Did this day really start in Florida? That seems like so long ago. I had never driven through the Florida panhandle before, and knowing that I was passing all those wonderful Gulf beaches just to the south of the highway was distressing. I felt like there ought to be a view, or something. I expected to be dying to stop for photos at Mobile, AL also, but maybe it was the dreary skies that stopped that from looking so enticing. I loved the fabulous Alabama welcome center with it’s beautiful setting of rolling hills, but it turned out that I only dipped my toe in Alabama because I was in Mississippi in no time flat.
Aside from seeing signs for Laurel, MS, which made me want to go drive through the town and look for the houses I’ve seen on Home Town (love that show), there wasn’t much to see. I was on smaller roads at this point, going through towns, and seeing little old houses looking weather worn and a bit tipsy. I wished I dared to take a picture of that little slice of Americana, but it would have been rude. I did see what I thought was a sign on the side of a barn, it announced, in big letters, Shelton Fireworks. And in only slightly smaller letters underneath were the words, ‘No Smoking.” I heard Charley say, plain as day, ‘No Shit Sherlock’. That had me laughing for 20 miles at least. My other take-away from driving through MS was that every time it was time to pay attention and look for my exit the skies would open and a downpour would totally blot out the view. I began to take it personally.
My choice of the Southern of the two routes the GPS suggested was the right choice for me. I had the cruise control on for at least 75% of the time, with a nice chunk of highway to myself. Not much to see but an easy drive, and eventually a sign said that the Mississippi Welcome Center and rest area was a mile ahead. I took the exit and panicked a little because the building was right there on the road and the parking lot was small and I was afraid I’d get trapped and have to back up. But it was deceiving, there were pull through spaces for trucks, and the modest looking building I saw from the road belied the spectacular veranda and view of the Mississippi River and the two bridges, one of which I would find myself traveling over when I got back on the road. I would have kicked myself if I hadn’t stopped. And the bridge to the right was a railroad bridge I noticed. It’s a shame I didn’t stick around a few more minutes because as I drove over the bridge I saw a train coming towards me heading for the other bridge. It seemed miles long, I wish I’d gotten that picture. When I landed on the other side of the bridge it was to the announcement that I was entering Louisiana. Three new states to me, and a lot of miles in one day, and as I drove I thought about how nice it would be to fall into comfy hotel bed, with wifi, and all the coffee I want in the morning. So here I am, tired but happy, so I’ll just say goodnight from Shreveport LA.