Monday, September 25, 2017
We didn’t have a set schedule for today. The only definite was that we had to be out of our RV site by 3:00pm. We also planned to do some biking on the Natchez Trace and we needed to be in Hattiesburg, MS before dark. With those parameters in mind we slept a little late, but then got ready to go bike riding so we would be back before it got too hot. We drove to the overlook at the Barnett Reservoir, unloaded the bikes and started riding. In this area of the Trace, since there is a good deal of commuter traffic around Jackson, they have built a separate multi-use trail. When we saw the amount of traffic we were glad to ride on the separate trail. This was a very nice wooded area. There were more people using the trail today than we expected.
We just happened to ride up to the Mississippi Craft Center which is located just off the Trace and the bike trail goes beside it. The building is very nice. The craft work inside was pretty amazing. The Center is tasked with preserving the dying arts in all sorts of mediums – wood, fabric, stone, and many more. Entry into the Center is free and it is well worth a visit. They of course also have gift shop.
After visiting the Craft Center we returned to the Trace where we walked on a section of the original dirt trail first walked by Native Americans and later by the soldiers in the war of 1812. That was a neat experience. There was a section of the bike trail closed for maintenance. Since we couldn’t ride that section, we road a portion of the urban multi-use trails in Ridgeland and Jackson. These trails also go through wooded areas as well as at times running beside the roads. There was always some separation from the streets so we felt safer. After returning to the truck we rode to the southern Trace Visitors Information Center. We couldn’t go inside because it is only open on Friday and Saturday.
We returned to FRED, got cleaned up and headed for Hattiesburg. Unfortunately, Highway 49 south of Jackson is in terrible shape. Potholes, rub board sections, it felt like it would vibrate the cabinets off the walls. We were very thankful that the further we drove the better the road became. We drove to Oak Grove UMC, just west of Hattiesburg, parked in the area with RV hookups, met with our team leaders and settled in for the next several days. Looking forward to some good times here.