Rock Spring

Cycling the Natchez Trace: Day 6

The big events for today’s ride were crossing the Mississippi-Alabama state line, then about twenty-one miles later, crossing the Alabama-Tennessee state line. Just before crossing the MS-AL line, we stopped at the Cave Spring nature area and were pleasantly surprised by the beauty. While there, we talked with a recumbent-cyclist who was occasionally riding, but was also driving a support vehicle for a group of cyclists from Jackson, MS. I did a better job of stopping to take pictures of pretty countryside on today’s ride!

Natchez Trace Parkway
Natchez Trace Parkway

Shady tracks
Shady tracks
Cave Spring, Milepost 309
Cave Spring, Milepost 309

The very wide Tennessee River bisects the western corner of Alabama. Shortly after crossing the river, we came to Rock Spring at Milepost 330 and stopped to take a short hike down to the stream crossing. It was a pretty area with a beaver swamp nearby.

Rock Spring stream crossing
Rock Spring stream crossing, Milepost 330.2
Snack of Carol's zucchini bread! Yum!
Snack of Carol’s zucchini bread! Yum!

Just before the TN-AL line, we got off the Trace at Milepost 336 to look for a pizza place that was supposed to be only a half-mile off of the Trace. After riding and looking, we called the place and they had moved and were about three miles away. We decided to make a lunch of protein bars that we had been carrying rather than continue the search or ride the extra miles. We sat beneath an oak tree on the side of very busy AL-20 for our “picnic.”

At Milepost 338, we stopped to see the Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall that was featured in Garden and Gun magazine’s April/May 2015 article, “50 Reasons We Love the South Now” (See number 26!) and in a New York Times article; plus, Randy of Natchez Trace Travel told us that it was worth the stop! If you turn off of the Trace to the right and go about 100 yards, you encounter the wall. The wall was assembled by Tom Hendrix as a tribute to his great-great-grandmother, a Yuchi Indian. It is worth the stop!

Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall, Milepost 338
Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall, Milepost 338
DSC00259
Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall
AL-TN State Line
AL-TN State Line, Milepost 341.8

After 79 miles of riding, we arrived in Collinwood, TN (Milepost 354.9) where we spent the night at Rochelle’s, a very basic motel that is located behind the owner’s hardware store. We walked across the street to Chad’s Family Restaurant for dinner that evening and breakfast the next morning, since breakfast was not included at the motel. Chad’s was adequate. If we had it to do over again, we would have tried a burger for dinner at convenience store around the corner.

Rochelle's, Collinwood, TN
Rochelle’s, Collinwood, TN
Room at Rochelle's
Room at Rochelle’s

We felt very lucky to have achieved our sixth day of riding with nice 80-degree weather and no rain. The beauty at Cave Spring, Rock Spring, shady views from atop bridges, and seeing the incredible rock wall made today a special one!

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