1. May, 2016

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FRIDAY 21-11-08 

It was a fairly cool night and so I leapt out of bed at about 07:15 and put the heating on so that it was ready for when we got up for a shower. Normally the heating would be left on low all night but we were now quite low on LPG and I’m trying to make it last the next few nights. 

Once up, showered and fed Rosina made for the Wal-Mart store for some fresh bread whilst I popped around to the Tire & Lube department to get the tyre pressures checked. As usual there were problems and the young man suggested I pop a few doors down the road to get them done with the appropriate equipment. This we did, and again they wouldn’t take payment so I gave the guy who checked and adjusted them a tip. After topping up with fuel at a cheap $1.86 a gallon we joined the Natchez Trace Parkway to start a 260-mile journey over two days to cover the southern section. 

The steady drive down the Parkway was pleasant though not breathtaking, too often we were only a short distance from civilisation and at one point at Kosciusko, north of Jackson, the state capital, we were right next to a Wal-Mart store just through the trees. Today’s trip was devoid of wildlife apart from a couple of Condors and wild turkeys and the view was mostly of trees either side of the road. If we had a cent for every tree we’d seen since arriving in September we’d be multi-millionaires. 

Tonight is being spent at the Jeff Busby Campground along the trail. The literature suggested there is a gas station and store with Wi-Fi, but unfortunately when we arrived discovered the store and gas station went bust about a year ago, and so now all that’s left is the campground with no facilities other than the toilet block in the gas station for passing travellers. Tonight we had a roaring fire as this may be the last one we’ll be having. We cooked our food on the non stick aluminium skillet placed on the Fire Pit/Grill. After eating our meal indoors due to the very cold air; I popped back outside and laid the skillet on the open fire to let it heat through ready for scrubbing clean. Imagine my surprise when after a short period it just laid there and melted over the logs. I pulled it off, flipped it over and it repaid me by lying back and flattening about 70%, which still left me with a 30% bent skillet. Either I had purchased a sub-standard skillet or I had created a fire any steel smelter would be proud of. I banked the fire up in disgust and went back indoors as it was getting rather cold outside. 

At the moment we’ve got the generator running providing us with electric hot air central heating and some TV with the surplus power. It’s the usual rubbish but keeps The Chef entertained whilst I quickly type this. Tomorrow we’ll be covering the last 90 miles or so of the bottom half of the Natchez Trace Parkway

LOCATION TONIGHT: Jeff Busby campground, milepost 193.1, Natchez Trace Parkway, MS (GPS: N33.417135 W89.269560).