The Natchez Trace & Vicksburg

While we were at the deserted Elks Lodge in Natchez we broke out the bikes and explored Natchez. We were just four miles from downtown and we made the circuit of the antebellum homes. We didn’t go on any tours; we got kinda burnt out on the “grand” house tours. Lots of them are a ripoff and you have to pay extra to see more rooms.

Natchez is a small town but even the smaller homes are period correct and well kept. We rode around the town taking our own tour of the grand estates.

And the not so grand…
The live oaks at the Confederate Memorial were gigantic.
The churches were open to the public and there was some nice stained glass. No Pokemon Go though… They had signs.

We had lunch in Natchez Down Under right by the river at the Magnolia Grill. The hamburgers were good and the ride back up the hill from Silver Street was a good exercise in uphill concentration.

We ended up staying an extra day after meeting some of the neighbors and just taking a day off. Jim played the ukulele while the kitties roamed around the Elks.
We headed north up the Trace toward Vicksburg. The Trace is a beautiful two lane road with little traffic, no commercial traffic and lots of historic sights along the way. Very quiet and peaceful. Many sections featured the Old Trace and it was interesting to walk along the trace imagining the Indians, riverboat men and post office couriers who traversed it from Natchez to Pittsburgh. It became an essential lifeline for the Mississippi Valley to remain in touch with the eastern coast so forming a new nation wasn’t at the forefront.

We got off the Trace to end up at The Elks in Vicksburg which was open and had hookups and free drinks. They were serving dinner that night so we enjoyed pork chops, potatoes and salad. The cemetery next door, Zoellinger’s Cemetery had seen better days. Some of the graves were dropping into the ravine.

The kitties had free run of the place. They are getting better about going out with just their harnesses, no string. Carmella did go a bit afield but she loves to come blasting back to the bus with her tail all puffy.

The next day we drove through the Vicksburg Military Park which chronicled the Battle of Vicksburg where the Civil War was basically won by the Union. Control of the Mississippi was the goal and they achieved it. The effect was sobering even for a died-in-the-wool Civil War buff like me. It went on for 47 days and 17,000 Union soldiers are buried at the National Cemetery there, more than 13,000 of them unidentified.

So just imagine shooting across the hills with cannons and gutting each other with bayonets in the middle.

The park must have been a bonanza for stone carvers and statuary makers. There are hundreds throughout the park.

So. Many. People. Killed.


One comment on “The Natchez Trace & Vicksburg

  1. I grew up in Vicksburg. The stonework and sculpture in the park is beautiful. I have thought about returning in retirement, but don’t know if I could live in one of the reddest parts of the country. There are some fantastic homes there.

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