Day 2: November 24, 2017
Trail and Towers

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The sun was bright and the temperature would eventually climb into the 60s, but things started with that bright sun being filtered by a frost covered windshield.

An online search turned up a promising breakfast spot in nearby Lexington, Tennessee. That's a handicapped space in the first picture. Otherwise I'd have parked my Subaru there and pointed out that one of these things is not like the others. The name I had seen online and that appeared on the GPS was Bluegrass Diner. The sign had TD's (I think) hand painted over the top of something equally short. Only as I was leaving did I see the Bluegrass name on the lower sign. I opted for the breakfast buffet which left me unimpressed until it came time to pay. $5.75 including coffee.

Apparently all the Tennessee state parks offer free ranger guided hikes on the day after Thanksgiving. Natchez Trace State Park's offering was a three mile affair described as moderate. I debated it with myself for quite a while before deciding to go. A lot of other people decided to go, too. I think there were a few more than forty people in the group that Ranger Jeff led into the forest. We weren't always within view of Pin Oak Lake but that seems to be the only time I was moved to take any pictures. The picture of people at water's edge was taken at the turnaround point. As we rested and snapped photos, Jeff explained that there was an alternate return path. It involved a short climb then following the road back to the lodge. There had been a fair amount of climbing in the hike and my legs were a wee bit tired. I could easily imagine slipping on some wet leaves on the way back. I opted for the paved route. No one else did. The last picture was taken from the picnic area about halfway up the climb to the road.

At some point I realized that I was only about an hour from Brownsville and that a visit to Billy Tripp's Mindfield would be a good way to fill the afternoon. The pointed structure at the center of three of the photographs is a dryer from a cotton gin. It's what Billy was working on when I was last here two years ago. The sun wasn't setting but it was low enough for me to try hiding it behind the dryer when I walked to the east side of the Mindfield.

I was looking forward to revisiting the Mindfield Grill about as much as the Mindfield itself. I learned that it would be opening at 5:00 and tried to time my arrival for the opening but was just a little early. I dallied around Brownsville a bit then returned for a chat with the owner and some fantastic stuffed salmon.

This was my first time seeing the Mindfield at night. I was too lazy to get out a tripod but I did manage a decent shot of the water tower and some neighbors. I wasn't expecting lights in the fire towers. Cool.

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