Day 6: December 28, 2006
To Tupelo
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Jackson, MS Jackson, MS Before leaving Jackson, I drove into the city to grab pictures of the capitol and of the governor's mansion. This is the second-oldest continuously occupied official residence of a governor in the United States. Funny how #2s rarely volunteer the identity of #1 so I had to do a second search to learn that it is Virginia. Construction started in 1839 and the building was occupied in 1842. The mansion is open for tours except for (no surprise) the last two weeks of December.

ADDENDUM: A reader, who once lived in Jackson, sent along some info about the eagle atop the capitol that I thought worth sharing.
"By state law, he must point south, but he can't be anchored or he would break in the wind. They used to climb out on the dome and repoint him occasionally. When they rebuilt the capitol, they put a big handle inside which goes through the dome to the eagle. He can be adjusted more safely."
Thanks, Tom.

Jackson, MS This classic wooden phone booth is right across the street from the governor's mansion. The booth is in great condition with fresh paint. There is no telephone so it must exist for display or as a place for superheroes to change clothes. Being so close to the governor's home, it made me wonder if Haley Barbour and Superman have even been seen at the same time?

Natchez Trace Parkway Natchez Trace Parkway Officially opening on May 21, 2005, the 13.5 mile section near Clinton, MS, is the newest piece of the Natchez Trace Parkway and there is a new visitor center to go with it. Construction of the Parkway started in 1938 making it a really long project in both miles and months. Today the center was staffed by two quite friendly and helpful ladies who seem to really enjoy their work.

Natchez Trace Parkway Natchez Trace Parkway Natchez Trace Parkway Natchez Trace Parkway A Parkway introduction and overview stands in front of the Mississippi Crafts Center. Starting at this overlook, the Parkway runs along the north edge of the 33,000 acre Ross Barnett Reservoir for about eight miles.

Natchez Trace Parkway Natchez Trace Parkway Natchez Trace Parkway Natchez Trace Parkway Every Trace pull off provides facts about the location but this is the first I've seen that also provides advise. Water tupelo and bald cypress fill this swamp that was once a river channel. According to a sign here, the cypress will eventually be replaced by other trees as the channel continues to fill with silt but that's still hundreds of years in the future. The path through the swamp is fascinating in December and, I'm guessing, even more so with springtime temperatures and growth. "Allow enough time for the magic to work."

Natchez Trace Parkway Natchez Trace Parkway I think I somewhat expected the Parkway to almost constantly weave its way through tall trees standing close by each side. In fact, stretches such as this are not all that common. It seems the Parkway's edge is more often clear of nearby trees on one side or the other and sometimes both.

Just south of Kosciusko, I passed a swamp like area in which two birds were standing. I guessed it was a blue heron and an egret although I really don't know. I turned around and passed southbound as the birds took no notice. I turned around again so that they would be on the driver's side of the car when I stopped, pointed my ready camera, and captured a picture of the two ""friends" fishing. It worked perfectly - except for the picture part. The car had not even completely stopped before both birds took flight. They can be seen, escaping through the trees, in the upper right and lower left corners of the photograph I did get.

Natchez Trace Parkway Natchez Trace Parkway The French Camp pull off includes a 1915 DAR marker.

Tupelo, MS Tupelo, MS When I spotted this place coming on Tupelo's Main Street, I assumed it was a one-of-a-kind. Not so, I found out. It is locally owned but is one of thirty-three Bumpers; All in Mississippi. I couldn't pull even with the speaker without grounding the front of the car ("This site best viewed from the seat of an SUV.") so had to open the door and half step out to place the order. But the service was prompt, the food good, and the experience fun. The neon looks pretty good, too.

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