Natchez Trace Parkway

4/7/13 Sunday at Natchez, MS (Natchez State Park)

We spent the morning making pancakes and attending church at St. Mary’s Basilica (large and very ornate), then shopping for groceries. At home got supper going in the crock pot, then left to explore the

IMG_8256 Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway.  Note: this is a warning that your GPS will fight to keep you away from the Trace – you must be the master and resist!





Old Natchez Trace – a wilderness road originating from a series of trails used by the Southeast Indians. Many others later traveled this route; traders, Post Office riders, “Kaintucks”, settlers, slaves and outlaws. In some places it sank 30 feet from the use. Some would build a raft in the north, load it with trade, (thinks like furs or crops) then float down the Mississippi to New Orleans or Natchez, sell their trade and then sell the wood and walk this trail back north, taking as long as 3 months.

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Emerald Mound – the second largest Indian temple mound in the US, used for ceremonial purposes.











Loess (LOW-ess)Bluff – created by a deep deposit of windblown topsoil. Where the Old Natchez Trace passed over loess, it sometimes sank 20 feet.




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Mount Locust, restored to its 1810 appearance, was originally built as a settler’s home, later to become a stopping place, a “stand”, for those traveling the Trace. Only 2 such “stands” exist today.









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Ashes from wood burning fires were saved, stored in this hopper and used to make wood ash lye. After being concentrated, the lye was slowly added to melted animal fat, brought to a slow boil then cooled and cut into bars of soap.



A trail back to the Ranger station.





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Images of the Trace as we make our way to











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IMG_8305 IMG_8312 Windsor Ruins DrawingWindsor Ruins – once the largest plantation mansion in Mississippi. It survived the Civil War intact (the drawing was made by a Union Soldier), but destroyed in 1890 (built 1861) by a fire started by a careless smoker. All that is left are these Corinthian columns. The lower section indicate the basement of the home.

Having had enough driving for one day, we came home to a supper of Chicken Alfredo, the sauce a la crock pot – yum.

About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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