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Posts Tagged ‘swamps’

Natchez Trace, Part One (Day 106, Part 2)

November 3rd, 2009 No comments

How much do you want me to explain about the Natchez Trace? I’m guessing *this* much:

The Natchez Trace is a trail that runs from Natchez, Miss. to Nashville, Tenn., about 450 miles. It was used most famously by late 18th- and early 19th-century traders from Tennessee and points north, who would ship their wares down the Mississippi river to Natchez or New Orleans, sell them there, then sell the barge for scrap and walk home.

About right, right?

Then they built this parkway that follows the course of the Trace, which is what we were driving on. It features the trace itself (it’s just a trail) as well as some sights.

natchez-trace_burial-moundThis Indian burial mound, for instance.

natchez-trace_windshieldBTW, it rained all day — usually hard.

natchez-trace_mt-locust-innMt. Locust Stand — $0.25/night just 180 years ago.

natchez-trace_rocky-springs-churchRocky Springs, population 0 (not counting the 999 ghosts).

natchez-trace_windsor-pillarsWindsor Ruins — survived the war, but not the fire.

natchez-trace_swamp-surfaceThe swamp walk was the best part of the day.

natchez-trace_swamp-treesAlthough we didn’t see any alligators.

natchez-trace_swamp-bridgeYes, that’s what color the water is.

Ended up staying the night in Starkville. It was a Friday night, but fortunately, Mississippi State was on the road, so hotel rooms were plentiful enough. And Sonic was better than I remembered it.

bkd

Georgia Coasting (Day 101)

October 27th, 2009 3 comments

You asked me once, what was on Day 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is on Day 101 is the worst thing in the world.

In this case, coastlines and forts. It’s the combination of the two that’s so frightening.

(Alternately, I could have made a Fallout 3 reference — but I was guessing that would be even more obscure to the present audience.)

So I went to Georgia’s oldest fort. Imagine that, the oldest fort in *all* of Georgia! There was some intrigue about building it in Spanish territory and on and on. 1755. It’s so important it doesn’t have its own Wikipedia entry.

ft-st-george_tree-pondThe fort — yet another location that warned me about disturbing American alligators, but then failed to provide said alligators.

ft-st-george_swamp-viewThe swamp at the fort: also alligator-free.

ft-st-george_interiorThe (entirely re-constructed based on … ?!) fort. Nice Union Jack, though.

ft-st-george_moss-treeSpanish moss festoons the… yeah.

At which point I went back in time and had breakfast.

waffle-house-reflectionPoetry of the road.

I’m starting to share the Freitai fascination with Waffle House. Just have to remember the two key truths:

  1. Their eggs are terrible.
  2. Their bacon is terrible.

Once you focus on waffles and sausage patties, everything (and I mean *everything*) becomes a-okay (outside of the eggs and the bacon, which remain awful).

From there headed to Jekyll Island, which was originally some sort of haven for rich capitalists who wore stovepipe hats. Now it’s this place that charges $5 for entry/parking and has an island-encircling bike path that inspired me to extract my bike from the ol’ king cab (and bike shoes, helmet, gloves, water bottles, and pump).

Ride on:

jekyll-island_croquetThe most serious croquet match ever.

jekyll-island_me-ridingYou can tell I’m going fast by how blurry the grass is.

jekyll-island_bike-pathBike path.

jekyll-island_trees-beachBeach with trees.

jekyll-island_shell-pathThe bike path is made out of crushed shells.

The biking photos were taken with my cell phone and mostly while moving. And when I was done, I just threw the bike in the bed of the truck because I was too lazy to disassemble it and re-arrange the… uh. I’m too lazy to describe the problem as well.

Does anyone actually read all these words?

Anyway: Georgia Coast.

bkd

Categories: south Tags: , , , ,

Toolin’ Around in the Ol’ Congaree Swamp (Day 95)

October 21st, 2009 4 comments

Crap — Day 100 is coming up. I better do something momentous.

Day 95 I went to Congaree National Park (south of Columbia, S.C.) and paddled around in the swamp. It was about as chill, relaxing an activity as I’ve done this trip. Apart from havin’ to wrench my kayak out of the cab of my truck, dig underneath my cot to find the keel and my PFD, extract my foot pump out of the nether-corner of the truck bed, and then inflate and assemble the whole thing. But, really, you know, once that was done, it was pretty dang relaxin’. Check it out:

I should probably take more photos of stuff like diggin’ under the cot to find my keel. Posterity might appreciate that kind of thing. Next trip. (Although, in my defense, it’s not always easy to take photos of yourself doin’ things like that.)

Sorry for all that paddlin’ noise on the video. Kind of kills the moment(s).

Trip lasted about three hours. By “the swamp”, I mean “Cedar Creek”. Technically, yes, the water is flowin’. Just very slowly. Made for easy paddlin’ upstream and still waters that yielded really good reflections. Photos are kind of off though — too dark to use normal ISO and a small aperture, which blew out the details. Plus there were too many snags to stop paddlin’ long enough to really compose anything. Oh well. Here’s what I ended up with.

congaree_swamp-1Mmm: swampy!

congaree_me-consternationMy apparent consternation is unfounded.

congaree_leaning-branchGlass-like.

congaree_kayak-pointAnother photo.

congaree_y-in-creekA fork in the creek.

congaree_spiderSomewhat spider-like, imho.

congaree_kick-back-floatFloatin’.

congaree_tree-canopyFall color *and* spanish moss festooning the trees of Congaree.

Other notes:

  • I saw no alligators.
  • I saw no pythons.
  • I saw no alligator-python fights.

For that matter, I didn’t see many animals at all — a few ducks and that was it. Still, a beautiful, easy-goin’ day.

bkd