Day 9: December 31, 2006
Year's End
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Nashville, TN Nashville, TN Nashville, TN I had one reason and two excuses for heading back to the Natchez Trace Parkway's northern end this morning. The excuses were 1) to check out the underside of that double arch bridge and 2) to continue on the path of the trace into Nashville. The reason was to have breakfast at the Loveless Cafe. The steady rain didn't seem to be enough to explain the sluggish traffic and I eventually figured out that there was a building on the road in front of me. Even though it was moving along much faster than most buildings in the area, it still slowed things down. But not too far from the turn pictured, extra lanes opened up and the clump of vehicles that I was part of worked itself by. The forty-five minute wait at the cafe was expected but the food also lived up to expectations and was worth the wait. Rain became fairly heavy during the wait but had pretty much stopped by the time I had eaten and headed to TN-96 so I could drive under the bridge. Somehow, I'm still more impressed by photos than by the real thing.

As the sky turned increasingly blue, I headed on into Nashville on TN-100. I had thought of stopping by the foot of Broadway where the Fort Nashborough replica is but the NFL Titans were busy across the river and parking was in short supply. I moved on to my real destination below Capitol Hill.

Nashville, TN Natchez, MS The picture on the left is of a fountain, shut down for the winter, near Nashville's Bicentennial Mall State Park. It marks the spot where a salty sulphury spring once flowed. The water's still there but is now hidden beneath the surface. In her "Guide to the Natchez Trace Parkway", F. Lynne Bachleda makes a case for this spring being the reason that animals and early man often traveled here and created the trails that became, in part, the Natchez Trace. For today, a dormant fresh water fountain will have to serve as the Trace's end northern end.

The other picture was taken Christmas day in Natchez. It shows a Natchez Trace marker that the DAR placed near the Mississippi in 1909. I could say that I've been saving it to use in this last panel but the truth is that I forgot I had it when I first started north. This is the best opportunity to use it that has come along since then.

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