The Trace has been a beautiful and almost luxurious drive. Very few cars & a couple of bicycles have traveled with us. The weather has been warm & breezy with spring flowers popping up!
The rich history of this area has taken hold of us. Amazing to walk down a wooded path that has welcomed travelers for 1000s years.
The names & story of the 13 confereate soldiers buried facing the Trace have been forgotten. It was a moving experience to come across this burial site in the woods. The Confederate flags seemed appropriate & not the least racial in this context. Many have left coins or stones on the markers to pay their respect. So many Americans lost everything.
The Bear Creek Mound area has evidence of Native American use since 8000 BC. These people were primarily hunters until 2000 years ago when they praticed limited agriculture to add to the abundance of what they hunted & gathered locally. The nearby Cave Springs was a great source of cold water & stones for their mortars. The Pharr Mounds are 8 dome shaped burial mounds dating back 2000 years. Some of the bodies were cremated prior to burial. The Mississipain Mound Builders had an elaborate social system that is not fully understood today.
The fast moving Tennessee River was the most dangerous obstacle to travel along the Trace. It wasn't until 1800 that George Colbert, a half Chowtaw, began operating a ferry across the river. He was known to be a fair man but an astute businessman. Andrew Jackson had to pay $75,000 to get his army across the river!
We are headed to Nashville & hope to hear some great music. Edward has tickets for one night & imagine we will wander around hearing what we can.