Stand In The Place Where You Live
Stands were places along the Natchez Trace that provided a bed and a meal for weary travelers passing through a dangerous and desolate wilderness. Spaced out all along the 444-miles of the Trace, they were usually located a day’s walk apart, every 15 – 20 miles.
When the Trace died, most of the stands did, too. Grinder’s Stand, the place Meriwether Lewis was staying when he mysteriously perished, burned to the ground years ago. All that remains is this stone step.
Mount Locust, located just north of Natchez, MS, is an original stand. Peruse the pictures to see the luxurious accommodations you missed by not being a Kaintuck 200 years ago.
On my 444-mile walk of the Natchez Trace, I stayed in the modern equivalent of stands. The bed and breakfast. Please help me give a shout-out to all the great people who have hosted me and my crazy entourage, I mean Alice, my mother-in-law, and Mom and DAD.
Hope Farm Bed & Breakfast, Natchez MS – I am determined to return to Natchez often, simply to see Miss Ethel. She is the kind of Southern woman I aspire to be. Her lodgings, her food and her company are simply delightful.
Isabella Bed & Breakfast, Port Gibson MS – When Dad balked at climbing stairs—you know, because he’s DAD—the innkeepers went out of their way to make him comfortable. When I was too knackered to go all the way back to Natchez for dinner, they made dinner for me. When we needed directions to architectural wonders of The South, they came through. Awesome people.
Mamie’s Cottage Bed & Breakfast, Raymond MS – I STILL MISS THE JACUZZI TUB. WAAAAAA!!!!! The farmhouse allowed Alice to mainline on architecture, while the innkeepers listened to Dad talk for way more than their share of time. I never lacked for comfort after a blistering day.
Maple Terrace Inn, Kosciusko MS – The claw foot soaking tub *almost* made me forget the jacuzzi. One day, I think I soaked in that tub three times. The rooms were big and roomy, too.
French Camp Bed & Breakfast, French Camp MS – Stumbling into our very own house after two consecutive weeks of rooms was like heaven. Plus, the cafe made some of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. I ordered one up every day after I was done walking…….(and I wonder why I haven’t lost any weight……)
Bridges-Hall Manor Bed & Breakfast, Houston MS – I almost cried when we left Carol’s charming inn. Four days of pampering. She did my laundry. She baked goodies for me to carry in my backpack. She reset the internet a thousand times so that I could keep posting. She sold my book to every group that came in while I was there.
The Belmont Hotel, Belmont MS – It was a treat to be able to really step back in time. The Belmont Hotel harked back to an era where hotels were highly social places with multiple social spaces. The Mexican restaurant across the street was to die for.
Buffalo River Farm Studio Bed & Breakfast, Summertown, TN – I have my feet up in one of Donna’s beds as I type, after enjoying her gourmet breakfast and touring her art studio. I love to sit on her patio and watch the cows in the pasture. I know I’ll look forward to coming back here through Monday night.
Creekview Farm Retreat Bed & Breakfast, Fly, TN – When I was researching my novel, MTM and I stayed at Creekview Farm. I am so glad I will end my walk in that happy place. With my guideson and his mom. And MTM. And the peacocks.
I could not have coordinated this trip without the help of Randy Fought at Natchez Trace Travel. Randy is an encyclopedia of the Natchez Trace. He didn’t pay me a thing to give him a ringing endorsement…….I wouldn’t plan a trip to the Trace without him. natcheztracetravel.com
Click here to see the best photos from Day 30 of my Natchez Trace 444-mile walk: Andra Watkins Tumblr
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Get the book that inspired my historic 444-mile walk. To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is available in paperback and e-book formats at these outlets: Click to Purchase To Live Forever.
Today’s Reader Question. I finally answer questions about where I’ve been staying.