The kids were off school for Veterans’ Day last week, so we took a rare opportunity for a mid-week camping trip. We picked a humble little campground an hour-and-a-half drive down the Natchez Trace, a beautiful historic parkway that ends just a few miles from our home. We arrived in camp around bedtime and were snuggled into our sleeping bags in short order. Lina was awake some in the night, listening to dogs barking and marveling at the novelty of nestling between her sleepy parents, but overall, the night went pretty smoothly.
We woke to a crisp, brilliantly sunny morning. There are few things as perfect as a whole day with no schedule, no responsibilities and an open road to explore. We ate our pancakes, visited with the horses who shared our campground and loaded the car and began our leisurely meandering back up the Natchez Trace. Corin loved the opportunity to help choose our stops. We visited Laurel Hill Lake, traveled short portions of the original Trail of Tears, hunted for slag at the site of a historic steel furnace and visited the site where Meriwether Lewis is buried. We explored a waterfall and hiked part of a trail imaginatively named Devil’s Backbone (a key factor in its selection for Corin’s agenda). Corin soaked up the stories from history that inevitably arose from our explorations.
I will remember for a long time the feeling of that cool, bright, free day on the Natchez Trace.