The winner of the Mazda CX-9 Signature Trim Driving Matters contest is Margaret Littman, owner of Nashville Paddle Co.
The 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway is my ultimate scenic drive. Managed by the National Park Service, it winds its way from Nashville, TN to Natchez, MS through the historic route Native Americans used 10,000 years ago. You can't drive faster than 50 mph and there are no billboards or stores. Your only option is to meditate on the landscape, and enjoy the act of driving--hugging the curves and letting the sun shine in from the sunroof. You can enjoy the freedom that driving and car ownership give you without being on an interstate. Wild turkeys and deer frequently cross the road and, depending on the time of year, the roadsides are dotted with wildflowers, cotton plants, or hay bales. Tune the car stereo to 1610AM and you can listen to recorded information about the Trace's history, transforming your car into a tour guide. Most of the stops have picnic tables and hiking trails, so I pack a lunch, put the dog in the back seat, and drive until we're hungry. Even if we've only traveled 40 miles, I feel like we've gone on a vacation, and my head is clear before I get home. - Margaret Littman