Driving the Natchez Trace

Our first night of the journey we stopped just south of Louisville, Kentucky.  One of the problems stopping outside of towns is the lack of dining options.  In this case the “best” option was the Waffle House.  My first time at one of these fine establishments and if I have my way it will be my last time - at least for dinner.

Driving through Nashville, Tennessee to enter the Natchez Trace had us driving down the street (West End) I used to take to get to work when I lived in Nashville.  Some of it looked the same, some different.  The different is probably more to be expected – we lived there 42 years ago!  The entrance to the Trace is in the town of Pasquo.  I should have realized it at this point but I did not – the signage for the entrance is not that prominent.  In the future I would use Google Maps to make sure I know what the entrance will look like.

I had made a list of the 20 sites recommended by our tour book.  There are certainly a large number of marked sites but if one were to stop at all of them it would take much longer.  The first of the sites on my list was at mile 438 – the double arch bridge.  We really did not get the view in the tour books – I am not sure where the road to the view was.  Being a creature of habit by 11:30 I was looking for a place for lunch.  It was obvious that all services would require leaving the Trace.  We ate lunch is a really small town called Leipers Fork at a restaurant called Country Boy.  It was very obvious that many in this small restaurant were regulars.  It was also obvious we were in the South because sweet tea was available.


After lunch we made stops at Gordon House and ferry site, Jackson Falls, and the Meriwether Lewis memorial.  It is really remarkable to me that Lewis and Clark led a group of men on this great trek to the Pacific Ocean in 1804-1806.  Going into a great unknown like that seems to me to require a really special person.  Reading about the life of Lewis after this is kind of sad even to what may have been his eventual suicide in 1809.


On trips like this I like to stop before it gets dark.  So we decided to spend the evening in Florence, Alabama.  This town is actually a distance from the Trace but it did get me into Alabama for the evening.