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Old 03-09-07, 12:53 PM   #1
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First tour O'mine

I'm planning a tour for the end of July of the Natchez Trace, from Nashville TN to Natchez MS, then further to Zachary LA (plus ~80 miles). This will be my first tour. Planning on getting a Novara Randonee or Safari for the trip. I am riding with one person. I am estimating around 10 days to get there, plus however long I decide to stay in Zachary, then another 10 days back. For those who have done the Natchez, does this time frame sound accurate?

Would it be a good idea to camp on the side of the Natchez, or stay in hotels? I'm planning on half and half. If you've done the trace, and stayed in hotels, about how much cost does this add to the trip?

Unfortunately my parents (I'm 19) think it won't be very safe (whether or not this is true I have no idea) and would be more accepting of the idea if one of them were to drive with me, and carry some of the gear, or, if I were to ride with a large group.

I really don't like the first idea because I want this to be a self supported tour. I'm very individualistic, and would like to do it myself, but not blind to the benefits.

The second idea is much more appealing because more people means more (charged) cell phones, more help, and more supplies. I was wondering if anyone else is planning or wanting to do this trip? That being said, it will be august, In Mississippi. Very unpleasant if you're not moving.

I would really like this trip to work, and, the more people that want to do it, the more likely it is to happen. So, the more the merrier.
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Old 03-09-07, 01:11 PM   #2
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The time sounds about right. I did the Natchez 2 years ago. You will not find motel/hotels on the Natchez--at least when I went thru, without going way off course. Pick up a map from one of the many rangers that patrol the area or in one of the parks. The map shows all available camping spots (just for bicycle riders ). August will be a hot trip and full of skeeters at night. Bring a good supply of water and bug lotion. Other than that the rangers that patrol are super nice and helpful and the trafic is not bad as trucks (semis) and trailers are not allowed on the road. But watch out for the big honking travel busses--I did not have good experiences with them as they take up a large amount of the road. There are lots of little stores so supplies are easy to find.
I felt very safe on the Natchez as the rangers constantly patrol the entire length. I once got stuck late at night on the road with no place to stop and a ranger stopped me and then guided me to a locked and gated area they use and let me put up my tent there.
Be warned--my cell did not work on much of the trip--maybe they have more towers now--bring a phone card as back-up. Lots of little stores where theres a phone.
Now go and take lots of pictures and dont forget to have fun.
'94 Schwinn Moab 3
'03 Giant OCR Touring
'06 Surly LHT
'01 Giant Yukon
I choose the way to go, but the road won't set me free

Last edited by GiantDave; 03-09-07 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 03-09-07, 01:54 PM   #3
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You're planning a realistic trip--- maybe you could show your parents the websites about the trail, and travelogs. This may put them at ease. Lots of people do this ride.

The only advice I have is stay away form drinking.... and anybody your age who's drinking. As long as you don't party, well, I doubt you'll get into any trouble.

You might want to post a *companions wanted* at the Thorntree (Loney Planet website) and for other riders. Look for Europeans wanting to see America. Hopefully you meet some cute German girls.....
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Old 03-09-07, 03:18 PM   #4
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That time of the year it is very hot (high 90's-low 100's) and very humid. There is a good chance of afternoon thunder storms and most of the time the wind is out of the southwest. Let us know how it turns out.
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