The Adventures of Platy and the Gang
Volume 3

May 15, 2003

Along the Trace there are points of interest every few miles. Some a just signs explaining what used to be there and some things that are still there.
This is Mount Locust Inn, built around 1780. Mount Locust is the only remaining example of a frontier "stand" or inn on the Natchez Trace. Stand were located at 10 or 20 mile intervals, or about one days' walk apart. For approximately 25 cents weary travelers could enjoy a supper of "mush and milk" and the priviledge of sleeping on the floor in a room jamed to the rafters with saddles, baggage, and other wayfarers.
We stopped and were given a tour by the ranger.
A dusty road winding through deserted fields leads to the eerie Ruins of Windsor, the remains of the largest and most spectactular antebellum mansion ever constructed in Misissippi. The house was designed by one of the country's most celebrated architects at an 1860 cost of $175,000. The mansion escaped destruction at the hands of federal troops on three separate occasions during the Civil War, but burned to the grounds at the hands of a careless smoker in 1890. Twenty-three towering columns are all that remain of the once opulent mansion. The white dot between the columns is Judy.
Rocky Springs was a prosperous community of the 1800's that thrived as a center of agriculture and commerce. The cotton that made the town rich, however made the soil poor. Gradually the earth became depleted and eroded, and by 1930 Rocky Springs was a ghost town. Today only a church, a cemetery, and a rusting safe once filled with treasures remain of the once-bustling community. Judy is checking out the safe.
There a several cypress swamps along the Trace that have boardwalks. At this one we met a young man who was also biking the Trace. He, however, started in New Orleans and was doing 90 miles per day. He works at a National Park out west and has biked all over the US.

French Camp
French Camp is a settlement where an academy was founded in 1885 as a school for children from broken families. It is still there today. We were lucky to visit when they were having Pioneer Day. They had musicians playing at several locations and demonstrations of pioneer crafts. We ate lunch at the cafe operated by the academy students in a log cabin. The students must work several hours a week. This may be at the blacksmith shop, the bakery, quilting or various other things.
This is the church where Oprah Winfrey first performed at age 6. She was born just down the road but the house is no longer there.

Tupelo, Mississippi
Tupelo's big claim to fame is that Elvis was born here. The big tour is to see where he went to elementary school, the drive-in where he ate cheeseburgers and RC Cola, and the store where he bought his first guitar. After the "Oprah tour", we couldn't take the excitement and missed Elvis tour. Well...maybe next time.
Today we had thunderstorms and rain all day. Judy biked anyway.

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