Mississippi mozzies

Trip Start May 05, 2010
Trip End Jul 20, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Friday, July 23, 2010

Tennessee          22nd July 2010    

Weather: Warm to Hot, 25C Night – 35C Day

We decided to follow the Mississippi River north to Tennessee. The thought crossed our minds that it may be less humid away from the Gulf of Mexico. No such luck!

The Mississippi river is in fact a delta. Delta meaning, flat and stinking hot. It is also cursed with large numbers of mozzies. These reach plague proportions in areas where Aussie travelers camp for the night.

The only thing that comes in greater numbers than the mozzies is the number of Baptist Churches. It is a sight to behold. On some stretches of highway they are virtually in sight of one another. Competition for sinners is tough in the South. To pull in a sinner requires, some catchy phrase on an advertising board out the front.

Some examples:

You should be at church to see who isn't!

Why worry! PRAY.

Heaven is coming. Are you ready.

Get a free trip to heaven. Prepare to meet God.

Give me bloody strength. (one of mine)

Another thing that Mississippi has is a large proportion of black Americans. They have the most beautiful children, particularly the little girls with their hair done in pigtails and coloured bows. The closer you get to Tennessee the thinner on the ground the black Americans get. Before you know it, it’s bigger churches and white Americans. Christianity has a fearful hold on this country!

Another thing that may be uniquely American is the trailer home. These appear to very popular with the rural 'not so wealthy’. They lack any architectural flair (dead boring) and are replicated by mobile home builders all over the South. Your typical mobile home of four bedrooms sells for US$48,000. It comes ready to plonk in the trailer park or on the plot of land of your choice. Mass production for a mass market obviously keeps prices down.

Arrived at Smoky Mountains National Park this afternoon.  It appears to be another American icon like Yellowstone, with busy roads and lots of vacationers. It must be the place that those on the East coast go to get a touch of mountain wilderness. But from first impressions, it, like Yellowstone not only lacks wilderness, but also the other wonders that make Yellowstone in the end unforgettable. Unfortunately the natural beauty of the park is lost, in part, to American commercialism. Vacationers, in bright yellow tyre tubes, floating down the parks river make it appear like a theme park.

Whilst buying some of the local brew the other day I initiated a code 7 alert at the checkout in a supermarket. A code 7 is proof of age and identity to by beer for Christ sake!!! Then to top it off, the ranger at the state park we were staying at told me I had to drink my beer out of a glass, and not the stubby as is customary amongst my limited circle of friends. This is in a country where two locals were shot dead in a similar park last week. I mean you can’t be too careful when it comes to an Aussie driving a Landrover and drinking out of a stubby.

We will continue to follow the Appalachian Mountains to the North, trying to stay of the interstates, as we try to find the myth that was the movie Deliverance.

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