From the Natchez Trace Parkway to the Mississippi

Richard Charpentier Airstream Blogs, Arizona Photographer, Notes from Rich, Photography, RLC Design Leave a Comment

Yesterday I made a call.  Not just any call.  A call to Bert Gildart.  I had a simple question for Bert, and he answered it promptly.

“Is the Natchez Trace Parkway a good ride for an Airstream?”

His answer was a resounding, “Yes!”

That’s all I needed to hear.  See, Bert recently finished a book on the Natchez Trace.  And really when you’ve got access to someone like him you ask!

The Airstream along the Natchez Trace Parkway in TN.

The Airstream along the Natchez Trace Parkway in TN.


So, this morning at 7:00 a.m. CST (whatever the heck the time really is now I don’t know) the Airstream pulled out of Lawerenceberg, TN and headed south along the Natchez Trace.  And quickly into the ride I discovered that Bert was so right.  The parkway was made for an Airstreaming photographer!

The GoPro was mounted to the dashboard and I got some amazing video along the Parkway.  The fall colors in TN are popping right now.  I mean popping.  In a few days it will all be gone, and you’ll have to wait until next year to see it again.

In total the Airstream spent more than 240 miles on the 444 mile parkway.  And then we once again redirected WEST.  That’s the direction in mind.  Always thinking West!

Today I kept the driving short.  Nothing over 400 miles.  That’s the plan going forward.  Anything beyond that seems like a grind.  When I’d hiked the AT back in 2001 there was a firm pack weight limit of 40lbs.  Anything more than that became painful, and it was a grind.  Now I’m setting a new limit.  400 miles.  So, nothing over 40lbs, and nothing beyond 400 miles in a day.  Rules.  Always with the rules.

This afternoon’s task was simply getting to the Mississippi river.  That way tomorrow morning’s first event will be to cross said river.  Folks, tomorrow I’ll be west of the Mississippi once again.  Somehow that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Using my 6 year old “Free Campgrounds Guide” written by Don Wright I found an interesting park.  My GPS didn’t have it listed, and my book is a little old, but I decided to roll the dice.  And you know what?  It was a great dice roll.

$13 per night for full hookups on the Mississippi river.  Can you beat that?  I don’t think so.


Camp tonight is right next to the mighty Mississippi.



Water and electric for $13 a night. Yeah, RV’ing is super expensive if you make it that way. Or it can be a very reasonable way to travel done right.


The first river barge I’ve ever seen. It was massive!


If you ever see a tug boat named Miss Pat, tell her I took her photo.

Well, it has been quite a day.  And given my confusion with what time it really is I believe that it is time to get ready for bed.  The Airstream will be back on the road at 7:00 a.m. in some time zone tomorrow, just not sure which one.  🙂

Keep watch, podcasts will be coming soon.  The goal is to create one episode each week.  Since day 5 is now in the books you can safely assume that a week has not yet passed, and therefore no podcast tonight!  🙂

Big thanks to Jason, Nikki, and Eli for helping me play tourist in Lawerenceberg, TN the past few days.  And a huge thanks for the rocking steak dinner and fantastic company!

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