Cycling the Natchez Trace: Day 1, Natchez MS to Rocky Springs

Today’s Distance – 64 miles
Total Distance 64 miles

Goodbye’s suck but today was awesome otherwise. I don’t think I got on the road until after 9:30am, maybe closer to 10. Then I spent the first half of the day, just being hyper aware of the bike and making sure everything was ok and I wasn’t going to have a mechanical with all the extra weight on the bike.

The bike handles a lot differently with all the weight on it for starters. I spent the first hour just getting used to it as I felt unsteady at first. By the end of the day, I didn’t think much about the weight anymore. I do now understand why I see so many cycle tourists on the Internet, not using front panniers though. The maneuverability is pretty slow with weight on the front!

I stopped to check out Emerald Mound. It was pretty cool though I don’t have a lot of experience with other Indian mounds.

My first attempt to get off the trace to find launch failed miserably. I tried to cycle to Lorman’s Country Store but the road from the trace to the store just wasn’t safe and even I, was intimitated by the fast, 4 lane traffic and decided to abort and head back to the trace.

The second attempt was better and I went to a subway in Port Gibson.

Overall today went pretty well. It was warmer than I expected and it took me a while to catch my 2nd wind; I struggled during the early afternoon.

I successfully pitched my tent and setup camp. I boiled water to make my Lousiana Red Beans and Rice (note to self: use less water than instructions to use as burrito filling). I made friends with the Scout masters. There was no beer but I did get some sweat tea. They also agreed to store my food bag in one of their trucks so the critters don’t get into it.

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The bathroom routine I envisioned in my head didn’t go exactly as planned. I didn’t fee comfortable standing there at the sink with the camp ground being so busy while I took a sink bath. I went with plan B: wet wipes in the bathroom stall. Worked ok and I felt refreshed enough.

There’s no cell service here and I know Jen is beside herself with worry. I hate hate hate that I’m unable to text her to let her know I’m here and ok. I asked the Scout guys if any of them had cell service but they didn’t. I’m going to worry about her worrying now (/sigh). Maybe I need to invest in one of those spot, beacon things so I can send her a simple “OK” message even with no cell service? It’s a thought.

Ok, I’m exhausted and I still need to read about tomorrow’s section.

(PS. During the night, I heard coyotes and owls; it was super cool!)

See all day 1 photos here.

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