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.

Olympus working on a new Pro Level DSLR

is what the rumor says at the moment. The E-5 (I love my E-5) came out in late 2010, and Olympus is getting ready for the 3-year cycle for new DSLR camera addition.

I haven’t had the Olympus E-5 too long, and haven’t really used it that much yet due to the oppressive heat in the south, but I don’t think I’ll outgrow the E-5 any time soon. It’s a terrific camera, and when mounted behind the Zuiko 12-60 or Zuiko 50-200 High Grade zooms, it really shines. it would probably shine even more mounted to any of the Super High Grade Zuiko lenses.

Read more about the new Olympus Pro body story here.

The John Blue House, Laurinburg, NC

Since I just took posession of a Olympus 12-60 High Grade lens, I figured I'd go try it today. It was overcast, but still a decent day, so I decided to visit The John Blue House in Laurinburg, NC.

Steamboat Gothic architecture, the century-old John Blue House provides a glimpse into an important part of Scotland County's past, and the culture of the rural Carolinas. It was not open when I was over there, but was still able to walk the grounds. Would like to go inside at a later point.
While it beckons from a distance, the home also revels in close-up. Featuring no fewer than 12 exterior doors, each with its own stained glass light above. It also sports nine fireplaces and rare double circular porches.

The home, nestled in a grove of pecan trees, is the centerpiece of a collection of structures that tell the story of a different time in the region. These structures include, three authentic log cabins, a restored pre-Civil War cotton gin, restored country store, the Scotland County Museum and an operational miniature steam locomotive.

The grounds are always open and are used to host numerous festivals throughout the year. However, when I walked though, I was the only one. As for the lens, what can I say. Tack sharp, typical Olympus quality.

John Blue House


John Blue House


John Blue House


John Blue House

A bell was hanging on the back side of the house, all rusted.


One of the cabin doors

Cotton gin driveshaft. The gin had one shaft on each side, all wood.

Cotton gin (pre-civil war era), probably dual donkey driven

I looked up,

Tool Shed, deteriorating, but still standing

This cabin was the best kept, right across from The John Blue House itself.