Day 5, Belmont, MS to Houston, MS

It was a quiet night last night at the Belmont Hotel, in spite of the fact we were right next to the railroad (no trains running last night!!!!)


Which was good because we were all anxious after hearing the ‘ghost stories’ Gary, the Manager, had shared with us. We all slept with our bicycle pumps by the side of the bed . . . just in case.


TommyH almost wacked me with his pump when I got up in the middle of the night and passed by his bed on the way to the bathroom!!! Nice rooms and a nice continental breakfast. The 100% rain that had been predicted this morning was now done to 5% with the main rain pushed back to 4:00pm.


As we pedal along the Trace we cross over lots of local roads. The roads we crossed over in TN and AL were all paved an very picturesque . . . the secondary roads here in MS leave a little to be desired, maybe a few water bars to prevent erosion would be a good start!!


Shhhhhhhhhhh . . . he’s just sleeping in on Sunday morning.


We came to some great Indian mounds located out in a farm field. One of the more interesting stops today . . .


. . . they looked like they were floating out there in the field.


40 miles down the Trace we arrived at Tupelo, the home of Elvis Presley.


The King lives . . . and swims!!!


It is also the ‘official’ headquarters for the Trace. They have a big information center that was well done and explained the history of the Trace.


This model is the type of boats the oarsman would bring down the Tennessee River from around Nashville . . .


. . . loaded to the max. Once they arrived in Natchez, they would deliver their cargo, disassemble the raft, sell the wood, and walk back north, many time to Nashville.


In 1935 the Trace received it’s official US Government recognition, was assigned to the Department of Interior, Park Service and a permanent parkway was constructed along it’s route.


The museum had lots of info about the Indian tribes who lived along the Trace and interacted with the settlers. Here is a woman’s doeskin tunic worn by the Chickasaw. Quite styling with the off the shoulder look!!!!!


After lunch we were back onto the Trace and came across this poor little snake.Surprised some bird had not made a meal out of him yet!!!


Along the way we came to the location of a Chickasaw settlement.


One REALLY had to use your imagination to imagine the buildings because having been made of wood, they were long gone.


There was a couple visiting the site when we arrived and chatting with them we found out they were from the Milwaukee area. Sherry was from Shorewood near the area BillyB had lived as a child!!! Small world. They are spending a couple of days in Tupelo, renting a car, driving to Jackson, then continuing on, riding the Trace. We will see them in Natchez again since we are all there the last night of our trips.


LOTS of possums on the road the last two days. They are either ‘rutting’ like deer or just moving around a lot right now. Many are not making the journey.


The Park Service is doing lots of insect trapping. Not sure what they are trapping or studying, but we have seen many traps along the way.


We came to this bridge. . .


. . . which gave us a stellar view of this damn and lock system. VERY impressive.

We finished our 78 miles ride today at 3:00pm, an hour before the rain was supposed to start. Unfortunately, the weatherman got it wrong and the rain arrived again during our last hour of our ride today. Wet and cold we headed to Houston and the Houston Terrace Motel, our home for the night. Houston is in one of the Yellow colored counties which means DRY!!!! Good thing we brought our own liquor (not that we have a problem of course). Houston’s population is about 3,500 and the population is declining. One reason may be because there does not appear to be a non-fast food restaurant in town. However there was a McDonalds, Burger King, Hardy’s Sonic, Pizza Hut, KFC . . . you get the idea.


We chose the Pizza Hut because we HAD to be back to the motel by 7:00pm to watch the packer Game, at least BillyB and TommyG did.


Those two had a 16 in pizza . . .


. . . TommyH and I had what was supposed to be Chicken Milano.

When we first arrive in an overnight town we always tour around to get the lay of the land and find out what the restaurant possibilities. After seeing what the town had to offer for food choices, we went to the grocery store across from our motel and bought a little snack. We joked about getting a TV dinner and taking it back to microwave, before the big game.

Little did we know we would have a TV dinner at Pizza Hut.!!!  In the past they cooked, and served, their pasta dishes in small individual crocks. Guess they changed their modus operandi. The town got the last laugh.

We are leaving early tomorrow morning because we have another 70+ mile day. Don’t know what we will do for breakfast!!!