Mississippi – Woodall Mountain

How can you top meeting Elvis. Anything we did for the rest of the day, maybe even in our lives will pale in comparison. Nevertheless, undaunted by the mundane worldly tasks at hand, Spanky and I headed northeast on the morning of March 6, 2007, out of Tupelo for our next summit, Woodall Mountain, Mississippi.

It was only a couple of hours from Tupelo, most of the ride being along the Nachez Trace Parkway. The Parkway follows The Old Natchez Trace which was a 500-mile footpath that ran through Choctaw and Chickasaw lands connecting Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. It’s a really scenic drive through farmlands complete with split rail fences, remnants of last years cotton crop, some densely wooded areas, a little bit hilly, and not a single roadside billboard, fast food joint or business of any kind in sight. Nice!

We had to get off the Trace to search for gas. Ended up in the tiny little town of Marietta, MS where we found a combo gas station, general store, and restaurant. I went in to pay for the gas (no automated gas pumps here). There were a bunch of older folks sittin at a table smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee. A few wee ones running around – baby sittin the grandchildren no doubt. Anyway, the lady working the cash register was just as nice and polite as could be. It dawned on me that every single person that I had talked to (store clerks, motel manager, etc) in Mississippi so far was just as polite. Good old southern manners. I know a few folks (including me) that could learn a thing or two from these folks.

Another thing I noticed when driving on rural two lane roads, if a pickup comes at you, the other driver always gives you a slight wave hello. The first place I ever noticed this was out west (rural Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico). Apparently this custom is alive and well in Mississippi.

By the way, I’m writing this the following day, sitting at my desk in our trailer (aka expedition headquarters). We are at a campground in Pelham, Alabama. Spanky is just outside the door basking in the sunlight. We decided to take a day off from driving. Spanky seems to be perfectly at ease sitting still for a while – guess he needed a break as well. I also needed to catch up documenting our exploits, posting it, organizing and posting our pics, blah, blah, blah.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, we are driving to Woodall Mountain. The directions I had for getting to Woodall were accurate. We had no problem with finding the dirt road that leads up to the top. I’ve got a truck so what the hell, we drove up. The road got steep enough that I did have to put it in four wheel drive. With the load of the trailer I was occasionally spinning the tires in the mix of dirt and gravel – 4WD solved that. About a mile later we were on top of Mississippi.

First of all, Woodall Mountain is only 806 feet. After being at several thousand feet a couple of days ago it didn’t seem like much of anything. The top unfortunately is cluttered with antennas and a fair amount of litter left there by ASSHOLES! Nevertheless, Spanky and I made the best of it. There was ample room for Spanks to run around, sniff, and yes, leave his mark as only a dog can do.

In the final analysis, Woodall was well worth it. Hell, we now had bagged four summits! A little over a month ago, we had none. We’ve hit 3 out of the 4 lowest summits – Delaware being the only one left and at 448 ft the last one under a thousand feet. So we’ve accomplished a good deal in a short time. I know, I know, what we’ve done so far can’t be considered to be mountaineering. I won’t even try to claim that we are climbing anything – yet. I look at this trip as kind of a shakedown cruise. Real climbs and challenges of all kinds lie ahead of us! Can’t wait.
Spanky On Top of Woodall
We Proudly Pose for the Camera

USGS Summit Marker

The View from Woodall Mountain

3 comments:

Ken said...

Most awesome adventure!!! I guess you’ll be heading home to plot the next adventure, and probably cut the grass. I’m looking forward to the next trip. I wish we were going with you. In fact, if I win the lottery this weekend you can count us in. However, I think the chances of that are about 14,000,000 to 1 so you’re probably going to be bunking with Spanky again.

Anonymous said...

Spanky:

Check out one of your advertiser's
in MS DeSoto County, MS Homes. Margie Smithson has posted her dog Buster for you to meet. Another friend to for you to meet during your adventure. Say Hi to Rein.

Keep on truckin'.

Anonymous said...

Kryky! You elevation demolition freaks - going places that no Estonian and canine companion has GPSed before. You do have a GPS, right Rein, or are you roughing it w/ a used Texaco map from Pinellas? Just looking at pictures now and will read your thought provocing words soon.

Petemon,
Indian Shores . . elevation, 0.

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