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To Live Forever Tour Stop: Sunken Trace

natchez trace, sunken trace, mississippi

A certain bird has been following me up the Trace. It rattles into trees. Sometimes, I catch a glimpse of a red head or streaks of white.

A woodpecker.

I don’t know what kind.

natchez trace, sunken trace, mississippi

It was loudest around Sunken Trace, a fissure in the earth formed by the unique soil conditions along the Natchez Trace ridge line. How many buffalo herds stampeded through this junction? What Native Americans hid in the trees and picked them off with bow and arrow? Did boatmen trod this path? Or did they avoid the highwaymen who lurked along its edges?

Did an explorer show a little girl how to track a woodpecker there?

When the air is still, I can almost hear them, creeping along to the beat of a woodpecker beak.

Click here to see the best photos from Day Five of my Natchez Trace 444-mile walk: Andra Watkins Tumblr

Tweet, Facebook, type and review your way to Charleston, South Carolina in the To Live Forever Journey to Charleston Contest. Click here to find out more: Support My Aching Feet.

You can finish the book before I’m done walking. To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is available in paperback and e-book formats at these great places: Click to Purchase To Live Forever.

And now, for today’s Reader Question………….

57 Comments Post a comment
  1. I can imagine the quiet with a lone bird moving through the trees. Beautiful. I have a question and maybe you said it before and I missed it. How long does it take you to walk the 15 miles?

    March 6, 2014
    • I’m sorry I combined this question with Nancy’s, John. I will do something by video to make it up to you.

      March 8, 2014
  2. Judy Copeland #

    Cindy Duryea, who lives across the street from me, loaned me your book and as a retired American History teacher, I am thoroughly enjoying it! Good luck on your venture!

    March 6, 2014
    • Judy, thanks for letting me know. Cindy and Ed are such great people.

      March 8, 2014
  3. You made a bird friend on your walk. Just remember, it is the endorphins making you loopy when the bird starts talking to you.

    March 6, 2014
  4. But the real question is, did you draw a picture of it in your journal?

    March 6, 2014
  5. Coolness. What a lovely bird. Glad to know that you’re making friends along the way. It seems rather Disney-esque, doesn’t it?

    March 6, 2014
  6. I was just going to say what Ally Bean said! LOL! Now you have to write a picture book about your walk and include the woodpecker!

    March 6, 2014
    • Ooooooo, what a GREAT idea!

      March 6, 2014
    • I hope to get some sort of book out of this experience. So far, I’m too exhausted to piece anything together in my head.

      March 8, 2014
  7. I love that about hikes in wilderness areas … the quiet allows you to hear so much more.

    March 6, 2014
  8. OMG! The bird thing is downright EERIE. You are a spirit walker, Andra.

    March 6, 2014
  9. I couldn’t help thinking about Saturday morning cartoons and another woodpecker. I hated that guy.

    March 6, 2014
  10. Keep on trekking through that beautiful scenery, Andra. How are those feet? Do you listen to music along the way and if so what music? 🙂

    March 6, 2014
    • Feet are loving the rest today. I can’t listen to anything with earbuds, as I need to be able to hear cars coming in both directions on the road. The music of nature is what I get, but so far, it hasn’t disappointed.

      March 8, 2014
  11. Keep on going….so glad it’s you:)

    March 6, 2014
  12. Redneck Garage #

    The first thing that came to mind was Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 suspense/horror film “The Birds” which scare the bejeebers out of me as a little kid. Enjoy your hike today….

    March 6, 2014
  13. I’m back from Atlanta and catching up on my reading. Just reblogged your Contest post on my page. that said, I hope no one else enters so that I can win. 🙂

    March 6, 2014
  14. Lance #

    I hope your aching feet are bearing down and hanging in there.

    March 6, 2014
  15. tarakianwarrior #

    Oh my Andra, I am so envious! What beautiful photographs. After reading your book (WHICH I TOTALLY LOVE – GOING TO BUY IT FOR STOCKING STUFFERS FOR MY FAMILY), it means oh so much more. I’m struggling with words in regard to the reviews – I mean hell, you can only say Awesome so many freaking times…I need to get a more eloquent vocabulary. I’ll get it – I just want it to be done to the best of my ability. Hope you’re doing well. You look damn cute with those pink cheeks of yours…and that area looks way out of the way. Stay safe my friend.

    March 6, 2014
    • Thanks for sharing the book with so many, Lori. Every share is another possible reader.

      March 8, 2014
  16. Lovin’ the photos, Andra, the questions, hearing your answers, and your book!

    March 6, 2014
  17. I would be so excited to see this sunken portion and to imagine the way it was created. Because of your excellent adventure, I’m re-reading “The Devil’s Backbone,” a book about the Trace I read decades ago. I went to the library and fished it out. I told you I’m with you in your back pocket. Love the “floating” book! oxo

    March 6, 2014
    • It is sort of scary that the Trace is called the Devil’s Backbone………..

      March 8, 2014
  18. I want that cafe! It has the look! Most excellent.

    March 6, 2014
  19. Jill Clary Stevenson #

    I want that pie! Maybe the bird is the supposedly extinct Ivory Billed Woodpecker. Or maybe it'[s the Good Lord bird!

    March 6, 2014
  20. I am enjoying your journey and daily questions, Andra (and the book!). Where are you sleeping at night?

    March 6, 2014
  21. Glad that bird is keeping you company. Keep on truckin’!

    March 6, 2014
  22. The woodpecker is fine, just don’t run across a wild boar.

    March 7, 2014
    • Ha. The Ranger down near Natchez laughed when he told me I might see bears and wild boars…………

      March 8, 2014
  23. Nice that you have a little company! I’ve always liked woodpeckers.

    March 7, 2014
  24. “What kind of woodpecker?” Are you kidding me? Here you go:

    just watch your step, dear – He’s packing a mean sledgehammer. You’ll hear him coming, though because he’ll do that stupid laugh before he starts swinging.

    March 7, 2014
  25. ♥ Listen !

    March 8, 2014
  26. woody is in love with you

    March 12, 2014

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