We departed the Grand Gulf Military Park on the morning of Cinco De Mayo continuing our journey up the Natchez Trace Parkway, stopping at a couple of the many historic or scenic locations along the Trace. Near Mile Post (MP) 42 we stopped at a Historic site called Sunken Trace.
Next stop near MP 55, was a larger historic site called Rocky Springs. It was another once upon a time vibrant town that was no more.
Not unlike the town of Grand Gulf, the now vanished town of Rocky Springs suffered a similar fate. The combination of a Civil War, followed by a yellow fever outbreak, then the boll weevil destruction of their cotton crops and mismanagement of the soil and all that followed by the very spring that the town was named for, eventually drying up and as of the town in 1930 was virtually nonexistent, except for the Church and cemetery, which is till in use today.
It was a bit of a trek, back to the site from the Trace Parkway, at times we didn’t think Ike would be able to proceed, as the road narrowed and twisted up the hillside. However, after scouting the roadway ahead, we pushed forward and made the excursion without incident. We decided to pull off at one of the boondocking campsites on the way back down the hill and had a lunch picnic. It was an absolutely beautiful day, 72° sunny, and no humidity.
At MP 105 we pulled off at the Scenic Reservoir overlook. Which overlooks the 33,000 acres of the Ross R. Barnett Reservoir.
After a leisurely 90 mile drive we exited the Trace north of Jackson, MS., near mile post 120, at the northern end of the Barnett Reservoir and crossed over to the eastern side of the waterway.
We headed north about 20 miles along the Pearl River to a Reservoir operated campground within the Leake County Water Park. Very nice campground, no permanent residents, however, several that appeared to be long-term folks. Nicely wooded location, pool, playground, riverfront facility with boat dock and a rather large fish cleaning station. There were many open, all concrete pad sites when we arrived and it’s basically a self-service arrangement. Pick your site, and if the management doesn’t come visit and collect the rent during your visit, you are asked to drop it in the drop box at the office. We found a site with SW DISH satellite access, and we had AT&T 4GLTE at about 6MB.
We arrived early afternoon on Friday, by 1900hrs that evening the campground had filled up with weekenders and watercraft. However, other than a gigantic cloud of smoke from all the campfires, everyone was well-behaved and relatively quiet and respectful, even the kids, which seemed to be having a great time.