Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 25-28: Southern Hospitality

August 20 - 23, 2011 - We travelled through the rest of Georgia and all of Alabama to reach our next destination; Jackson, Mississippi.  The drive was pleasant and beautiful, with lots of trees and hills to look at.  Not a lot else, though.  We wanted to make it to our destination in time for something special, so we didn't dawdle.


The state is famous for gumbo, casinos, and the blues. I loved this state. Bruce and I had such an amazing time here.  Known as the "Hospitality State", Mississippi definitely lived up to its name; it was by far the most welcoming place we visited so far on our trip.

Finally, another Welcome Center; it seems like forever since I saw one.

Driving through Mississippi was fun.  The scenery, while similar to the other states we drove through in the South; has its own unique charm and feel.  The heavy trees and slow rivers helped Bruce and I start to relax from our hectic days in Washington D.C.  In all, I found most of the South this way.

Tall trees in the median; taken while I was driving.

Bruce was sleeping in the reclined position so I could take a picture of the river.

While driving through Mississippi there was a major rain storm.  I happened to be driving at the time and managed to keep my cool through the downpour.  It was so bad that you could barely see the person in front of you on the highway.  A lot of people were pulling off to the side of the road to wait it out.  However, I didn't know the road very well (even though it was a highway) and the truck set-up weighs a lot.  I decided to keep driving only at a reduced speed; a very reduced speed.

After the storm the clouds cleared up like nothing ever happened.

I eventually passed through the downpour and encountered another challenge while driving.  The roads were still hot from the earlier part of the day and the rain was starting to steam up.  Like driving through a thick fog except it was coming from the road, which made seeing the lines on the highway extremely difficult.

In retrospect, I probably should have pulled off to the side of the road.  Bruce probably thought the same thing but hasn't said anything to me about it.  We managed to make it through the rainstorm and the steam without any problems, however, and I can thank the show Ice Road Truckers and the winters in my home state for my driving competency.

I think Bruce has a couple more white hairs on his head after this experience.


In Jackson, we met up with Bruce's sister to stay with for a couple of days.  Laura is the Southern Belle of Hospitality. She took us around town after she made sure we had a home-cooked meal. She made sure we had everything we needed.  Her husband, Chris, is an awesome guy too. A talented musician and very friendly Mississippian. Chris and Laura welcomed us into his home with open arms and a friendly smile.

The neighborhood we stayed at.

In all of the parts of The South, I have experienced the famed Southern Hospitality in full force in Mississippi. From friendly greetings from strangers to locals asking how you are doing, Mississippi stands out as the friendliest state I have experienced so far.  Did I mention that already?

The Rainbow Casino

On the first night, the night we arrived, Laura took us to the casino to see her husband's band.  This was the reason we wanted to get to Jackson in time for.  While I do not normally listen to the style of music that they played, I found the experience enjoyable.  I found the Blues amazing; and what better state to listen to it in? 

I also got to play the quarter games at the bar and ended up making ten dollars from my first real gambling experience. I was rather proud of myself for remembering what my Dad told me about gambling responsibly; don't spend more than the cash you came in with and have fun.

Once we came back from a night on the town, we had comfortable beds to sleep in; a big change from the camper.

Relaxing and Exploring

Bruce and I took the next couple of days just relaxing.  The trip hasn't been too stressful up to this point, but it was nice to just relax from driving all the time.  I took a couple of opportunities to explore the area while Bruce was playing on his phone or taking a nap.

A beautiful house.

You don't see this kind of stuff in Alaska that often.

Eventually I got bolder and went a little further out.  After inviting Bruce to head out on foot (which he politely declined), I did some exploring on the outer edges of the neighborhood.  I found a path and followed it and was rewarded with a couple of pictures and no alligators.

While not technically in the wild, the scenery was beautiful.

A marsh bird of some type.

On the way back I saw some interesting flowers.

Bumper Stickers Anonymous

Some of you may remember reading that Bruce and I have been purchasing bumper stickers; a lot of them.  I wanted to share with you what we've been doing with them, just so that you know we aren't doing anything illegal with them or sticking them up in the rest stops we encounter.  If you haven't read that we've been buying bumper stickers then read some of the past posts; I know I've mentioned it before.

Before the trip started, Bruce and I thought it would be a good idea to put stickers on the back part of the trailer.  At first, these stickers would be the states that we travelled through and the various Society for Creative Anachronism kingdoms that we visited on our journey.  Well, it expanded to more different types of stickers...

The states we've been through so far.

We got a little carried away obviously.

So far so good; but so much more to go.

Some of my favorite stickers are the zombie family, "You Touch You Die", " I See Debt People", and "Beer Is Cheaper Than Gasoline".  We plan on getting more during the rest of our trip and the goal is to have the back of the trailer completely covered.  I think its a good challenge.

Mississippi Nightlife

Chris and Laura took Bruce and I out every night to see the town.  We ate at some wonderful places, ate some local cuisine, and got to experience the Blues the way they were meant to be.  I tried a variety of different dishes; my favorite was the gumbo, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I could tell Bruce did too.

Packing Up

Tomorrow would come, and with it the continuation of our trip.  In the morning we would have to say goodbye to our gracious hosts and continue on the road again.  While I was a little sad at first, I was looking forward to our next stop; Vicksburg.


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