After Edie got off to school, I did the very important task of cleaning a load of laundry. Possibilities can very grow with clean clothes. El showed me around Delta State, which was really cool because not only does she work there, but so does John and so does her mom. And as she works at the archives it also meant I got to see some exhibits. Again, a little sad I was missing John by leaving that morning, I headed south because the Big Easy was only supposed to turn into more of a traffic jam.
Now to really see the US and all the agriculture it was fitting I got to see so many dust croppers. In fact I made sure the outside vents were off, because while I set out to really see the US, the actual goal of the day was seeing the grand ole Mississippi. In the delta its interesting to see because it is flat and wide and I would say a bit brown at some of the places I stopped. But its grandness was not lost on this. After stopping near Greenville, I decided I also must go to Vicksburg. I know when you think of me Vicksburg is the next thing that pops into your mind. Well in fact in Middle School I had to do a project on Vicksburg, that at the time seemed very far away- though an important battle (as battles go, turns out I haven't really been a fan of wars my whole life.) Well, I was already behind schedule, but I thought I'll go to the park and just drive through real quick and be on my way. Turns out the loop is not really a real quick thing to do. And luckily I had stopped at the visitors center, even more lucky I have my Dad's park pass so he saved me some serious money for something I didn't see much of. So I drove through the town, went down to the river walk, drove past the Coca Cola site (while Coca Cola is an amazing concept that is bad for the worlds teeth, I actually have so issues with coorporate responsibility- you really are learning a lot about me today, ehh?), and then stopped before getting on the highway for one last view of the Mississippi.
I think it may be due to my brother, or the fact the we drive over the Potomac in the DC area so much, but in fact I think bridges help me understand and relate to rivers, especially if I am not crossing them or in a boat. So with the last view I got the bridge image in and then headed on my way.
I was still considerably behind schedule and there was no way I was making it to the first parade of the evening in New Orleans. So I continued (and in the south they drive fast, so it was a pretty steady pace until turning onto I-10 with everyone else going into New Orleans the friday night before Mardi Gras. Now please understand it was also sunset, and have you ever seen swamps and the bayou at sunset. The combination of colors and trees may be one of the most peaceful possible in the natural world, but still laced with excitement. This was compounded by two things, that fact that every new thing on a road trip has a sense of wonder and builds excitement, and the fact that there was nowhere safe to pull over and take photos...
A year before was my first trip to New Orleans with a group from AU- and how I wish they could have been with me this time. However, I think a caravan of three cars would have been quite difficult in the traffic. Now going into this city while a parade is going on, it is important to listen to your dear friend that lives there and get off at the right exit. It gets complicated when the roads start going all over the place and the traffic is going all of the place, but almost in an opposite motion. So I know a little bit about getting around New Orleans, but it is really hard to get around parades. Luckily between my GPS system (normally trev trev, but for this important night my mother looking on google from Arlington, with me on speaker phone describing where I thought the parade route was.) and me I got to Sara's apartment and was greeted by my friend Matt (who doubles as Sara's boyfriend). And then put the car in her buildings garage safely locked away as Mardi Gras took its full form.