Sunken Trace

Sunken Trace 1


A while back Cindy and I were discussing a blog that she had read, about a family traveling across the country on their way to Disney World. On their way they would post about the different sights each state had to offer.  That is until they reached Mississippi. For this state they basically said there wasn’t anything and just drove through. 

  What a shame. I don’t care which state you find yourself, you can always find something amazing. Now you might not see it doing seventy down the interstate. Sometimes one has to stop in order to smell the roses. Well so much for my little soap box.

Today’s history lesson will be the last in my little series of our trip to the Natchez area. One day I think that it would be a great trip to drive the complete Trace. I hope that you have enjoyed it and maybe you even learned something new. 


Sunken Trace

Geologists believe that during the time of the last ice age, glacial rivers were formed from the when huge ice sheets would melt during the summer months. Toward the end of the age the size of these rivers were greatly reduced. As a consequence, large parts of the formerly submerged and unvegetated floodplains were exposed to the wind.


Sunken Trace 2
Sunken Trace 2


This is what happened in some places within the Mississippi River Valley. Since these floodplains consisted of sediment containing a high content of silt and clay that had been ground like flour by the glacier, they were blown across the plains and then deposited downwind. The soil deposits here are called Loess. Today these huge deposits are easily recognizable by their almost vertical bluffs.


Sunken Trace 3
Sunken Trace 3



Since there was nothing to protect the road way from the traffic, this soil gave away and eroded along the trace. Thus, today the old trace  has actually sunken as much as thirty feet below its original level in some areas.




12 thoughts on “Sunken Trace

  1. Great images as always, Phillip. That first one looks like it’s out of a fairy tale. 🙂

    I agree, every state in the union has something special to offer, if you take the time to look. In fact, you can pretty much say that about the world. no matter where you go, there is something of interest in just about every place.

    Nice work, man.

  2. You are completely right in that there is always something worth discovering everywhere. Just as everywhere there is a picture to be taken. I like this post’s little story, it’s quite fascinating that the traces have sunken that much. Beautiful pictures, and I really like the expressionistic version you created.

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