After two and a half days of living the independence and self-reliance mantra, I got off the Natchez Trace Parkway and went into town. The town was Tupelo, Mississippi, childhood home of Elvis. I wanted to mail off that horrible book I finished and some other stuff, and I needed to visit the grocery for supplies.
I had an excellent lunch of a chicken salad sandwich and a root beer float at Weezie's Deli, which was excellent, and recommended by the nice old lady working at the post office. Weezie's is right next to the Wal-Mart Supercenter, so I stocked up on groceries. I just finished eating my tasty and delicious Cheddarwurst for dinner. I'm sitting next to the fire, on a gorgeous balmy night. It's about 65 degrees outside, and all the stars are out.
Wal-Mart also solved my flag problem. I broke my bamboo pole back in Nashville. So I stuffed the wind sock in the pannier and continued on. I haven't come across a garden center along the Natchez Trace, go figure, or even some bamboo growning alongside the road. The Wal-Mart garden center had no bamboo poles, but Wal-Mart does sell $7 fishing poles. My new fishing pole is real light, too, and nice and tall.
Today was warm, somewhat windy, with puffy white clouds in a blue sky. I was worried it might rain, but I checked the weather in Tupelo, and the weather is supposed to be perfect for the next week. I couldn't use Allen's cell phone to check the weather because there has been no coverage all day, even in the big city (Tupelo. It does have at least two Wal-Marts you know).
The first grand sight of the day was the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, which is a canal that connects the Tennessee River to the Gulf of Mexico at Mobile via the Tombigbee River. Somebody neglected to inform Congress that canals stopped being cost-effective back in the 1830s, and they built this thing in the 1970s at the cost of billions of dollars. This is a famous boondoggle. I sat at a picnic area snacking on hard salami for 45 minutes and I saw no barges. I saw two motor yachts. That's it.
It's getting flatter out all the time. There is some cotton, but most of the land is used for cattle. There are lots of swamps now.
Today has also featured my favorite mysterious thing, Indian burial mounds. This time there were more helpful signs.
These mounds are 2000 years old. They are burial mounds from the Hopewell culture. The Hopewell culture was centered in southern Ohio, where I grew up. I am very familiar with Hopewell burial mounds. They are old friends. I was glad to come across some in Mississippi.
Now this mound, which is one of a set of five, is 800 years old, and was made by people of the Mississippian culture. These mounds are laid out in a pavilion, and are truncated pyramids. Or were, the signs say. Only this one now looks like a truncated pyramid. The other ones have been pretty much plowed under over the years. Here is a picture of another one of these mounds, as seen from the top of the big mound in the first picture.
Indian mounds are cool. My mom always said not to walk on the mounds, and if you did, the Indian skelton would reach up through the dirt and grab your ankle.
Here is today's actual route travelled.