Sunday, April 21, 2013

Take heed, take heed of the western wind

Oh I'm sailin' away my own true love
I'm sailin' away in the morning

Bob Dylan “Boots of Spanish Leather”
So take heed, take heed of the western wind
Take heed of the stormy weather

Also Bob, and a Greek chorus of highly agitated weather forecasters…
So we Have been idling away some really pleasant Spring weather since the last band of tornadoes ripped through Mississippi.  The Dogwoods are blooming and Violets are populating the driveway seams. We want to return to the Natchez Trace in the Spring before it get too hot and the first mowing takes down the roadside wildflowers.  We have driven this long ribbon of NPS serenity countless times, often rerouting to see it again in another season.  We have biked it most times, nibbling away at its 440+ miles of smooth graded two lane.

2011_0422CHURCH_LOOP0047 2010_0424ANTHONY_AT_THREE0001

The paparazzi can be so unkind.

Al has ridden it in scorching Summer and we have been blown off it in “Thunder Snow”, but in 2011 we found ourselves camped at Jeff Busby CG after a blissful couple days riding “out and backs”.  That night EF 3 and EF 5 tornadoes surged past us in the night, doing fatal damage in the campground and apocalyptic destruction in Tuscaloosa.  Since that frightful night our wanderings have taken us near other scars created by the same outbreak -- Pine Mountain in Georgia, the Hatcher Mountain trails in GSMNP and across the Interstate near Damascus VA. WE ARE BELIEVERS.  So a couple days delay here, the next ugly red smear on the map will pass and  give us a few clear days on the Trace.  We will be following the Real Weather very closely. 

Sunday began early with a ruckus in the neighborhood.  Al was awake and Patty soon followed.  Since we were already hitched and packed, we launched at dawn and ate a quiet breakfast in the Maplesville Rest Area. (This lovely rural Rest Area on a lonely two lane exists wholly for the  convenience of football fans traveling from  Montgomery to Tuscaloosa). 

By afternoon, we were settled in the nearly empty Piney Grove campground on Bay Springs Lake, bedroom window pointed at the lake, the early moon rising over the windswept water. Life is Good, but we were too wasted from our early start to do more than walk the campground and pick our ride for tomorrow.

Springtime along the Trace 

Lakeside Dining

2626 Lakeside

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