Thursday, April 16, 2009
The Natchez Trace, Trace State Park-David Crockett State Park
We stayed an extra day at Trace State Park, as storms were happening in Tennessee, and the place grew on us. Its a pretty place with nice campgrounds, and a place to comeback to, but it was more developed and we prefer more primitive.
While there we did some birding and picked up some new birds for our life list. Renita spotted a green heron out our rear window. It waded along and greedily ate one minnow after another. A red bellied woodpecker flew from tree to tree and was another new bird as was a ring necked duck.
We drove into Tupelo and visited the Tupelo National Battlefield. The battlefield site was small as most of the area was developed. It wasn't a large battlefield but it seemed too small a site for honoring those that died there. Another short drive took us to the Tupelo Natchez Trace Visitor Center. We learned quite a bit about the Indian Tribes and the history of the Trace. It was a good stop.
From Tupelo and Trace Sate Park our next drive took us along the Trace Parkway, crossing into Alabama and then Tennessee. The dogwoods were in full bloom and Renita observed that they looked like Christmas Trees all dressed in white garlands......
We passed more mounds but I was too eager to get to David Crockett State Park. The campground there is first come first serve and not reseverable but we didn't have any problems getting a spot.
The campground itself is heavily wooded and the sites are far from level but turkeys walked through our campsite and red headed woodpeckers fought for nesting sites. The next day was cold and damp so we stayed home and caught up on minor and not so minor repairs,(My freehub on my mountain bike is just about shot).
The following day the temperatures warmed up and cleared in the afternoon so we went down to the displays along Shoal Creek. A covered bridge and gristmill recreated Davey Crockett's place, which had been destroyed in a flood and the reason he moved westward.
We hiked a short portion of the trail and were treated to lots of flowers and spring blossoms, of which we have no idea as to their names,(identifying birds is hard enough, botany and botanists are on a different planet)! There were self interpretive signs that identified the shaggy bark hickory and american elms.
Driving back to camp, we stopped to check out a small lake. Unfortunately we couldn't launch the canoe as the only boats allowed are the ones rented by the park. Some teenagers were fishing and one caught a nice bream.
Driving further two tom turkeys fed and I got them to look up by giving them a hen cluck,( a turkey call from my turkey hunting days). Renita was suitably impressed as they posed for pictures and I was actually secretly surprised as turkeys usually run when I try to call them. Arriving back at the fifth wheel we grilled onion stuffed hamburgers, a recipe taught to us by my sister Connie. A fine and relaxing day. Clear skies.