From Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

Cycling the Natchez Trace: Day 8

We are almost there! After a great breakfast at Creekview Farm Retreat, we headed out to finish eight days of riding! We were blessed with eight days of sunshine, high temperatures in the mid-80s, and miles of nature’s beauty.

We rode a total of 47 miles today. It was only 14 miles to our car at Garrison Creek rest area where we dropped off our luggage rack and pack, then we rode on to the end of the Trace. We were happy to find the car just as we had left it; you’re never completely confident that things will be the way you left them!

Made it to the car!
Made it to the car!

We crossed the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge, a double archway bridge over Birdsong Hollow. It’s an extraordinary bridge no matter how you cross it, but on bicycle it is especially impressive. On the way to the end of the Trace, we passed the last milepost sign (Milepost 442) even though the National Park Service lists the parkway as 444 miles in length.

Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge (Milepost 438)
Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge (Milepost 438)
Last milepost! Almost to the end!
Last milepost! Almost to the end!

We stopped to take a picture with the entrance/ending sign and a nice man stopped to assist in picture taking. Over and over again, we found strangers to be helpful and friendly!

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We made it to the end! Over 563 total miles!

We had heard lots of great things about Nashville’s Loveless Cafe, at the end of the Trace. We decided to reward ourselves with lunch, even though we had to wait for almost an hour for a table. The meal was good, but not nearly as great as those we’d had at the Old Country Store in Lorman, MS, or Gibb’s Store in Learned, MS, or Nett’s Country Store in Fly, TN.

Loveless Cafe, Nashville, TN
Loveless Cafe, Nashville, TN
Loveless Cafe for lunch
Loveless Cafe for lunch

After lunch, we backtracked to our car at Garrison Creek. We went into the restrooms there to rinse off as best that we could and change clothes. We drove to Highway 96, which travels beneath the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge to see it from a different angle. Then, we had heard a lot about Puckett’s Restaurant and Grocery in Leipers Fork, TN. We drove there, and stopped to take a look around. We bet that at one time Leipers Fork was a pretty nice, country place. On this weekend it was overcrowded and touristy–not our kind of place–souvenir shops and overpriced art and antique places.

We made it!
We made it!
Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge from TN-96
Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge from TN-96

We had wondered if we could do a self-supported trip. We found that we can do it! We traveled very light, with only the most basic clothes and toiletries. (We’ll list our gear on another post, for those who are interested.) Other people were always helpful (and curious)! We are glad to have accomplished our goal and hope to do other self-supported rides in the future!

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