy the cars so all of them are being auctioned off and all proceeds will go towards funding innovative programs in the local schools. We had the pleasure of chatting with Jane for over an hour and she loved our story about Kaia and her Austin J-40 and teardrop trailer.

On our last night in Tupelo we wanted to get some local food and enjoy some music and did we ever score a home run on that part! We ate at the Blue Canoe, which bills itself as serving “mood food”. Their food was amazing and we enjoyed Keith Paluso who was on Season 15 of The Voice. He was the dubbed the singing park ranger on the show and he is talented beyond belief.

We have now traversed over half the Trace and we will “show” you the rest in the next journal….enjoy!

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