I've just returned from a ride that was interesting from a couple unrelated perspectives. My friend Phil and I cooked up a reason to go to Texas to go ride in Hill Country to see what that was all about with interests in BBQ, some Twisted Sisters, and illegal immigration. I'm a unashamed BBQ snob from the Deep South and never thought much of all the bragging over Central Texas BBQ. After all, it's only beef right? They throw a pot roast on a smoker and call it BBQ and I've always felt sorry for Texans that they don't know that the really good BBQ comes from the noble pig. I got a Master Class subscription to use during my pandemic down time and studied Texas BBQ the Aaron Franklin way and have been making some pretty decent brisket on the Big Green Egg at home. So with my mind opened to the possibility that there may be some good eats in Texas, we committed to sampling some of the best while there. What's that got to do with illegal immigration? Well, turns out, Texas shares a border with a third world country run by drug cartels so while tasting the best of Texas Q we thought we'd go see what this "border crisis" is all about. I've also been wanting to go ride the Natchez Trace Parkway for a while now and since we're coming from the east, this looked like a good time to do it. That map is our actual track that was stored in my GPS. I hauled my bike to Georgia to meet up with Phil and from there we rode back up to Nashville to hook on to the Natchez Trace Parkway. For those that might be unfamiliar, the Natchez Trace is a federal parkway road that goes uninterrupted from just south of Nashville all the way to Natchez Mississippi. It was developed over a route that's been used for thousands of years by native Americans up through the westward expansion of the US and in to the Civil war era. It's not the altitude of the Blue Ridge Parkway nor the level of twisty road. It's just a scenic flowing parkway with points of interest all along it's 440 mile length and in two days I can count without removing my shoes how many other cars we saw on it. This is what it might have looked like in the day: About 40 or so miles from the north end we came to the final resting place of Merriweather Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame. He died just a few hundred yards from his burial site here: There's some controversy about whether he committed suicide or was murdered and that the question had never really be resolved about one of the greatest men in American history. There's a great book called Undaunted Courage about his commission from Thomas Jefferson and his exploration with Clark to the Pacific Ocean. After paying our respects to Lewis it was late in the first day on the road having ridden from east of Atlanta to Nashville and then down the parkway and we wanted to camp on the parkway. That's when we found out that all the campgrounds on the parkway were closed by the government due to Corona Virus - WTF?! You can't get more socially distanced than in a tent in the woods but hey, the gummint surely has our best interests at heart. A guy drove up in a pickup while we were looking at the Lewis site and we asked him about where to go. Turns out, he owns a campground about 8 miles away just off the parkway. Done. It was cold but I always sleep really well when I camp in cold weather. Next stop along the parkway was pretty far down the road to what are usually described as Indian Burial mounds - except that apparently that's not the only use. This is been described as the native version of the pyramids of the Mayans, and used for similar purposes. One can only stare at grassy mounds for so long so we departed in search of a ghost town on the Natchez Trace.