I have to admit that just doing a travelogue of each day on this route is getting challenging, so it’s good we are nearly done with the route. But, on the other hand, there were things about this day that will stand out in my memories of our adventure, almost up there with our olive oil experience in Greece.
We saw some more cool stuff along the Trace on Tuesday, but the high points were not the indicated stops along the way from the Natchez Trace signage, though there was some cool stuff:
What I loved about Tuesday was that we saw more turkeys, including some huge toms; an opossum, something we think may have been a woodchuck or a mink(we saw two); some nesting ospreys, and best of all, another barred owl, which looked right at us!
We also had a great side trip to the visitor center of the Army Corps of Engineers at Bay Spring Lake. The visitor center itself was kind of disappointing, but the lake is part of a waterway network including a massive lock system called the Jamie Whitten Lock and Dam. I kind of have a thing for locks, so when we got over to the lock and saw that a tugboat was approaching, I just had to hang out a little and watch for a while. The lock gates were huge and I did get a couple of pieces of useful info at the visitor center: it takes 14 million gallons of water to fill the lock, and takes 12 to 14 minutes to fill or empty. The locks are 110 feet wide and 600 feet long, massive compared to the narrow boat locks we saw in England. It was way cool. We watched until we could see the tug inside the lock (it was going uphill, so they had to fill the lock so the boat could come out on the high side).
We would have watched longer, but it had started to rain and was not too pleasant, especially for Rebbe. I couldn’t find any decent links about this site I’m afraid. This sight is where we saw the ospreys, who appeared to be building a nest on one of the cranes.
Oh, and the other thing we did today was go to Elvis’ birthplace. I almost forgot to mention it, kind of like we almost forgot to go and see it and headed off up the Trace before turning around and coming back to see it! But you can’t not see it if you’re in Tupelo if you ask me, so turning around was a no-brainer. We didn’t go into the museum, but we enjoyed reading the interpretive signs around the house and museum, particularly the reminiscences of people from his early years.
Since we were going to be spending the night in Florence, Alabama, we decided to take a detour (and it was quite a detour), back over the Tennessee River, which we had crossed earlier in the afternoon, to see the Helen Keller birthplace. It was closed, but we did get to see the house from outside the gate!
We headed back over the bridge once more and checked into our hotel and found there was a Buffalo Wild Wings right in front of the hotel, and it was wing Tuesday, which means 65 cent wings. Guess what we had for dinner to complete a pretty thrilling day?
Nice birthplace visiting!
Hope you are feeling a bit better!
Looks like my birthplace, if I hadn’t been born in a hospital.