Thursday, August 4, 2011

Gumbo on the Road - The Finale (A-Town STOMP!)

We finally made it to Atlanta. Thanks to our great time yesterday, we were able to make it through the South in one night. Making our way through towns like Tyler, TX, Chunky, MS and Leeds, AL in between major cities like Dallas, Shreveport, Pearl, Vicksburg, Jackson and Tuscaloosa.

I don't have a lot of pics since I missed most of the scenic sights driving so I'll just share what I have with some thoughts afterwards.
The road scenery in Canton, TX. For the most part, the roads were much greener today than driving through the deserts, especially driving through the forests of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

You know the dreaded feeling of compromising your beliefs to get by?  Today did that with eating McDonald's . My pride got clogged like my arteries but it was better than starving. 

The Shreveport Water Tower. Closest border crossing picture I got all trip since I was driving for most of them.

The Independence Bowl in Shreveport. 
Stepping outside in Brandon, Mississippi, we were greeted by a nice dose of sauna-like humidity. Believe it or not, it was actually a relief from the dry heat we felt in Texas. Nothing compares to the best sight of perhaps the whole trip.

Crossing the Louisiana-Mississippi border means getting to see the Mississippi River. We saw the Rio Grande Tuesday but this is a whole, different monster. It was wide and beautiful. Just crossing it made me feel  privileged to have seen it and imagine all the stories it could tell. Then crossing into Dixieland, we paused briefly for some quiet reflection. Mississippi's got a lot of dark history with my ancestors as does Alabama.

There was plenty of darkness going from Jackson to Tuscaloosa. Almost like you could feel the ghosts of the past mixed with a willingness to not change into the future. I felt that in Vicksburg knowing that's the city where the tide of the Civil War turned along with Gettysburg.

But same time, I was happy to find the sports connections. I passed an exit for Philadelphia, the town where 3 civil rights activists were murdered and the home of the legendary Marcus Dupree. I saw Tuscaloosa where Roll Tide is the official greeting and got gas in Leeds, birthplace of Charles Barkley. Tyler gave us the great Earl Campbell.

As I drove the last leg into Georgia listening to BIG K.R.I.T, Elzhi and Camp Lo's latest mixtapes, I realized exactly what my uncle and I have done. We finished my 1st cross country trip and I got to soak in some great wisdom/advice from him along the way. I'll save more of that from my full trip recap but as I try to sleep with these thunderstorms in the distance, I'm doing it with a smile. Praise God for this great experience and I know I'll have time to reflect on it for weeks to come.

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