We took today off, partly because it was my birthday and also because we’ve ridden 12 days straight. We reached the end of the Natchez Trace yesterday and celebrated with Carlos last night. It was so great to sleep in a terrific bed in the “Dairy Barn” (rather than the main house.) We are waking earlier than we used to, but we dawdled for a while before heading over to a delicious breakfast in the restaurant.
Then we toured the house with a retired judge who was from a tenth generation Natchez family. He knew the people who used to own the house (he roomed at Ole Miss with one of the sons of the family and said they used to get as “drunk as goats” in the place while in college.)
He said no one around here calls these houses “mansions” – “they are just houses…big houses, for sure, but just houses.” (Between you and me, this is most definitely a mansion.)
We rode our bikes a few miles to the laundromat and took care of our few clothes. Then we cycled through downtown again, and stopped in at a museum dedicated to William Johnson, a freed slave who became wealthy as a barber and left a record of his life in diaries.
Then back to the pool.
The topic of conversation this afternoon was our next steps. We have a hotel in New Orleans for Saturday night. New Orleans is roughly 230 miles away so those would be three long days.
I knew that when planning this leg last winter, but now that it is here, it seems really daunting. We are off the Trace, so are back to more complicated navigation, dealing with Louisiana dogs (who have a reputation) and the daily predicted thunderstorms. I’m ready for New Orleans, honestly. Lisa feels pretty strongly about riding into the city. So we are looking at the logistics of various scenarios which might satisfy us both.
We walked back to the river to dine at the Magnolia Grill on Silver Street (also known as Natchez-Under-the-Hill) and Lisa surprised me with gifts. After some local music, we rode home again with Natchez’ Rock and Roll taxi. We got out of the car to the very loud sounds of tree frogs, or insects. I’ll include a ten second day clip of the night sounds.
It was an unusual birthday, for sure, and a very good one.