Memorial Day Weekend 2015 From Natchez To Nashville With The Motor Maids
From Natchez To Nashville With The AR/LA/MS Motor Maid District
Well a lot of Motor Maids can now check one off of their “Bucket List” with the Memorial Day 2015 Weekend trip from Natchez to Nashville on the Natchez Trace Parkway! We had 444 miles of some much prayed for… wonderful weather from Friday – Sunday….and then some “not so good at all” weather for our trips home on Monday. We had 42 total riders with 28 Motor Maids from AR, LA, MS, FL, TX, TN, AL, GA, NC, and 14 Motor Maid Security Team to keep us in check.
For a few, the journey to get to our starting point of Natchez was over 800 miles. Heather Leonard (NC) got the Long Distance Award with 885 direct miles with Jeannine Smallwood (FL) coming in at a close 2nd with 877.8 miles from her home to Natchez. You can’t say these Motor Maids don’t roll up some miles just to make it to an event….I was thrilled with our turnout. It was great getting to meet some new faces that our now new friends and Motor Maid sisters.
Some of our group arrived on Thursday in Natchez. They were able to make a few more of the sites before the rest arrived on Friday. Friday’s first official stop was at the famous iconic roadside attraction restaurant “Mammy’s Cupboard”! After a great lunch and our first photos, we were off to our houses. We had a total of six B&Bs rented for this event. All were beautifully done and worked out perfect for us to sit and relax and just talk….I know the men really enjoyed being able to gather up in the living rooms and talk about motorcycles and past rides.
Next stop of course was our Friday night dinner at the #1 spot in Natchez. “Roux 61” did not disappoint the majority at all! It was great food and even better service. We all were able to sit together and the food all came out at the same time….you can’t ask for better than that with a big group of hungry folks.
Saturday morning we all headed to the entrance of the Trace and mile marker #1 we rode about 30 miles to our next destination which was the planned group picture at “Windsor Ruins”. You can read more about this location on line. It is a hauntingly beautiful spot. It is the remains of a large plantation that burned shortly after the Civil War. This spot is a beautiful place with some amazing history, just like the rest of Mississippi.
Next stop was lunch at the Lorman, Mississippi’s “Old Country Store”…some of the best fried chicken and pork chops in Mississippi but the most important part about this place is the man that owns it and cooks the meals was a big civil rights leader back in the 60s. We got lost getting to it, but did finally make it back…..but hey when you are on your bike you aren’t really lost…. just adding some road time and seeing some unexpected sights along the way.
Next stop “French Camp” along the Trace at mile post 180. This is where we were all booked to stay for the night. This is the only place right on the parkway to overnight and it worked out perfect for us. What a beautiful spot with much history to boot. Our accommodations were perfect for our group. We gave out awards and gifts at this last scheduled meal stop for our trip. We got some great pictures that evening too, of all of us and our bikes.
Sunday morning we all headed out, with Nashville being the target destination. Many of the group went to see Elvis’s birthplace in Tupelo, MS during this part of the trip. So many sites to see on the Trace and just off the Trace, that to see and do it all would take at least a week. We arrived in Nashville with a quick stop by many of us at the Loveless Café. It was packed and none felt like waiting so long to eat….so we took a few more pictures got a soda and headed to our hotel. That was a hot little ride in traffic too!
Some choose to stay in for the evening and a few of us took a shuttle downtown from hotel and got to see a few sights of downtown Music City, USA. Downtown Nashville is filled with just about every type person you could hope to see. We for sure got to see some interesting sights along our walk. The shuttle stopped running at 11:00 so early night for a few. Later that night, the rain set in for us for our trip home. Boy did it rain on us going home! We finally made it home Tuesday, after dodging tornados on Monday.
I think the best part of this trip for me…. was not only getting to spend some real quality time with my Motor Maid sisters…. but also being able for us all…. to ride together and ENJOY THE RIDE like Motor Maids were meant to do! We got to ride 444 miles of fantastic well maintained road, while going thru some amazing country side…plus see a huge part of our early American History. No 18 wheelers, not many cars at all and just a few bicycles and hikers traveling this road. Lots of snakes, a few deer, turkeys and turtles were about our only obstacles along the two days traveling the Trace. No ugly billboards, no trash, no diesel smell, no loud anything…just the sound of the seven year locust coming out, the sight of lighting bugs at dusk, the sweet smell of blooming flowers and plants. I have now found my path to several places without getting on the interstate! Yes it is 50 MPH in most spots and 30 MPH in a few…. but hey… that is about the speed I like to ride anyway!
We had a few mechanical malfunctions along the way…. a few were fixable and a few were not. This is never the fun part of a trip, when you planned on going and your bike will not cooperate with you….so for you sisters that missed it this year due to unforeseen problems…. I will plan it again. I am thinking maybe for Memorial Day Weekend 2017. With some new details for those that went this time just to make it fun all over again. Stay tuned for more info on that much later…got to get over all the planning for this one first!
Schelley Francis AR/LA/MS DD