Natchez Trace 2012

We had planned to ride the Trace a while back, but didn't get to it until now.


Day 1 – 9/22/12


Home to Oxford, AL. Around 400 miles for the day. No pictures. Just riding interstate. Plan on getting to Natchez,MS tomorrow, Sunday. Bikes running good as always. Topped off the clutch reservoir in Oxford. Somehow I overlooked this when I prepped the bikes before leaving. Ended up at 84 degrees and clear skies. Looks like the forecast is good for the days to come, with a cold front dipping into the south, cooling the air down to camping-level.


Day 2 – 9/23/12


Oxford, AL to Natchez, MS. 411 miles for the day. Interstate riding 2.nd day. Nice weather, but the temperature is too high. Ended up at Natchez State Park, where we camped. Sleeping in a tent in 85 degrees is not my cup of tea. Anyway, we ate supper at the camp site, and crashed after that.


Day 3 – 9/24/12


Broke camp, and rode across Mississippi river to Louisiana. Ate breakfast and returned to Natchez, where we stopped at St. Mary Basilica. This is a gorgeous place. Was able to take some shots inside, including a few HDR shots.


What a beautiful and peaceful place.


St. Mary Basilica, Natchez, MS



St. Mary Basilica, Natchez, MS



St. Mary Basilica, Natchez, MS


We then proceeded to Natchez Historical Park. Nothing much to see there, so we decided to start up The Trace. Went across to Vicksburg to visit the Military Park. However, it just got too hot, and we opted for a hotel room for the night. Going to the Military park tomorrow.


Day 4 – 9/25/12


Up bright eyed and bushy-tailed, packed up, and headed to the military park. The park is MUCH bigger than expected, and took us around 3 hours to go though, including stops.




USS Cairo


USS Cairo


Steam chambers (I guess) driving the huge wheel that propels the boat forward.


USS Cairo


Part of the bow


USS Cairo



Vicksburg National Military Park


17000 + civil war soldiers buried here, many unnamed.


Vicksburg, MS National Military Park



Vicksburg, MS National Military Park


Early morning light


Vicksburg, MS National Military Park




After getting done there, we headed up I20 into Jackson in order to save some time. The goal was to get to Tupelo, MS. Followed The Trace for the rest the way to Tupelo. The Trace matches the BRP (Blue Ridge Parkway) in pure beauty, but lacks the twisties of the BRP.

Overall a very good day, although it was on the hot side in the afternoon.


Day 5 – 9/26/12


Up early to visit Elvis Presley's birth place in Tupelo, MS after eating bfast at Waffle House. Spent a good deal of time at the birth place. Actually a very nice place, and I'm not an Elvis fan (Lois is).


The King's Plymouth


Elvis's car





He was born and grew up in this little shotgun house



Elvis at 13 years old with a Ladybug in his hair


Elvis at 13 years old


Fountain outside the Elvis museum (10 sec exposure)




Continued up The Trace. Weather was beautiful, but still hot in the afternoon. Made stops here and there.


Natchez Trace bridge just south of Nashville, TN


Natchez Trace


We finally ended up in Nashville, where we had supper at Loveless cafe.


Loveless Cafe, Nashville



Loveless cafe, Nashville


This cafe is a very famous place to eat, according to all the pictures. Nice people, and the food was very good too.


Loveless Cafe, Nashville


Super 8 was next stop for the night.


Day 6 – 9/27/12


After a good breakfast, we headed along I40, and headed through Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg, then Blueridge Parkway. Had time to drop by Clingmans Dome (highest point in the Smokies).


Clingmans Dome



Clingmans Dome



Fall is here





Stop at Blue Ridge Parkway


Blue Ridge Parkway


Supper was had at Clyde's in Waynesville, and pitched the tent at Moonshine Campground for the night.





Day 7 – 9/28/2012


Departed the campground, and couldn't resist going back to Clyde's for breakfast. Fuel up the bikes, and headed towards home via he Blue Ridge Parkway, through Rosman, and down US 128 to SC scenic hwy 11, and Hwy 9 home.


About 2000 miles for the trip. A little warmer than we would like for riding temperature. The weather was very nice otherwise.

Natchez Trace Ride September 2012

Coming up shortly: Natchez Trace Parkway from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN, Sept. 21st – Sept 29th. 800 miles to get there. The Trace is a 444 miles ride through exceptional scenery and 10,000 years of North American history.

We're spending a week on the road for the ride, Lois on the BMW F650GS, and me on the ST1300. Lots of places to see, and many neat places to camp. Stay tuned.

CampStoc 2012 at Moonshine Creek Campground in The Great Smoky Mountains of NC

Every year as usual, well except last year, a few of the Honda ST1300 riders from near and far meet up for a few days of camping, good riding and story telling around the campfire. This years CampStoc was held at Moonshine Creek Campground in The Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.

I rode up on Thursday May along Hwy 9 and 11 in South Carolina, cut up through the mountains on US 178 to Rosman, NC and followed the Blueridge Parkway for a few miles before heading into the woods where the campground was located. A few had already arrived when I got there. Pitched the tent, and settled for the night.

Crawled down in a creek on my way to Clingmans Dome on Friday May Didn't have a tripod with me, so had to make a little rock pile to rest my camera on to make a 3-4 sec exposure possible..


On the Parkway towards Waynesville, NC. The temp had already dropped to about 65 degrees.




This is how it looked like after most of the gang had arrived. Most of them on ST13's, one on a Yamaha 1200 Super Tenere and a few others. Very nice campground.




Burning hotdogs for night snack.





And of course pizza, boxes and boxes of it were brought in.




Stories were told…




And listened to….










Ran Parson Branch (again) from Cades Cove to to US 129 Deals Gap. Pretty straightforward dirt-run, but it can bite you in spots if you don't pay attention.

Good times. Going back in the fall.

Day 21: Leeds, AL to Home

425 or so miles for the day. Dodged the rain in Alabama, and also the rain when we got home in SC. All day slabbing on interstate 20, which is not our favorite way to ride, but gets us from A to B the fastest way. Came home and unpacked, sorted and cleaned equipment. 3 weeks riding and about 6000 miles later leaves a lot of nice pictures, videos and memories. It'll take weeks to sort through it all. Wish we could stay out longer, but work calls. We'll have to  wait a while.

Thanks to everyone that followed us on the journey.