Saturday, May 18, 2013

May 18, 2013. Houston to French Camp, MS. 54 miles.

We had a wonderful breakfast! If you're going to stay at a bed and breakfast it helps to choose one with an owner who is also a caterer! And here, unlike the last place we stayed, we got to eat off of the lovely dishes!

This house has 12 foot high ceilings, which makes for a very long staircase! All of our rooms were upstairs.

We trailered the bikes out to the Natchez Trace Parkway and mounted up for our 54 mile ride to French Camp. It was in the 70s and extremely muggy, but at least it was not raining! Bill was waiting for us at about 12 miles into the ride, with food, water, and encouragement. 

Seeing the Old Trace after a day and night of rain really made us think--imagine those struggling people fighting the mosquitoes and poison ivy as they trudged along this muddy path through the woods! The creeks and rivers were running fast and muddy after the rain, and there were no bridges in the old days...

At our lunch stop there was a road up to the Jeff Busby overlook and most of us made the climb. Here are Barbara and Diana descending from the overlook. After lunch it was a quick 14 miles to French Camp--really quick for me--I was riding with Stan for the first time, and he is one fast cyclist!

This B&B is part of the French Camp Historic District. It was founded in 1810 when Louis LeFleur opened a "stand" as inns along the trace were called back then.

The building most of us are staying in is built from 3 cabins that were moved and combined into one. The original cabins were built around 1820 near here. Above is Diana carrying her bike into our inn.

Fred. Tom, Otis and Ed (above) are staying in a nearby cabin.There are also a blacksmith shop, gift shop, post office building, museum, barns and sheds on this site, all owned by the nearby French Camp Academy, a Christian boarding school that specializes in helping children from troubled families. 

Bill and I have "Sallie's Room", above. Each room is as lovely as the next...

We walked around the French Camp Historic Park on our way to dinner.  The Cafe here on the grounds is the only option. Fortunately it was very good! They have soup, salad, sandwiches and dessert. We partook of all those things and were well satisfied. (The Mississippi Mud Cake was scrumptious!)

After dinner we had our map meeting in the inn, and since tomorrow is the last night that Stan and Barbara will be with us, we sang our silly song. The previous evening Barbara did a wonderful interpretation of Elvis, so I worked it into the song.

Sung to the tune of Dixie, of course:

It's Nashville where our ride began: Natchez Trace Parkway end to end, 

Look away, look away, look away to Natchez.
Well I wish I was in Natchez, hooray, hooray.
To Natchez where this parkway ends, I'm riding with my friends.
Away, away, away down south to Natchez.

We rode 50 miles to reach Fall Hollow, where Bill served breakfast on the morrow,

We loaded the bikes when the road got scary, drove to the coon dog cemetery.
(BL:You ain't nothin' but hound dog!)

We met the Stone Talker and bought a bird bath, meandering down this ancient path,

We got in the truck one rainy morn, drove to the house where Elvis was born.
(BL: You ain't nothin' but a hound dog!)

Saturday was foggy and damp, we rode 54 miles to French Camp,

We'll ride 80 miles to get to Ridgeland, where we say goodbye to Barb and Stan,
(BL: You ain't nothin' but a hound dog!)

This being a Christian site, there is no alcohol allowed... not a problem for us, but we laughed and carried on so much with the song that we figured the other couple in the house (they came in while we were at dinner) must have thought we broke that rule!

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