Beginnings, bridges and bananas!
October 3, 2021

By Dena Strehlow

We rode out as a group from Trinity Lutheran Church at 10am, following breakfast, orientation, and prayer. Trace veterans provided useful tips and rookie riders listened intently.

After warming up our legs and getting comfortable in the saddle for 5 miles, we gathered at the Natchez Trace Parkway marker for devotion and group picture.
 
The next highlight was just up the road — the magnificent Natchez Trace Parkway Arches — the first segmentally constructed concrete arch bridge in the United States.  A vivid white bridge surrounded by fall foliage created a stunning photo for many.
 
Our one and only rest stop was at mile 16.  A very welcome stop for water and snacks given the rolling terrain and humidity.
 
We rode over the Tennessee Valley Divide and passed several historic markers before turning off to Duck River and climbing up to Shady Grove Methodist Church.  The new shower in the church felt great before shuttling over to enjoy the National Banana Pudding Festival!  
 
The church served us a delicious dinner and, of course, we got to try their banana pudding recipe!  Enjoyed a fun, interactive game after our group meeting and before lights out at 10 p.m.

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