The Devils Backbone

Ahoy from the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Summary of the Week

The crew arrived back on the boat on Sunday and spent the week doing water leak repairs as documented in the post titled, Announcing 2021 Itinerary. The week drew to a close as the crew completed this shore excursion by route of the Natchez Trace Parkway on their return to Texas.

Bet You Didn’t Know

On this weeks voyage of discovery, the crew answered the following questions:

  1. How long is the Natchez Trace Parkway?
  2. When was the Trace established as a unit of the National Park System?
  3. When was the Park officially Completed?
  4. What was a Kaintucks?
  5. Who were some famous folks who travelled the Trace?

Traveling The Trace

The crew jumped on The Trace at mile 200 near the town of Mathiston, Mississippi. They were 244 miles from the northern terminus near Nashville. However, for this shore exertion they would turn south and explore the 200 miles to the southern terminus in Natchez, Mississippi.

The Trace was the original footpath for the Natchez, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations. As the United States grew westward, the new settlers began to use the trail until it became a well worn path.

A section of ‘sunken trace’ at milepost 41.5

In the early 1800’s, folks in the Ohio River Valley began building wooden flat bottom boats to deliver their farm crops and animals to New Orleans. They would sell their goods, along with the boat, and walk back home via the Trace. These folks became known as the Kaintucks.

Flush with cash, the Kaintucks became easy targets for land pirates. To solve the safety problem, people began building Stands, or Inns, to accommodate the Kaintucks. As the Stands became a main stay, the Postal Service used the route to deliver mail. This increase usage led to improvements of the path to more of a road. By the time the Civil War rolled around, both the North and South troops used the road. Both Jefferson Davis and General Grant were known to have used the Trace.

Other famous folks who have used the Trace include: General Andrew Jackson, Meriwether Lewis, and John Audubon.

Once the age of steamships began moving material up and down the Mississippi River, The Trace fell from favor and began to fall into disrepair. In the 1930’s, FDR used rebuilding the Trace as one of his projects to get people back to work during the depression. The Trace became part of the National Park System in 1938. The final section of the modern Trace was completed in 2005.

The crew made stops at the following mileposts on their way south:

193.1, Jeff Busby

180.7, French Camp

176.3, Bethal Mission

175.6, Cole Creek

160, Kosciusko Welcome Center

135.5 Robinson Road

Robinson Road crossing the Trace
RVing on the Trace

88.3, City of Clinton Visitor Center

52.4, Owens Creek Waterfall

0.0, Southern Terminus

Next Week

The crew will turn back to the grind of home schooling for the next two weeks. Their next shore excursion will be Easter Weekend when they go explore Garner State Park.

See ya then

Eric the Red

4 Comments on “The Devils Backbone

  1. Aaw onto the Tennesse River — don’t forget my cousin’s place on the backwaters around there.
    3190 Old New Union Road/ The price is now down to 3M. Stop and tour it!
    PS — and enjoy Madison IN on the Ohio River — where we honeymooned!!!!


  2. Hello Dave and Claudia…looking forward to reading your travel blog posts and learning about the history you share with us. Home schooling your grandchildren must be rewarding and frustrating simultaneously given the technology glitches that school officials have been dealing with across the country. Hugs to both of you!


  3. Hi! I left a message some time ago for my Aunt Claudia but never received a reply! My mom Cathy and I have enjoyed finding your page and so happy to follow your adventures! Would love to hear from her when she’s able! xoxo Amie


  4. Glad to see you guys out and about again for a brief bit! Sorry to hear about all the water leak extravaganza in the last post. Hopefully that kind of weather is behind us and you’ll have a ready boat in the summer! Also hope you are surviving the home schooling—-I could probably use the skipper’s math skills in my current graduate level stats class where linear algebra and matrix algebra are rampant……

    Stay safe, healthy, and look forward to the next post!


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