chapter lx

Posts Tagged ‘Alabama

Here I am back online, in Atlanta at Meg’s. From Vicksburg to Eufaula, Alabama was a pretty drive. Mississippi was full of blooming trees. Every time I saw a red bud, though, it was difficult to stop so I still don’t have a photo. Hopefully I will get a good one here in Atlanta. We are past the 3000 mile mark – whew.

Alabama was a surprise. I don’t know what I expected, but it is rolling, green and beautiful. It could be Ohio or Ontario. The state park where Janet and John have a cottage was also a wildlife refuge, with many birds that winter over there, and alligators. The weather was perfect, warm and sunny. We started each morning with aquafit, a good stretch after days in the car. Did laundry, and just hung out. It was a lovely retreat with friends that are more like family. It is so good to have so many stops along the way.

Eufaula is interesting. The Union army was just outside the city when the Civil War ended, so they were spared destruction. Many antebellum mansions are still intact, as is the downtown. They still feel fortunate, and celebrate their heritage and history. During that time, it was a major trade center for cotton, being on a river and then a rail line. The population in the 1850’s – 70’s was somewhere around 40,000. Today, it is about 15,000. The whole town is very pretty, with huge lovely houses and tree lined streets. It still seems fairly prosperous and is a summer destination for locals as well as a winter destination for snowbirds.

Atlanta is a large lovely city. Also hilly and green, and blossoming. The weather is cooler today, and threatened rain this morning, but still no inclement weather. Cabbagetown, the neighborhood where Meg lives is an old part of town with narrow streets and small houses that are being bought and renovated. I think that this is the place where I will find someone to dress up Bella – some young artist. There is a street festival tomorrow that looks like fun. Lost another hour today – finally in Eastern time, only one more time zone to go. Still congested from pollen, but not as much as the past few states. I guess as I follow spring up the coast, though, it will still be an issue.

Blossoms in Mississippi

Blossoms in Mississippi

Eufaula

Eufaula

Wild Alligators!

Wild Alligators!

on Lake Eufaula

on Lake Eufaula

Antebellum mansion

Antebellum mansion

Another grand home in Eufaula

Another grand home in Eufaula

Janet and John and Elmo

Janet and John and Elmo

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Vicksburg, Mississippi, 2625 miles. i am more than half-way. Traveled through Louisiana today. It is beautiful, wooded and swampy. Stayed off the Interstate, just meandered along US 80, slow and relaxing. East Texas is beautiful, too. It was an overcast day, then sunny, then overcast. I really thought it was going to rain, but didn’t. I have been so lucky with the weather – is it all waiting for me when I get to the Northeast?

Stopped for a late lunch in Louisiana; the first place that looked likely had already closed for lunch, but another man was there and disappointed, too. So I asked where else there was to eat around there, and he sent me to the Country Cottage, real food, good food. I had a crawfish fried pie, with a salad and sweet tea, and it was delicious. The cook came out to see if I liked it, and then suggested that maybe I would like to take a fruit fried pie along for a snack later. I did, a sweet potato fried pie. Everyone has been so friendly and cheerful.

The road was another two-lane blacktop, and sometimes I was the only car in sight. It was narrow and lined with tall trees. There is a lot of logging here, and mills along the way. The purple trees are not plum, but red bud. This road, unlike the highway in Texas, had no pull-offs for picnics or rest, so every time I stopped was in a town and there were no red buds to photograph. I hope to get some pictures of them tomorrow, they are just so delightful popping up here and there. All this blooming, though, is aggravating allergies. I have been congested since yesterday; last night really hoped that I’m not developing a cold, sure don’t want to be sick on the road, but I think it’s allergies.

Shrevesport was a pretty city, with some very abandoned areas, and some very posh and renovated. Most the abandoned streets – yes whole streets, look like it didn’t happen just yesterday. All through the state, there was a feeling of decay and rust. Yards covered with rusting vehicles, washing machines, farm equipment, rusting tin roofs on shacks, shacks that looked held together with masking tape, shacks that were simply sinking back to earth. And there were also nice ranch houses with large yards, pastures with cows, pretty residential streets with trees all around.

Crossed the Mississippi just as a huge red sun was setting behind me, and the full moon was coming out. It is wide here, with a lovely bridge. Vicksburg on first sight seems very lush – green and treed. I hope to take some time tomorrow to look around, before heading for Janet and John in Alabama.

East Texas

East Texas

Oil Pump

Oil Pump

Texas-sized chair

Texas-sized chair

Downtown Shrevesport

Downtown Shrevesport