Blogging from Bruce

Spring Break is over, and I can truthfully say that was one of the most stressful weeks I have ever experienced in my life, for a myriad of reasons that I won’t bore you with. I was desperately in need of hearing Scarlett O’Hara utter those famous words, “Tomorrow is another day!”
Ariel and Erin felt sorry for me because my Monday had turned into the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and they decided that I should accompany them on their little adventure up and down the Natchez Trace. The Trace is 444 miles from Natchez to just before you reach Nashville. They wanted to do it in 2 days.
Tuesday morning, all I can say is, my daughters kidnapped me and put me into the back seat of the red car, and off we went. It was the Keon version of Thelma and Louise and Chevy Chase’s Family Vacation minus me being strapped to the top of a motor home!
We stopped at every little historical marker except Pigeon Roost, because there was some serious road construction going on there. But we did see all of the Indian mounds and the dead spots at Witch Dance.
We walked the Cypress Swamp and got a great shot of an alligator sunning itself on a log. It acted like it didn’t see us, and it wasn’t moving a muscle. I preferred to react just the same way. I didn’t want to see it, but I did keep moving in case it decided I might make a nice lunch!
The day wore on, and we noticed a few folks that must have been doing the same thing we were, as we kept running into them at different stops. Our goal was to get to the very first historical marker on the Trace before sunset!
We made it to Emerald Mound and climbed to the top of that mound atop of another eight acre mound. That was a pretty awesome sight to see. Then we had a few more stops to see before we came to the beginning of the Trace. The sun was rapidly setting but we achieved our goal that day and turned around and head for home. We arrived back home around 11:30pm. We had covered 562 miles in one day!
The next day dawned with me getting up before the girls did and making sure that the car was loaded down again, and off we went in the northern direction, again leaving from the Davis Lake exit. It’s fewer miles going north, but a lot more to stops, it seems.
We stopped and looked at the Bay Springs Lock and Dam, walked some of the Old Trace and saw the Confederate grave sites, found a cave with a spring and got as far as Cherokee, Ala., and Buzzard’s Roost when we decided to take off on a rabbit trail. We decided to go to Tuscumbia and visit Helen Keller’s birthplace at Ivy Green.
Much to my disappointment, they have taken down the sign that said, “Come see what she couldn’t.” In its place, though, is a large picture of Miss America 1995 Heather Whitestone as she was being crowned Miss America. She was the first woman with a disability to win the title of Miss America.
Heather was deaf and stated that Helen Keller was her inspiration, since Helen was also deaf and mute and learned to read and write as well as speak. The caption on Heather Whitestone’s sign is, “Her parents were told that she would never make it past the 3rd grade. She apparently wasn’t listening.” I took a photo of it just in case anyone doesn’t believe me!
We had to cut our trip short at that point and head on back home. We are saving the Tennessee portion of the Trace Trip for a time when Scott can ride along with us.
It wasn’t the beach or Disney World, but they turned my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day into two days of sitting in the backseat of the car with forgotten cares watching the countryside go slowly by and feeling my stress slip away as we revisited some Southern history.
Fiddle dee dee. Tomorrow is another day.
Vonda Keon would let Calgon take her away, but she wants to know where she’s going first. Contact her at

Mack Spencer

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