TISHOMINGO STATE PARK (MS)

Tishomingo State Park turned out to be the perfect stop for our exploring the Natchez Trace Parkway. Mix in this park with water and electric hookups with the three FREE National Park campgrounds along the Trace and it just feels perfect. The park is located at Milepost 303 near the two thirds mark if you're traveling south to north and the one third mark if traveling north to south. Clean bathrooms with hot showers and a chance to dump your tanks and refill with free fresh water couldn't have come at a better time. Throw in beautiful lakeside views at nearly every campsite, lots of hiking trails, reasonably priced sites and plenty of vacancies during the week, again it just seems perfect. Only problem is, no nearby groceries!



SATURDAY

TRAVEL DAY
YEAR #2 - STOP #17

With today's travel of 113 miles between campgrounds and so many sites to see along the way, we only had one option. If we wanted to see them all, and we do, we had to see them in route to our next destination. It just doesn't make sense to backtrack dozens of miles to see a point of interest when we are already passing right by it. That means we'll have to stop with THE POD in tow.

This is not the busy season for the Natchez Trace Parkway, so most of the parking lots are near empty when we arrive at a highlighted stop. Some of the stops are mere pullouts along the side of the roadway and it's easy to see if there is enough space to park THE POD and then get back on the road. Others have a short quarter mile driveway that leads to a parking lot that's usually not visible from the road. These make me a little more nervous about taking a 50 foot long truck and trailer combination somewhere that I may or may not have the ability to turn around and exit from.

Fortunately the National Park Service is pretty good about putting up signs warning RVers when the parking lot is not accessible to them. I still worry just a little, what if the sign got knocked down by some RVer who didn't heed the warning while trying to reverse out of a bad situation? It's one thing to back down into a 60 foot long campsite, it's something entirely different to try and back down a quarter mile roadway with twists and turn in it!

Putting all that aside we did stop to see five different points of interest between stops today. The Bynum Mounds, Chickasaw Village Site, a Parkway Visitor Center, Confederate Soldiers Gravesites and Pharr Mounds were all worth the stop and gave us more insight as to what life was like here on The Trace, sometimes thousands of years ago. By the way, the new cover photo on the TWO PEAS AND THE POD Facebook Group was taken while we were visiting the Confederate Soldiers Gravesites location.

I'll show you photos of everything when I do a post all about The Natchez Trace Parkway later this month.



SUNDAY

GROCERY SHOPPING DAY
54 MILES ROUND TRIP

You can tell you're out in the middle of nowhere when you're 27 miles from the nearest Walmart!

It's Sunday morning and after breakfast I decide I'll go grocery shopping while Tricia is finishing up her work for the month. At our next stop I doubt there will be any groceries nearby so it's important I get a few essentials before we leave here. We make a short list of items, mostly produce and diary, then I Googled "groceries nearby" and nothing to promising came up. There were a couple mom and pop markets in the nearby town of Tishomingo and that's about it. I set out with high hopes of locating everything on the list.

Three miles down the road I arrive at the nearest market to the campground and find out they're closed on Sunday and the second one, which is around the corner from the first, opens at noon on Sunday. It's only 10:00am and while I'm parked outside the second market and trying to Google the next nearest option a middle aged couple pulls up next to me and I think to myself, I'm not the only one foolishly looking for groceries this morning in this little town.

Turns out they're locals who just stopped by to get some firewood from the sidewalk outside of the store. It's $5 for a small bundle, $10 for 3 bundles, and a small sign instructing you to just put the money in the mail slot on the front door of the store. I wonder how much wood just simply disappears, there are no cameras I see anywhere in sight. I roll down my passenger window and ask where I might be able to purchase groceries this morning.

He tells me the Dollar General Store on the other side on town, a mile away, sells groceries. I explain I'm looking for fresh produce and that's when his wife gets out of the car to aid in the search. He's telling me about a store 15 miles north of Tishomingo that might have what I'm looking for and she says they don't have anything like that. She says I need to go to the Walmart Supercenter 24 miles in the opposite direction to find what I'm looking for.

That's how I ended up traveling 54 miles round trip this morning just to get groceries, and now of course, gasoline!



MONDAY

SIGHTSEEING DAY
78 MILES DRIVEN TODAY

Today was a day off work and we got to do some relaxed sightseeing. First we drove north on The Trace up to a location called Rock Spring, not to be confused with Rocky Springs where we were earlier on The Trace. At rock spring there is a half mile loop trail that takes you across a creek, up a hillside, back down to the spring itself and then back along the little creek it creates. There are several dams along the creek that appear to be natural jambs, not created by beaver or men. It was a great little hike in the woods.

Next was a visit to the historic site of Colbert Ferry where The Trace crosses the Tennessee River. Wasn't much here to see except beautiful scenery and a few informational signs of what once stood here.

Next we headed back to the campground for some lunch and then we explored a two mile hike right in Tishomingo State Park where we were staying. The highlight of this hike is the Swinging Bridge that crosses Bear Creek. The trail starts and ends at the bridge so you get to cross over it twice. Along this trail, named the Outcroppings Trail, we saw many large cave openings in the rock faces where Chickasaw Indians were to believe to have lived.

With these two short hikes, and another short hike we did last week around the creek at Rocky Springs Campground, I'm finally ready to post an update regarding our 2019 Hiking Challenge me made for ourselves this year. It's not much but we now have 3 miles towards our goal of 100 miles before the year is up. Let's hope we make our goal!

100 MILE
HIKING CHALLENGE

3 MILES
UNDER OUR BOOTS



Who will be the first to correctly guess our next location?
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