We woke to a grey day. We left after breakfast at 8.40, and found that Hurricane Landing was only a few yards along the road!
We drove on to the university town of Oxford and parked by the main square and walked around. The shops were really smart – clothes, books, restaurants – but it was very cold and grey. There was even an English red phone box.
Drove to Rowan Oak, home of William Faulkner, writer and Nobel Prize winner. Delightful home in lovely grounds. Chatted to the two young female guides, and walked around the house and grounds.
Headed for Tupelo, birthplace of Elvis Presley. Now raining. Lovely visit to birthplace site and museum.
More memorabilia, and Story Wall, with words by many old friends of Elvis, showing what a lovely chap he was. Nice statue of him aged 13 (when he left Tupelo for Memphis). Actual home (just 2 rooms) delightfully restored. Treasured chat to Billie, lady guide there. Very few other visitors.
Now drove back to Walmart on other side of town, passing hardware store where Elvis got his first guitar.
Saturday 29th January Happy birthday Lena 167 miles
Woke late to a wet, grey morning. It was 10 o’clock before we left and headed for the Natchez Trace Parkway, the road which runs nearly 500 miles from Nashville to Natchez, following an ancient Indian route. There is a speed limit on this road of 50mph, and frequent stops at ‘historic sites’, with nice large boards with easy to read descriptions. The road is a sort of National Park, running through pretty scenery. Sadly we weren’t seeing it at its best today, as the weather wasn’t at all nice.
We turned off for 4 miles to Davis Lake, where there was a campsite. Again, it would look lovely in summer, but today was just a mess of bright orange mud, as they we working on it! We had coffee here, then set off back towards the Natchez Trace, stopping to walk around Owl Creek Mounds, another site of Indian Mounds, in the damp drizzle.
There were several places along the route where you could see the old road. We stopped by one and had our lunch. Our next stop was Little Mountain lookout, which would have been good in better visibility! There was a short trail you could walk here, but we thought that we should be heading off for a site in our book quite a bit further on.
We continued to stop by the ‘Historic Sites’ and also at French Creek, which had been an early settlement on the route, and where there was now a Christian boarding school for disadvantaged children from all parts of America, and also further afield. We went into a gift shop in an old wooden cabin, where the chubby lady assistant was happy to tell us about the craft items being sold there, particularly the patchwork. A percentage of the price of the goods goes towards the school.
We didn’t linger any longer, but luckily the mist cleared as we continued south. We turned off near Canton, but as usual couldn’t locate the camping place we were looking for. We pulled in to a parking area beside Ross Barnet Reservoir just before 6 o’clock.
Sunday 30th January 136 miles
Despite the grey morning, fishermen were busy with their boats. Left at 8.45 for Jackson (the capital of Mississippi).
We turned off to drive past the Old Capitol, which now houses a museum, but as we knew, not open on Sunday mornings. As we drove on through the town, we passed a very run down area. We stopped long enough to get some petrol, and headed for Vicksburg.
Vicksburg, situated on hilly ground above the Mississippi, was the location of a vital battle of the Civil War. The siege of the town lasted 47 days, at the end of which both soldiers and civilians were starving. The area of the battle is now a large National Military Park which you can drive around on a 16 mile loop. There were several stopping places, with plaques telling of various parts of the battle, but the dull dreary day wasn’t too enticing.
Also there were dozens and dozens of memorials, small and large, from all of the states involved, and also recognising leaders of the troops. It was far too much for me to get my head around, but I did enjoy visiting the gunboat ‘Cairo’, which had been sunk in 1862, and recovered in 1964. A small museum was attached with many artefacts from the boat. We had had lunch here first, looking across to the cemetery, where 17,000 union soldiers were buried.
After our tour of the Military Park, we drove through Vicksburg itself, enjoying seeing the town on this dull, quiet Sunday afternoon. As a contrast from this morning, we stopped to visit the Coca Cola museum. This was the first place that Coke was bottled, in 1894 (although it had been popular as a ‘fresh’ drink for some time).
The small museum had a short history of coke, and a replica of the first bottling equipment – all quite fun.
We had views of the enormous Mississippi as we drove along above it, and stopped at Louisiana Circle, where during the Civil War, the confederates had guarded the river.
We knew of a campsite back on Natchez Trace, and now set off there, finding the route from our various maps, but the road we took, Hall’s Ferry Road, suddenly came to a dead end after many miles! Out came the computer and we were now able to find our way without going right back to Vicksburg. We reached Natchez Trace, and Rocky Springs campsite at 5.35.
Monday 31st January Happy birthday Simon 84 miles
A very wet day! It rained in the night and all day, often very heavily. We left at 8.40 - it was too wet to explore the former village of Rocky Springs, or any of the other sites we passed. We saw a waterfall at Owen’s Creek - apparently only visible after heavy rain! We did don our wet weather gear to walk to a section of the ‘Sunken trace’ – the old track deep in a cutting.
We were sorry not to have been able to enjoy Natchez Trace in sunshine.
We turned off to Port Gibson, a town which Grant said was ‘too pretty to burn’. Unfortunately much of it now looks very unloved, although we did pass some attractive houses on the way out. What it did have though, was a laundrette – about the tattiest we have ever been in, but we were able to get the washing clean and dry, even if we couldn’t understand a word that the black people in there said! While this was happening, we drove around the town, stopping at the post office. We found quite a well stocked shop next to the wash place.
We drove on to Natchez. For a while the rain almost stopped. We had come to the end of the Natchez Trace, and had lunch sitting above the wet and gloomy lookingMississippi. We had trouble finding the visitors centre, and as we wandered around in the rain, I got quite chilled. In fact we didn’t have much luck at Natchez, which is known for its fine houses of the cotton boom era. One house we tried to visit was closed, and the other (a National Parks property) was free for entry, but the tour of the house required a fee! The man said that we could wander around the grounds (in the rain!)
We moved on to visit the ‘Grand Village of the Natchez Indians’, with a small ‘museum’ about these Indians, who had lived happily in this area until they were eventually wiped out by the visiting French in the 1700s.
The wet evening continued as we made our way to Walmart carpark, arriving at 5 o’clock.
Tuesday 1st February 160 miles
Another grey, miserable day, with rain most of the time! We left at 9.30 and crossed the Mississippi into Louisiana at Vidalia. We immediately saw a Visitors Centre, and were greeted by 2 cheery ladies, who were glad to tell us all about Louisiana and give us loads of leaflets. One was on Delta Music Museum, in Ferriday, the next town.
We made our way there, and had a brilliant tour of the museum. The small town of Ferriday was birthplace of Jerry Lee Lewis and his 2 cousins, Mick Gilley & Jimmy Lee Swaggart, both also well known musicians in America. All were born within a year of each other, in 1935/6 – a good time for musical people to be born, it would seem! Several other musicians/notable people were born in, or had connections with the town, including Conway Twitty and Percy Sledge. The museum had information on them all, plus a video featuring all 10 characters. We were shown around initially by a little grey haired lady who ran the museum, and was justifiably proud of it. At the end we bought a CD of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash, when they had all met up for a jamming session in 1956. It was fun to listen to as we made our onward, damp journey!
We stopped for coffee outside the Lewis house, which Jerry Lee’s sister shows people around, as a museum. Unfortunately it was too early for it to be open.
We drove on northwest on route 84, as the rain continued. It was more than difficult to find anywhere to pull off for lunch – eventually we pulled into a rough driveway south of Winnfield.
We crossed the Red River, again looking wide and red, and came to Natchitoches, which is apparently the oldest town in the Louisiana Purchase area. We drove around the pleasant historic centre, once more being sorry not to be seeing things at their best. We crossed the Cane River Lake, which the town is settled on, and had a short tour of the cotton plantation area. Everywhere was wet and sodden as we drove south a few miles to Dogwood campsite in the Kisatchie National Forest, just north of the town of Kisatchie. This free campsite might be lovely in summer, but was now just a swamp.
Wednesday 2nd February 239 miles
Another dull morning, but at least it wasn’t raining! We left at 8.45 and drove south to Leesville. We stopped at Singer for coffee – again it had been difficult to pull off anywhere. Continued south through the wetlands. Saw a flamingo from a lookout, then came to the coast at Holly Beach – quick walk to sea. Lunch in the Bam right on the beach – very brief glimpse of sun.
Ferry at Calcasieu Ship Channel – free, although maps said fee.
Carried on to Abbeville and located Betty’s RV Park ($8). Made very welcome – end of ‘happy hour’, then to restaurant to eat crawfish – huge bowl each (3lbs for $8).
Bloody Mary (R) and Margarita (A). Lift there and back with Shirley and Ralph, then chatted in their rig until nearly 10 o’clock.
Thursday 3rd February 48 miles
Slept well, despite our spicy crawfish. Another grey day, and very cold!
Said goodbye to Betty, and to Ralph and Shirley and left at 11 o’clock.
Stopped at Robies in Abbeville, and shopped in there – very clean and nice – bought some Cajun spices etc.
Drove to St. Martinville – after lunch went into Visitors Centre - nice Cajun lady assistant. Walked around town, viewing Evangeline Oak (from poem by Longfellow about Acadians leaving Nova Scotia);
bought delicious pastry from bakers; Petit Paris museum – wonderful Mardi Gras costumes;
Roman catholic church of St. Martin de Tours – statue of Evangeline outside. Lovely town, nice houses, but freezing!
Drove on to Longfellow Evangeline State Historic Park – several Cajun dwellings, and Creole house.
Chat with ranger Bill Pratt – should have been an actor! Found out that ‘antebellum’ means pre-Civil War, and that Creole means Louisianans of European descent.
Now drove south to New Iberia – Walmart, 5.30.
Friday 4th February 194 miles
Another dull morning. We left at 9.15 and decided to drive back into New Iberia. We drove along Main Street, where there were some elegant old houses beside the Bayou Teche and wonderful huge trees draped in moss. We visited Konrico rice mill, but didn’t have long enough for the tour, so just looked around the store. I sampled some good coffee, and we bought some pecan rice, and a Mardi Gras bracelet.
We found our way out towards Avery Island, where Tabasco sauce originates – not in Tabasco, Mexico as we had imagined. On a sunny day, and with a lot of time, this would be a lovely place to visit, as there are adjoining Jungle gardens and bird ponds. Today, however, it was bitterly cold, and we again hadn’t time for the factory tour, so sufficed with visiting the ‘Country Store’. We sampled several of the Tabasco products, and bought a couple of things, but didn’t do the place justice, as we are not ‘spicy’ people! We thought of those who would have loved it here – the store was jam packed with Tabasco related items.
We made haste now eastwards, stopping at Morgan City, and driving a few miles north, stopping by Lake Palourde, and pulling on to the wet sand for lunch. We had had one or two brief glimpses of sun, but now it really came out, and we walked across to the lake in sunshine! The first time we had seen it for a week!
As we drove onwards, everywhere looked much better in the sun. We stopped at Houma for a cup of tea, then drove on a loop, which looked scenic on the map. The first bit was full of houses, but after that we drove between fields and water, with dozens of birds. We would like to have had more time to appreciate it, but soon we were back amongst houses again, with delightful fishing boats beside us on the bayou.
We drove via Larose to Mathews, where we settled in to the car park of a small Walmart at 5.15.
We had enjoyed seeing purple magnolias today, to add to the camellias and narcissi we have seen before.
Saturday 5th February 47 miles
We were woken at 3.00 am by extremely noisy dustbin collection!
The morning was sunny, with some cloud. We left at 8.30 for an easy drive into New Orleans. Trouble came when we had to cross the Mississippi on a very long bridge, (called the Huey P. Long bridge!), with 2 extremely narrow lanes. In trying to keep right, we got ourselves hooked on to the kerb, and had trouble getting off again! A nasty experience, but the only lasting damage (apart from our nerves) was a bashed wheel trim. As we drove on into town, we came across the floats getting organised for the start of the parade. The road was suddenly closed, so we had an anxious time, following our noses, but finally ending up at the city centre, and at our hotel for tonight, the Crescent. All was not over yet, as we had to find a place to park. After several detours, and asking, with great difficulty, at the hotel, we pulled into a parking space next to the hotel. Most of the parking was up a low ramp, but we were able to park on the ground level. It became very aware that this hotel, once very grand, (it still had the name ‘Grand Palace Hotel’ on the front, which was confusing) is now really run down. In addition, we realised how difficult parking is here – the man opposite quoted $100 per day to park! As we have no parking space when we are at Days Inn (directly opposite here) for the next 2 days, this is of great concern to us.
We found that it was too early for us to book in, so, after having coffee in the Bam, we went out to mingle with the crowds. We soon reached the French Quarter, and walked down Bourbon Street, THE street to be in. At this time of day, the great novelty was a chap in his underpants playing guitar! We bought a feather boa for me, in Mardi Gras colours of purple, green and gold. We also got nabbed for a charity cause, and ended up with a Mardi Gras cap.
We were ready to watch our first parade, but before that, we went into ‘Wendy’s’ (will we cope with all this fast food?) and shared a chicken BLT salad and chips, with a revolting lemonade drink.
The idea on these parades is to collect Mardi Gras beads and trinkets thrown by the people on the floats. The Iris parade didn’t really impress us, but we got lots of beads there and then made our way back to the hotel, hoping to book in. The queue was really long, so we went back to the Bam for a cup of tea. Some men were trying to erect a mobile stand, and having difficulty, asked Adrian for help. The queue to book in was still long, so we went off to see the next parade (Tucks Parade).
Weighed down with more beads, we came back again to the hotel, where the queue was just as long. We had to join it now, and a trying hour followed, as we waited to slowly move forward in the queue.
There was a nasty moment when one chap (black), who thought that he had a reservation, was accused of pushing the female receptionist. The police (also black) quickly grabbed him, handcuffed him, and treated him very arrogantly. Fortunately they soon released him.
We finally came to our turn, and despite our misgivings, we were given a room. We had just time to view it, but we now went back to the Bam and made a hasty cheese sandwich and poured some wine, before going out to watch the next parade (The Endymion – THE parade to watch), which just happened to pass right by the hotel!
This turned out to be a wonderful event. The atmosphere was great. We quickly befriended 4 chaps from Pennsylvania, who had driven down here in a Winnebago. They gave us lots more beads, to add to the ones we collected from the floats. We particularly enjoyed the jazz bands and a steam tractor. We also befriended a lovely couple, Ruth and her chap, and by the time we got our bags and came up to our room, it was gone 10.00pm. We decided not to hit the town any more tonight, and catch up with diary, photos and bath time! It was strange to turn on the TV and see the parades we had been watching as top news!
Sunday 6th February
What a hotel! Having not got to bed until gone midnight, we weren’t amused to be woken at 2.30 by an unearthly noise which we finally realised was the fire alarm! Getting half dressed and wandering along the corridor (we are on the sixth floor), we were led to believe that it was a false alarm (literally!) Then at 6.20, sound asleep once more, the alarm went again! It didn’t stay on too long this time, but long enough for me to try getting organised to leave, and meaning that we got no more sleep!
My eye, which had been hit by something flying from a float last night, was extremely bloodshot and a bit sore. We returned to the Bam to have some breakfast and got organised to book out by 11.00am.
We walked back into town, but the parades were again much later than advertised. We thought that we’d have something to eat, and went into a fast food place called Krystals, on Bourbon Street. Here we had a most disgusting hamburger, in a soggy soft roll, and were pleased to get out again! It did give us a chance to use the loo (although we didn’t particularly need to), as all eating places say loos for customers only, and Adrian told me later that the cubicle loos in the street were disgusting!
We got ready to watch the first parade of the day – Okeanos, and came to the conclusion that the ‘people watching’, which everyone says is good at Mardi Gras means ‘watch the people go by as you wait for the parade to start’!
The ones that really do amuse us are the young (black) lads, whose fashion seems to be a long white T-shirt and baggy jeans, with the crutch way below the knee! The thing that annoys us is the police cars, whose aim seems to be to make us much noise as possible, with sirens blaring, as they are driven around before the parade starts – sort of ‘look at me, here I am’.
We had another incident, just by where we were waiting, where two lads were handcuffed by police, and held for a long time. It would seem that the police found a gun in their car - not allowed in New Orleans, so an elderly black chap told me. I had to ask him to repeat what he said at least 3 times – we find the locals really hard to understand. The incident caused a lot of interest for the passers by! The religious fanatics were out again, with their placards, and soliloquizing non-stop, although no-one could hear them above the general noise.
When the parade came, it was really good, so loaded with yet more beads, we headed back to sort out the parking for the Bam.
The security cap at the Days Inn carpark had told us that he would give us a parking pass for $30 – we could only park at the small front carpark, because of the height. There were very few spaces here – about 6 - but true to his word, he cleared room for us. We hurriedly fetched the Bam (it was only a few hundred yards away at the other hotel), and gave the man his money. He thought that our motorhome was great.
Then came the fun part, as we now had to book in to Days Inn. The queue, and the waiting time, were as bad as yesterday! It would seem that the ‘housekeeping’ staff have ‘walked out’ and there are insufficient people to clean the rooms. Also people aren’t booking out early enough to allow the rooms to be cleaned. When it came to our turn, after ¾ hour, we were told that there were no ‘King’ rooms ready, but we could have a double room (2 small double beds). This was fine by us, especially as he reduced the price, so we were one of the few people happy, as most were complaining that their rooms weren’t ready.
By now it was 4 o’clock, so we hurried back, and were able to see the end of the second parade - Thoth, and collect yet more beads.
Another parade (Mid City) was due to come along, but we missed that one, as we decided to wander off along Bourbon Street, and find something to eat. Our choice this time was excellent – ‘Felix Seafood’. I ate seafood gumbo, a cajun soup with rice, which I had been wanting to try, and Adrian had prawns and oysters with chips. The atmosphere was congenial, and it was pleasantly uncrowded. The television was on, as today was ‘Superbowl’, like our cup final, between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New Hampshire Patriots . A group of State policemen, presumably drafted in, came in to watch. We laughed at one later, as he stood on duty in front of the crowd, right amongst the bustling parade, and hardly smiled or showed any sign that anything was going on. He looked quite out of his depth.
On our way out we met the couple from Philadelphia we had been sitting with this morning. They had been on a week’s cruise to the Caribbean, and were stopping off for Mardi Gras on their way home.
We had remembered to bring our little sit mats, which made waiting for the last parade – Bacchus - more comfortable. It was quite a long wait (it was due at 5.15 but came at 8.00), but again fun when it came, with enormous extravagant floats, dozens of marching bands and dancing girls. We admired the energy of some, and wondered at the scantily clad ones, as we shivered in the cool evening.
Weighed down with still more beads, we had a sort of wander (!!!) into Bourbon Street, then left it to the youngsters and made our way back. After a relaxing bath, we got to bed after midnight.
Monday 7th February Fat Monday or Lundi Gras
After a good night’s sleep, we woke at 7.45. We breakfasted in the Bam, and after some discussion, decided to book an extra night here for Tuesday.
We left at 10.20 to walk down to the river for our steamer trip. We enjoyed walking through the French Quarter, and arrived just before 11 o’clock to board the steamer Natchez. Our 2 hour trip on the Mississippi included lunch, which was dished up school dinners style, and wasn’t very impressive. Soon after boarding we bought a ‘Creole margarita’ for Adrian and a ‘Cajun Bloody Mary’ for me. The mild, grey day felt really cool as we sat on deck with these, looking across to the New Orleans skyline, which, despite its history and associations, wasn’t particularly pretty! We did see the site of the Battle of New Orleans as we went downstream. The good thing was the small Dixieland jazz band, who played great music, but not for long enough.
We arrived back at 1.30, and were in the right place to explore the French Market and the Flea Market of this historic and atmospheric French Quarter. Things were livening up now, and it was pretty busy. We bought Mardi Gras T-shirts and masks and began making our way back, via Bourbon Street, where crowds on the balconies were throwing beads down on to the crowds below. We had been thrown a nice one this morning, but I was trying to keep out of the way of them now, with my eye still sore from the other evening.
We called in to the little grocery store we had seen yesterday (the only food shop we have seen), and bought a loaf of bread and a small King cake – the traditional Mardi Gras cake.
We arrived back at the hotel at 4 o’clock to ‘recharge our batteries’ – have a cup of tea and a bath – before going back for the evening’s festivities.
As we went to leave again, there was a heavy shower of rain, but it didn’t last long, so we walked along with umbrellas for a bit. We ate a nice meal, in Mena’s, a pleasant little restaurant - fried catfish for Adrian and fried oysters for me, with big, fat, proper chips, and an Amber beer. The Proteus parade was just ending, and it was a long wait for the Orpheus parade. This one had really extravagant floats, but the dancing kids looked really tired, so there was little of the energetic dancing we have seen before. Interesting to note that most dancing groups are either black or white – very few are mixed. Also their hair is always done in a similar style – either pony tail or plaits, or more fancy hairdos.
We chatted during this parade to a couple from Telford, and on our way back met a chap from the north of England, who had the same views as us about American food!
The sweeper was going along the parade route as we walked back, washing all the debris to the side – woe betide anyone getting in the way!
We arrived back at the hotel at midnight, to find that our room still hadn’t been cleaned. The man at the desk offered to take off $25, which suited us!
Tuesday 8th February Mardi Gras
What a start to the day – we woke to find that there was no electricity! That meant no hot water either, and we had to ‘grope around’ in the dark, as our room opens onto a sort of courtyard, so we couldn’t open the curtains to let some light in.
We had breakfast in the Bam, and as we left at 10 o’clock, the power came back on again. It was already busy on the streets, with people swarming in to watch the parades.
We found a position to watch the Zulu parade – a huge parade of impressive floats and more marching bands. We were amongst black people, and didn’t enjoy the arrogant ‘give me’ attitude surrounding us. Weighed down with more beads, we came back to the Bam at bout 1.30 to eat the cheese sandwiches I had made.
Back in our room, we were now able to have a bath, as there was hot water. The day was very muggy and warm (75ºF), so we were glad to refresh ourselves.
Walking back along the road, the Rex parade (with the Carnival King) had passed, and the long Elk parade was in progress. This parade, and the one which followed it Crescent City – the last one – was just made up of floats on huge ‘semis’. All were throwing beads and other things, but no bands or dancing. Again we were among black people, and again we disliked their arrogant attitude. There we no road barriers, and we couldn’t believe the huge trucks turning the corner, with people everywhere trying to grab goodies from them. The police were noticeable by their absence.
There was one short shower of rain. Adrian had gone back for our seats, as we weren’t far from the hotel, and then he went back for an extra umbrella, but it wasn’t needed.
Towards 6 o’clock, we tired of this non stop grabbing, so, loaded with yet more beads, we came back to the Bam to enjoy our own bacon omelette, with the rest of the wine which ‘Betty’ had given us. We could see crowds of people leaving on foot, and traffic at a standstill, but we knew that down in the French Quarter, the night was young.
We left to walk there, and sure enough, Bourbon Street was busy! We jostled along with the crowds, eventually making our way down to the river, where the mist was rolling in, but it was very quiet. We had passed a little trio of musicians – a black woman and two white men – and enjoyed their music, but were disappointed that there were few musicians around, and we have heard virtually no jazz during our whole time here.
We went into a pleasant oyster bar, and enjoyed some open shell and char-grilled oysters with a beer. The numerous restaurants and bars weren’t particularly full.
We made our way back, via Bourbon Street, where there was only one live group in the street – the sort of thing we were expecting to see everywhere. Arriving back at our hotel at 11.00 pm, we found that our room had not been cleaned again, despite us speaking to the contract cleaning woman on our way out. At the desk they agreed to giving us another reduction.
This was our earliest night – we had just gone to sleep, when, because of the power cut this morning, the alarm woke us at midnight! The end of Mardi Gras!
Wednesday 9th February Ash Wednesday
We had breakfast in the Bam, and got ready to book out for 11 o’clock.
We had coffee and the rest of the King cake (I got the baby) in the Bam as we got some of our stuff sorted. It was nearly midday when we headed out of New Orleans towards St. Bernard State Park to camp for the night. With our reduced fee, this only cost $6. We drove to our place and I cooked cheese tacos for lunch, as a sharp shower of rain fell.
After lunch we set off in the Bam to explore a bit to the east. We ended up at Shell Beach, driving along beside a bayou lined with houses and fishing boats to theMississippi River Gulf Outlet Canal. Pelicans on the posts looked very atmospheric.
On the way back to the campsite we stopped for fuel, and once back we walked out for a while through the swampy wetlands. It was lovely apart from the mosquitoes.
As we drove back to our pitch, we realised that there was a washing machine at the site, so we were pleased to be able to get some washing done.
While this was happening, we had a cup of tea, then set about sorting out our horde of beads.
This took a very long time. Away from the razzmatazz of Mardi Gras, they all looked so lovely, but there were far too many to take home.
By the time we had finished, we were well ready for the pancakes which I cooked, having missed having any yesterday.
The evening was very warm.
Thursday 10th February 162 miles
Bright but cold day. Sorted photos for website, had showers and found that back door lock was broken. Got water and dumped, and didn’t leave until lunchtime.
Had decided to drive down beside Mississippi as far as we could, so set off down eastern side. Couldn’t see much because of levees, but drove up on to one to have lunch of boiled egg.
Took free ferry across to western side after following road as far as it went, and round in a circle.
Drove right down to ‘Venice’, on western side. Lots of fishing boats, and oil industry support (including many helicopters), then began return journey. Stopped at Fort Jackson, built in 1822 to protect the lower river, and site of 12 day siege during Civil war in 1862.