Wednesday, October 3, 2012

10-3-2012 (Wednesday) Ridgeland, TN to Port Gibson, TN

68 miles
Ride time 6 hrs 21 minutes
10.6 MPH
These socks that our friends gave John May of 2010 are still being worn. 
The heel is getting a little thin but they will definitely last the rest of this trip!
We had a rather nerve racking start to our 39th day on the road today.  After an exceptional full breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express we headed out on hwy 51 towards the Natchez Trace Parkway.  Our maps warned us to avoid the Trace in this area between the hours of 7:00 and 9:00AM and 3:00 to 5:00PM.  However, coming into town yesterday we had seen signs of road closed ahead on the Trace so we thought that there might be a chance that traffic would be reduced because of the detour.  So we thought we’d take a chance.  Highway 51 leading to the Trace was comparable to Grand Avenue in Wausau.  We had to ride about a 2 mile stretch to the intersection with the Trace.  Highway 51 was really no problem however, when we got to the Trace it was literally bumper to bumper traffic of workers coming into Ridgeland and Jackson.  We walked our bike to the stop sign and stood at the intersection and waited for a break in the traffic.  We literally stood at the stop sign for 45 minutes before there was a lull in the traffic and we decided to make a break for it at 7:55AM.  Our thoughts were that anyone who needed to be at work by 8:00AM should be there and there should be a few minutes of reduced traffic before the 8:30 and 9:00 workers would be coming in to town.  So we made our break and rode two miles in heavy traffic until we got to where the road was closed to all four wheel traffic, but bicycles were allowed to continue.  So we went from almost bumper to bumper traffic for two miles to not seeing another vehicle for about 7 miles.  When we got to where they were actually working on the bridge (reason for the road being closed to traffic) we ended up actually having to push our bike down in the ditch and along the side of the road.  With the rains that they have had recently the ditch was a little muddy and made quite a mess of our bike. We had to also push it back up a small muddy hill to get back onto the road.
The rest of our ride was very pleasant with comfortable temperatures and scenic landscapes.  One historical marker that we stopped at today was called the “Sunken Trace” and is located at milepost 41.5.  The trace appears sunken in this spot due to thousands of travelers walking on the easily eroded loess soil. Once again, you can only imagine who traveled over this route over the centuries gone by.

We arrived in Port Gibson at Isabella Bed & Breakfast around 3:00PM.  Bobbie (The Innkeeper) greeted us at the door when we arrived at Isabella’s and made us feel right at home. John was able to clean our bike up while I showered.  Afterwards we sat out on the veranda just off our bedroom. It is very pleasant temperature and a beautiful area.    At 5:00PM we went down stairs and had dinner.  We had each ordered a chef salad and then we had a bowl of smoked chicken gumbo.  It was really delicious!  IMG_4187IMG_4188IMG_4189IMG_4190IMG_4191IMG_4194IMG_4195IMG_4197IMG_4203IMG_4204IMG_4205IMG_4198

Another great day - we have 40.5 miles to bicycle to Natchez tomorrow where we will spend Thursday afternoon and all day Friday before we continue our journey!   


  1. I am very fond of Port Gibson. Extremely important in Civil War history...besides being beautiful.

  2. So glad you had a wonderful place to stay for your 60th Birthday. It really looks beautiful.