Monday, December 3, 2007

Back on the Trace

Monday, December 3, 2007 -- Ameristar RV Park in Vicksburg, MS

Things went off this morning pretty much as planned. The sun rose before 7am and I popped out of bed to a mere 56°f. in the camper. Yikes! That was some cold front that came through last night. It took less than 2 minutes for me to a) turn the heat up, b) load the coffee maker and turn it on, c) make sure the water heater was on, and d) jump back into bed until the heat and the coffee were done.

It may have been cold this morning, but at least it was windy too. Once coffee'd, showered, and dressed, I went out to tend to my assigned moving-day chores. Tire pressure -- check; Engine Oil level -- check; Engine coolant, hydraulic fluid level, transmission oil level -- check, check, check; Slides clear and ready for retraction -- check; load bikes onto bike carrier on car -- check; this is but a sampling, but maybe you get the idea. By the time I was done outside, I felt like I was back in Wisconsin, frozen fingers and all. Dar's jobs on the inside are, well, not easier but perhaps warmer.

Regardless, we had the bus rolling and were out of the park by 10:20am and were back on the Natchez Trace by 10:35. The route today took us from Tupelo to Jackson -- all of that leg on the Trace, a distance of about 180 miles -- and then over to Vicksburg on I-20. I GPS'd the drive today at 224 miles.

I just can't say enough about the Natchez Trace drive. If you ever get a chance to meander down this long, skinny, National Park, do so. It's good for your head and it's good for your spirit. The lack of traffic and absence of commercial vehicles, and the steady 50mph -- no stopping or slowing for curves, etc -- well, the 4 hours it took for us to traverse the 180 miles and stop for lunch at a picnic area just melted away and the stress with it.

Of course, that stress was back as soon as we got on I-20. But thankfully we were only on that dadgum road for a half hour before Vicksburg was looming on the horizon. A quick exit here, a wrong turn there, and before we knew it, we were at the RV Park. We picked a site in the "midwestern'er's" section... I'm kidding, but the two neighbors we talked to so far are from Michigan and Iowa.

Dar has an itinerary of "historical" significance already planned out for the next two days. I'm sure I'll have something to write about tomorrow night.

T