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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    3

    Smile Natchez Trace and more

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    I'm planning a self-supported camping tour from Baton Rouge, Louisianna, up the West side of the Mississippi River to Natchez, Mississippi, the NT Parkway almost to Nashville, Tennessee and part of ACA's Great River Route through Land Between the Lakes In Tennessee and Kentucky. I hope to rent a car one-way from home to Baton Rouge and bike north. Has anyone biked in this area?

    I've done a few supported tours and some camping tours across one state at a time (Kansas, Missouri, Indiana). I'm planning to start in late March if the weather doesn't look like monsoon season. Anyone know how warm/cold it gets at night in the South? I guess I'll take an old sweatshirt and long pants for some cold nights.

    Now my bike is in the shop for tune-up/overhaul and I'm adding front rack and panniers (Arkel with rain covers) and a handlebar bag (Lone Peak). I'm a little confused about how to distribute weight between the front and back panniers. Some say the back should be heavier and others say the front should be heavier. Any ideas here?

    I bought a Big Agnes 2-person 3-season Seedhouse SL tent, a sleeping bag, and pad. I'm planning on taking a mini-esbit stove to boil water for cocoa and few quick-fix meals. There's a website about quick camp cooking at freezerbagcooking.com. It has some good ideas. Anyone here have some great meals for single servings?
    Happiness is never stopping to think if you are...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Blessed to be all over the place!
    Posts
    3,434
    There was one member from Jackson Ms who had done some of this route...but she stopped posting several months ago. Others have done some of the Tenn portion. If you scan Natchez Trace, you might find some reports.

    We live in Evansville if you need a place to stay between flights...PM Silver or me. We can also recommend Gilles Cycling in Evansville to pack and ship your bike if that's a good stopping point for you...it's about 80 miles north of LBTL.

    We used to live in Nashvile before our riding days. Mississippi is flat, Tenn is rolling to hilly, Land Between the Lakes can have some very serious hills, but north of I-24 it becomes reasonably flat/rolling.

    Let us know if we can help.
    If you don't grow where you're planted, you'll never BLOOM - Will Rogers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,783
    You might find some info here

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,560
    Weatherbase has historical temperature data.

    I've looked at Big Agnes tents. If you get a chance, I'd love to know what you think of the one you bought.

    Sounds like a great trip.

    Pam

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    around Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,250
    I go to an annual camping event in mid-march in Mississippi and from experience - it can be wet, dry, warm, cold, and any combination thereof, in the same week. Seems every year we get a deluge of rain, and very warm sunny days. In general it's very pleasant weather, but it can be chilly, thus I bring a lot of clothes, and layers are my friend.
    Beth

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,783
    You might be hungry enough for double servings and think about eating what you can along the way instead of carrying all your food.

    Big Agnes tents get good reviews.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Virginia's Blue Ridge
    Posts
    500
    ReadytoCycle.......Here's a link to a thread I posted last April after doing a week-long WomanTours bike tour of part of the Natchez Trace to mark my 50th birthday.

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showt...=natchez+trace

    I think the link to the photo album I uploaded onto Shutterfly doesn't work at the moment, but the overall 'report' on the trip, plus comments from other TE posters might give you some useful insights.

    Before I headed to Mississippi, I snagged a guidebook to the NT: "Bicycling the Natchez Trace" by Glen Wanner. Offers practical info, plus historical highlights along the Trace and places nearby.
    "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." (Will Rogers)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Bristol, TN
    Posts
    360
    HI there, I have been a long distance hiker for many years and have just made the leap to bicycle touring. There are many, many similarities except that you don't have to carry everything on your back!! If you will hike the aisles of the grocery store, you can find many easy, short-cooking meals. Knorr (formerly Lipton, I think) makes all kinds of "sides" that are great to eat. At the beginning of the trip, you might only want half a serving, then later, as your appetite increases (), you can eat a whole package. I repackaged them at home with the directions, into two meals. Ramen, which is very cheap, can be spiced up with packaged shrimp, tuna, or salmon. Just don't use the whole flavor packet in the Ramen, which is loaded with sodium! Tortillas and peanut butter are great for lunches, especially if you are not near a town. I rode a short section of the Natchez last year on the Underground RR Route with WomanTours, and it often does not come close to a town for lunches. There are lots of places to camp. I also have heard great things about the Big Agnes so you should be fine there. Go light in the panniers!!! Look at your gear and take out what you do not absolutely need. The less you carry the happier you will be. Please, please keep us posted about your trip!! It sounds wonderful!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pendleton, OR
    Posts
    782
    I'm sure you've probably already been on this site. www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm If not, take a look at it. I, too, am plannng to do the Natchez Trace in 2011 with my sisters. I requested their maps and info for cyclists. The map is also available online, but I found that I had to print sections at a time. The one they sent me is very nice indeed. Let us know all about the trip.
    Tis better to wear out than to rust out....

 

 

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