I did lots of visiting yesterday, but not much traveling. If I'm ever going to get back to VA, gonna have to work in a little more traveling. But, I'm not sure it really matters. This morning was a better day than yesterday.....sunny, but still cold. It didn't take long to drive the remaining miles in Louisiana, passing through places with names such as Talluah, Thomastown, and Mound. This stretch of road passes by farm land so flat that water just stands until it either soaks in the ground or evaporates.....no where for it to drain. And, no where to put a tent should there be a need. I stopped in Delta to take a few pictures, and then crossed the I-20 bridge into Vicksburg, MS. On the way to I-20 I passed a roadside marker for "Grant's Canal", an important landmark in the Civil War.
(Two of the most dangerous roads (for walking) I encountered crossing the country are in and around Vicksburg......crossing the bridge over the Mississippi, and the road between Vicksburg and Edwards. Neither has little if any shoulder, so I just had to hope traffic was light. The road to Edwards is very rolling, so cars are coming over hills and don't see a pedestrian until sometimes very close.)
I'm sure there are lots of nice visitor centers around the country, but this has to be one of the best. And much of the reason I think is because of the location of the city and the history of the area. It was windy and cold there, and I took a few pictures and drove on through the downtown area. Lots of history there, as well as much restoration. This is the second time I've been through this area (the first was on the walk), and I still want to come back and spend more time. I looked around a while, took some pictures, and finally found my way out of town.
My next stop was at a convenience store in Brandon, MS. On day 99 of the walk, I stopped here for a bite to eat, and at the same time decided to shed some clothes because it was a warm day. I put them on the seat beside me, finished eating, and walked out leaving them behind. After walking a mile or so, a car pulls up, the driver hands me a bag, and inside were the clothes. She could just as easily thrown them in the trash. The kind woman, Dedri Brown, still works at the store, but was not on duty at the time. The woman who was working called Dedri, and I talked to her. She was surprised to hear from me, remembered the incident, and we had a nice conversation. I left a t-shirt and some apple butter to thank her, and then headed east.
My next stop was in Pelahatchie. Also on day 99 of the walk, I arrived in town late in the afternoon with no prospects of a good camp site.....and, it was cold that evening. A local man, Joe Wilkerson, offered to let me stay in an old bus on his property. I was relived to find a place and accepted the offer. Although sleeping in the bus seemed much colder than in a tent, I still appreciated his offer and wanted to thank him today. I found his place, but the bus was missing. He told me he'd with no luck trying to sell it, finally sold it to a junk dealer for more than he'd asked as non-junk. Joe's had some health problems since I last saw him, but said it was improving. I left him some apple butter, and moved on eastward.
I next stopped in Newton to visit Andy and Dottie Armstrong. On day 101 of the walk I spent the night in their guest house. They weren't home today, so I tried calling his cell, but no answer. A neighbor told me he thought they were traveling out west, so I left apple butter and a t-shirt with the neighbor and headed to Hickory to find Bobby and Edna Warren, and their daughter Shirley. On day 102 of the walk they helped me in several ways. I drove to Bobby and Edna's house, and Shirley came over. We had a nice visit, they are all doing well, and I left behind apple butter as thanks from Virginia.
While at the Warren's, Andy Armstrong returned my call. They were in Meridian for a movie and since I was headed that way, we decided to meet for dinner. We met downtown, and went to Weidmann's Restaurant, a local place which has been in business since 1870. If you ever eat there you;ll understand why they've lasted so long.....great food, great atmosphere, great service. Plus, being with Andy and Dottie added great company. We had a nice visit, and they offered their guest house for the night. I appreciated the offer, but decided to stay in Meridian. They helped me find a nearby Hampton Inn, and headed back to Newton. I settled in for the evening.
Today was a better travel day than yesterday, and tomorrow I'll be in Alabama for more sightseeing and visiting.
Marker near the Vicksburg Visitor Center;
Bridges over the Mississippi.....the one on the left is for cars and trucks, the one on the right for trains;
The corner of Washington and Veto....makes sense;
Front of Andy and Dottie Armstrong's house. I can assure you the rest is just as colorful.....Dottie is an artist;
Andy and Dottie in front of Weidmann's.