Natchez Trace Parkway

4/13/13 Saturday at Louisville, MS (Legion State Park)

I woke up with a terrible headache from sinus congestion. Ah, Spring. Thank heavens for Wendy Jo’s (co-worker) prescription: take 1 Sudafed and 1 Ibuprofen for relief. It works every time. Consequently, we slept in and didn’t leave to explore the Trace until 9:30 am.


Before we left I found this butterfly, apparently dead, right beside our coach. So lovely.

Our first stop on our way to the Trace was an Information Center at the city of Kosciusko (Kah-zee-ES-kow), named after a brilliant military engineer, Tadeusz Kosciuszko. He’s a Polish patriot who, when he heard of the colonies revolting from Britain, he became wildly excited and went to America and volunteered his services. His skill was such that he earned the rank of brigadier general. He developed the fort where West Point is located.

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This is also the city where Oprah Winfrey lived with her grandmother and attended church as a small child. They were having a funeral service when we stopped by, so we tried to be discreet. The actual Baptist church now is across from this one, of red brick.

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After Kosciusko we jumped onto the Trace Parkway. This is a couple examples of the overpasses you drive under. Lovely – curved.


River Bend: Traveling South on the Trace this place is the beginning of the Ross Barnett Reservoir that the Trace goes alongside for several miles. It’s also where the Pearl River bends. The Trace avoided the marshy lowlands by following the ridge between the Pearl and Big Black Rivers for 150 miles.

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Cypress Swamp – my favorite spot on the Trace so far. It’s not far from Jackson, MS.

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More images from Cypress Swamp. Before I move on to our next stop, I’d like to mention that on this trip we saw another dead opossum in the road (the only way we’ve seen these animals) and 4 deer leaped over the road in front of us. John was once again great on the brakes.

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As we were following a path at Old Trace site (closer to Jackson than Cypress Swamp, we saw another small path we just had to follow. Amazingly, it led to the Mississippi Crafts Center! We were planning to go there next, so this path gave us a very big short cut. The crafts are lovely, but I’d been hoping we could watch them at work. Not today. I’m wondering if we should have gone further and found the artisans. Our son Justin likes Dragons and his wife Jamie likes mugs and coffee, so I just had to share the dinosaur image.


Our final stop before heading home: grocery shopping at Kroger’s . This is the parent company of Fred Meyers, our favorite grocery store back home, in Spokane. I was astonished at how nice the building was. Come to think of it, this is in Madison, a bedroom community next to Jackson, where the homes looked pretty large and rich. All this reminded me of Palm Springs’ homes and grocery stores!

After a long drive home (we traveled over 200 miles today), we changed into our Sunday go to meeting clothes and went to church. This was a very small parish. They only have one service – on Saturday. The priest noted that this was the first time in his 50 years in the diocese that he’d been here. For their music, they had an organ on each side of the church, up front. The cantor played one as someone else played the other! They pretty much overwhelmed any voices in the congregation.


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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5 Responses to Natchez Trace Parkway

  1. Judy says:

    I love the picltures of the overpasses, especially. But all your photos are excellent. It’s thanks to Trish’s advice that I have a good camera, incidentally.
    Your blog helps me relive many trips I’ve made. In this case, my longest: from LA to Norfolk Virginia, one coast to the other, to take up my first tenure stream job. I remember Tupelo, I remember Mississippi.

  2. Justin says:

    That’s a dragon, not a dinosaur. Which is good, because it is dragons I like. Kind of a funny looking dragon though. It looks kind of cartoonish with those eyes.

  3. That was a fun grocery store to design. Did you notice the gas station adjacent also? It was also highly detailed and very well constructed.

    • Patricia Elser says:

      Did you design this store? I love the design. I imagine I noticed the gas station nearby, but I really don’t remember. I write the blog and take photos to help my poor memory!

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