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Discussion Starter #1
Spring is coming, the weather is warm here in Alabama, we have a house guest to watch the cats, and the spouse and I are both free next Friday through Sunday. We are thinking about riding the Natchez Trace. We would depart from Huntsville, head up the 72 to Florence, and turn left (South) on the Trace. Her G310R does not allow her much more than an hour at a time in the saddle, and she probably won't want to ride more than five or six hours in a day, total. We would like to have a low stress, comfortable and romantic experience, with good food and interesting historical sites to explore for two days and three nights.

Any thoughts on places to stay? Things to see? Things to eat?
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Okie dokie! No replies on the forum, but the weekend came and the weather was good and we went. Friday we took it easy at home for a while, then rode out to Florence, Alabama, from our home in Huntsville. This was only about a 90 minute trip, in theory, but between our meandering path and some construction detours and a couple of stops it took us closer to two and half hours.

The hotel in Florence was a big hit. It is an old brick building in the downtown area that started life as a Cadillac dealership. The new owner, a local guy, renovated the second (top) floor into a giant, gorgeous loft with 10 hotel rooms surrounding a bar. The bar is in the space where the old car lift used to be, with many of its supports and metal parts still in place. It was neat.

Downtown was some sort of fest. Following a lovely meal we saw booths with little items for sale and a Jeep rally and some mounted police officers. Florence has a strong music history, so it was extra appropriate that we found a free concert in a small indoor venue off the main street. It was like being in college again. The band was playing modern alternative rock, and they were terrific. Stolen Futures? Future Stealers? Something like that. I bet they make it big!

The next day we were off to the Natchez Trace. First we filled up with fuel and put some waters in the saddlebags. This turned out to be a good move. We hit the Trace from SR20 and rode north about 130 miles to the loveless cafe. Along the way we saw waterfalls and forests and the gravesite of Meriwether Lewis. There were tons of motorcycles. Lots of Trikes, too. Mostly we saw Harley-Davidson motorcycles, but we saw a few metric cruisers, some BMWs, several sportbikes, two Bonnevilles (riding together), one Triumph Tiger, one Ducati, and a Moto Guzzi. You could get tennis elbow waving at all the riders on the Trace. (We wave anyway.)

We talked to a few riders at the various stops along the way. All were friendly and had stories to tell. Towards the end of the Trace the roads got more twisty. This was fun, but I was also starting to get distracted by thoughts of biscuits. The Loveless Cafe sits at the northern terminus of the Natchez Trace. It is famous for its biscuits, about which much has been written in motorcycle magazines that discuss the Trace.

Sure enough, those are some good biscuits!

Satisfied and happy, tummies and gas tanks filled, we turned around and headed back to Florence. We decided to "re-Trace" :smile_big: our earlier path exactly, as it has been so much fun the first time. 50mph gets a little old, at times, but there is so much to see that it really isn't bad. The day started catching up to us as we got closer to Alabama. It was getting late, and the sun settled into a false dusk behind thick clouds to the west. Deer started to make an appearance, but we kept our eyes peeled and had plenty of room/time to slow down and let them disperse. We also saw wild turkeys.

We reached the hotel right after sunset, availed ourselves of the luxurious bar, and strolled to another excellent restaurant for some dinner. The total mileage for the day was 265, with an average speed of 44mph. It may not sound like much, at least to people who (like me) ride on cruise control behind a windshield the size of a barn door. For my better half, it was a pretty big deal. She rides a 300cc BMW with a small windshield, forward leaning position, and no cruise control. She had a blast, but is a little jealous of my cruise control.

Sunday we rode back to Huntsville, a quick hour through some rain in the beginning and warm sun towards the end. Stopped off for some free coffee and shopping around at the local Harley dealer, then and back to the house.

This was our first multi-day trip with her on her own motorcycle. We enjoyed two and a half days of vacation, near perfect weather, excellent food and drink, cool music, and plenty of nice people. All this was rolled up with one of the country's most scenic and picture-perfect motorcycling roads.

Best of all, my spouse had an awesome experience and wants to do more motorcycle trips! :grin:
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Sounds like a great trip.
 

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We are gearing up for a long MC ride this summer and the Trace is one of the locations so thanks and keep the pictures coming.
 

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A few years back, we rode the Natchez Trace from Nashville to Natchez, and it is a pleasant ride; it was mid-summer, though, and the sun and heat made us sleepy at that slow pace, and in the park-like environment. Coffee and 5-hour kept us going. The ride back found us on local roads near the Trace, except places where there was no other reasonable way through. Nice roads, and a lot more interesting than 440 miles of park, that has few curves and hills. Perhaps on a cooler day, it would be lots better, but for now, we're not riding it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I may be riding to San Antonio this summer. Probably right at peak heat. Thinking about taking the Trace to get through the Mississippi portion, both to complete the experience and to skip the highway system in Mississippi!
 

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... and to skip the highway system in Mississippi!
I can understand that! Some of the back roads near Jackson are (were) in better shape than some of the Trace when we rode through, but overall, the Trace is better maintained.
 
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