Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Natchez Trace State Park and Echo Bluff State Park

These activities took place around May 20th onwards and mostly catch us up. 

As we left Chattanooga and began our westward journey our first stop was the Lodge at Natchez Trace. We have found that many state parks have very nice accommodations in their Lodges, so we tend to take full advantage of them when possible.

While this Lodge is quite elderly, and is actually slated for a complete  demolition/rebuild this upcoming winter season, the property and Pin Oak Lake is just stunningly pretty. We took a 1-hour guided pontoon boat cruise with a Park Ranger and saw just how expansive the park acreage is - 48,000 acres.

Cruising on Pin Oak Lake - it was a beautiful day for it.

They have several cabins and campsites throughout the park.

Also, while the rooms might not have been up to our usual standards, the restaurant certainly made the grade. I had the best Turkey Club sandwich ever at the restaurant and the Sunday brunch was well worth the entry fee, lol. Fried catfish & chicken (of course), and all the sides, plus I had my first cornmeal biscuit with sausage gravy and it was incredible. My newest culinary quest for sure, the biscuit not the gravy.

We took our camp chairs down to the lakeside with our books and beverage and just relaxed.

Wonderful place to sit and relax in the shade.

Soon it was time to move on and so we headed to Missouri and the Ozark's. Our destination was the Echo Bluff State Park Lodge, which sits next to the Sinking Creek and is very near the Current River, popular for water activities such as kayaking etc. Very nice Lodge with wonderful rooms, ours, on the bluff side, had a nice private balcony.

(Not my picture, but thanks).

On a side note, the cicadas were in full swing all throughout the southern tier states and Missouri was no exception. We saw several trees littered with dried-up husks left behind. We took a nice auto-tour loop around and about the area which took us down to the Current River, where we saw several kayakers enjoying the day.

The surroundings with the river down below, pretty country.

A great day for it.

When we made it around to Salem we decided to stop for a late lunch at Aranda's Mexican restaurant. Wow, the food was really quite good and we ate the whole thing! No supper needed, and as there were severe storms with possible tornados and large hail due to pound the mid-west overnight, we opted to stay an extra night to let the front move on through. There was no big rush to get out to Rocky as they usually don't get the water down at our sites going until Memorial Day weekend. At 7200' they have to wait out the overnight freezes.

Our last overnight stop was in Grand Island, NE at a Comfort Inn. It was a decent hotel, and I really liked how there was a service road off to the side of the main drag which allowed easy access to fast food, gas and stores. For tired people hoping for a fast food fix and gas-up, it fit the bill nicely. No photos were taken, we were just on a mission. The prospects for the next day? 430 miles from Grand Island to Rustic, CO, and we have a time zone change in our favor. We got an early start and made it into Glen Echo RV Resort with plenty of time to get squared away for spending the night. And look at one of the glorious trees that was in full bloom!! Wowza. 😲

Well, that's the wrap for the trip. Everything inside the rig was pristine, no evidence of any interlopers of any kind - yay!  More on the next installment, and thanks for dropping by for a visit. 


  1. Sounds like a great journey! I've heard that the cicadas are going to be bad this year. So glad we don't have them up north.

    1. It was a nice trip out for sure. Luckily the cicadas don't bother you too much, mainly noisy.

  2. A wonderful trip! That tree in bloom is beautiful! Is it a cherry?
    Cicadas are one of those strange creations of God's - as loud as our spring chorus frogs!

    1. I wish I knew what that tree was - my guess was ornamental cherry so we're thinking alike.