Key in Our Pocket

Trip Start Jun 09, 2009
Trip End Jun 23, 2009

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Where I stayed
La Quinta Inn and Suites

Flag of United States  , Mississippi
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

As soon as my head hit the pillow it seemed as if the alarm went off at a quarter to three. All is good though, as we need to be out on the road no later than 3.  Can I just say I love Houston freeways at this hour!  Sugar Land to Baytown in less than an hour flat.  It was for the best that we travelled at this hour as the scenery is less than desirable...compared to what we are going to see.

A quick bite at a greasy Waffle House in Lafayette welcomed the morning sunrise.  As we pulled into the gravel parking lot, our truck reflected the glow of the blinding florescent mood lighting those dining establishments offer.  One couldn't even see in the restaurant through the frosted and dripping glass.  This was from the cool air conditioning reacting with the stagnant Louisiana humid June air.  Filled up the tank and back on I-10 East.  Lots of trucks at this hour.

I was glad to turn the vehicle northbound in Baton Rouge as the eastern sky was blinding.  One stop at the Mississippi state sign for tourism sake and we were heading toward Natchez on the river.  Maps told us there were scores of Antebellum "Pre-Civil War" Mansions dotting the moss draped trees, so we pulled over for a gander.  The huge Dixie trees were so stoic.  Hard to think that the same shade covering the truck as we pull into the long drive up to the house, was the same shade covering hundreds of slaves pulling cotton in the neighboring acreage.  Aside from the shameful past, one couldn't be amazed at the beauty of these mansions.  Nothing like a lazy afternoon on a porch rocker, sipping some lemonade, fanning yourself with a hat and listening to the cadence of the june bugs hissing in the hot sun.

Now off to Vicksburg.

A short trip north along the mighty Mississip, dumped us at the foothills of some of the Civil War's most tremultuous fighting.  Gen. Grant pushed south from Memphis...(on foot none-the-less) to quell the Rebel stronghold on the riverfront city of Vicksburg.  Lincoln best said it by saying "Vicksburg is the key for a win of the war and we need that key in our pocket."  The Union was ruthless and you could feel the 48-day siege by simply walking through the battlefield.  A 16 mile driving loop took us past Union and Rebel Monuments from every state that participated in the campaign.  The somber burial ground recalled memories of my visit to Normandy where rows upon rows of headstones desensitized the average visitor, not able to comprehend the loss of life.  And we haven't even seen Ante idem or Gettysburg yet!

Pushing east toward Jackson we find refuge on the city's east side at the watering hole the Spaniards call "La Quinta."  Time for dinner as I close now.  Choices include a Chinese Buffet next to a truck stop, the Mickey-Dees inside the Super Walmart next door, or Brandon Mississippi's fine dining experience....Ruby Tuesday.  History these people have.  Dining options they have not.

Free breakfast at 6 am!  On to Birmingham, Alabama to the Civil Rights Museum and Chattanooga.  Dispatch out.
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