Wednesday, June 3, 2015


We crossed into Mississippi near Columbus with precious cargo aboard -- the first of the Chilton county peaches, small, but with the rich flavor of summer.

The Horn of Plenty is one of several roadside stands along highway 82, but the warm welcome we always receive brings us back.

We hatched an adoring mist of fruit flies along the way, but that paper sack jostling in the sink filled the Airstream with fragrant promise.

Our goal was Davis Lake Campground in the Tombigbee National Forest, situated between the Natchez Trace and the now completed Tanglefoot Bike Trail. Both promised smooth biking pavement for our two day visit.

We settled into site # 4 amongst tall Pine and Oak with an apron of lawn leading down to the lake. There are fishing spots and private docks and a view of the quiet, orderly boat launch. A nice breeze was welcome during set-up. This campsite was also home to a virtuoso Mockingbird with a nearly endless repertoire.

We had planned an evening ride or maybe a look at the Oak Creek Mounds nearby, but our camp hosts were so welcoming we spent those minutes trading stories until the first little pop-up showers reached us. After a bit of discussion, we concluded that while Alabama and Mississippi are often battling for last place on most rankings, they rate near the top for Friendliest Folks.

Those little showers defined our day Saturday. After a striking sunrise over the lake and brilliant sunshine for breakfast, distant thunder heralded the first of a train of intense little storms. We thought of past bike rides in rain (sometimes thunder) and contented ourselves watching the boaters, reading and napping. It calmed at sunset and offered us a weak rainbow...

We DID manage a quick visit to nearby Oak Creek Archeological site -- a few small Mississippian mounds, notable more for the exotic legends than the grandeur of the place. Some felt this was the village of Chickasse where the Chickasaw handed Desoto his tin hat, barbecued most of his pigs and sent him packing. Nice thought and well documented in the journals, but the builders of these mounds missed Desoto's march by roughly 2500 years...

Sunday we could see a few hours before the huge rain event to the West would overtake us so we struck out for New Houlka at the 10 mile mark on the Tanglefoot Trail and rode toward Houston.

Mississippi does a wonderful job with their Rail/trails -- smooth pavement, swept clean regularly plus first class rest stops -- but they can't add much drama to the scenery which today was big black earth fields and red clay roads glimpsed through the green overarching canopy.

We love the graphics on the signage (are there Tee shirts?) and the citizen participation in trail upkeep.

The "EelStew Touring Society" -- there has to be a story there, eh?

There's not much going on in New Houlka on a Sunday Morning, so both of the town's police cruisers were assigned to surveil two geriatrics in funny shorts showing an interest in the town's only noteworthy architecture.

Patty thinks the fire drills at the Chickasaw Board of Education must be a Hoot.

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