Despite having fallen asleep after midnight on Saturday, I oozed out of bed just after 8 again on Sunday. I don’t get on with hotel beds very well, despite enjoying a stay in one. Thankfully the EconoLodge showers were equipped with a massage setting, so the aches and kinks were beaten out of me.
We were checked out by 10 and on our leisurely way home.
Our first stop found us in Grand Gulf, Mississippi. We stopped there after seeing a brown sign directing us to Grand Gulf Military Park. It was a little bitty set up 7 miles off of Highway 61. We paid the $3 entry fee and toured the little museum – though I couldn’t stand the heat very long – then walked around outside for a bit. The bulk of the ‘tour’ was by car and uphill. Both ways. LOL At the first little building we came to, I started reading aloud from the sign perched near the house. “Built by Thomas Foster as a 10 g house… Ten g? What’s ten g?” Then India peeks over my shoulder. “Um… log house.” I laughed at my illiteracy.
At the back of the park was an observation tower which India and I climbed. It was a breathtaking view and also a breathtaking climb. At the top India got a ring from her mum on her mobile so they chatted whilst I snapped photos. Then we made our way down.
Our second stop was just before lunch at the Natchez State Park for camping prices. To me that took far longer than it should’ve because you have to drive a ways down some state highway and then turn off that and drive more to find the entrance to the park. Then you have to drive through the park to get to the offices. I expected the office to be right near the entrance like it is for the state park here in New Orleans.
We paused in our excursions for lunch at Ryan’s Steakhouse, then continued through Natchez only to veer off to check out the Natchez City Cemetery and National Cemetery. The road layout for the City Cemetery isn’t exactly uniform like they are here in New Orleans and as I drove around, I admittedly got lost. What I didn’t dare admit was that I was panicking inside. I had no desire to get stuck in a foreign cemetery.
Our final stop for the afternoon was at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians. Of all the places we stopped, I felt most connected to this one. Most likely because I have Native American heritage, though not specifically Natchez. I walked alone for most of the trail around the mounds and village area, snapping a few photos, but mostly enjoying the spiritual connection. When India finally caught me up, we veered off the trail to check out a sign that directed people to a nature trail. India wanted to follow the trail, but I nixed the idea as she was wearing little flimsy flats not hardly made for hiking. There was a significant drop right where the trail started and on the lower level stood a deer standing stock still. I managed to snap one photo of it, then two more arrived. They all moved on rather quickly and something started moving in the trees to our left. I tried to remain still enough to catch a glimpse of it, but soon grew tired of waiting.
We finally left right at sundown. Before leaving, though, I consulted the map for a convenient route to get from Highway 61 to Interstate 55 as I didn’t really want to deal with driving through north Baton Rouge at night, but there was no easy access without backtracking. So we retraced our route back through Natchez and took Highway 84 over to I-55. I didn’t realise until we were on our way that I’d added an additional hour to our ride home. I don’t think I’d have avoided insanity if I’d been alone.
We rolled into the outskirts of New Orleans at quarter past 8. Exhausted but satisfied at the success of our weekend.