Saturday, January 12, 2008

A January "Cabin Fever" Ride

Anyone who knows me, knows I ride year-round. With the arrival of the holidays, and a busy schedule at home, riding has suffered. I postponed a planned trip to Oklahoma several times due to winter storms, as well as a trip to southeast Georgia, due to predicted bad weather at home. All of these events combined, led to a minor case of cabin fever.

During my winter stamp research, it became apparent I had overlooked four relatively close National Park Stamps. I left Friday solo with the goal of riding a two-day loop south to Nashville, and down into northern Mississippi to collect these four stamps. Naturally, I managed to visit with my daughter and her family, spending some "quality grandpa time" with our 13 month old grandson.

I left Paducah Friday, mid-morning, at a leisurely pace, riding back roads and stopping at will. My first stop was The Hermitage in northern Nashville. This site is the historic home of Andrew Jackson, however, it is not a National Park. The state maintains the second of two Tennessee Historical Commission Stamps at this location. The other stamp is located at The Shiloh Military Park. It was important for me to have both stamps in my collection. After leaving The Hermitage, I rode to the west side of Nashville, and quickly picked up The Natchez Trace. It was not long before I found the Leipers Fork visitor center, abandoned. As it turns out, this visitor center was closed due to lack of funding, and the National Park stamp was moved to Tupelo, MS. The trip was not in vain though, as I spent the next couple of hours riding the Trace and surrounding back roads.
Saturday morning I woke to a brisk 30 degrees and light frost. I left Nashville at 7 am hoping to clear the city before weekend shoppers clogged the highways. This was my first experience wondering if the light white covering on the interstate bridges was slick at 70 mph. I solved the problem by riding the semi-truck tracks whenever possible. I later wondered if it wasn't all in my imagination, because I never did feel the bike slipping or sliding.

I made a quick breakfast stop at Dixon, TN and then continued southwest 200 miles to my second stamp at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center in Corinth, MS.From Corinth, I continued due south another 30 miles to Baldwyn, MS to visit Brices Crossroads National Battlefield. After Brices Crossroads, I called home, and then turned north and rode the 201 enjoyable and uneventful miles home.

All in all, a nice 678 mile, two day, winter stamp trip, with some much needed, therapeutic, cabin fever benefits.

"The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power to tell
Just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own.
Live, love, toil with a will.
Place no faith in time.
For the clock may soon be still." ~Unknown~


  1. Great to see you!
    Keaton loved the cuddles!

  2. Hey Mike, I stumbled upon your blog while searching for National Park Stamps. Are you a member of ?

  3. Parkstamper:

    Yes, I joined and lurked for info but never contributed. It's a great site though.