We slept quite well last night, though this morning we were awoken by a noisy train at 06:00 followed by probably the first take-off at the airport at 06:10, these were followed by another noisy train at 06:20 and a passing Harley Davidson. As a consequence we paid an early visit to the communal shower block, our first in quite some time. It was a lovely morning with cool clear air. We were keen to hit the road and head out of town; we wanted to be clear before the B52 bombers arrived to improve things.
The route out of town was quite straightforward as the campground was well situated for the west side and Plantation Alley our chosen route to Natchez, Mississippi. The Alley was an interesting mixture of former plantations now open to the public, fields of sugar cane and other arable crops, the Mississippi River just over the levee (dyke), sugar cane factories and large ugly chemical plants along the river. It’s as if the poor old Mississippi has been used, abused and polluted for the past 2300 miles since it starting heading south from Minnesota and here was man's final chance to pollute it before it was lost to the open sea. How glad I am that I don’t eat seafood, nobody is going to convince me that anything that’s lived in that polluted water is ‘healthy eating’.
The plantation we had a look round was the Creole Laura Plantation www.LauraPlantation.com which was a very interesting, if pricey tour of the house, outbuildings and gardens. It gave us another insight in to the lives of masters and slaves. We then carried on down Plantation Alley coming across Oak Alley Plantation www.OakAlleyPlantation.com where we stopped to take a few pictures of the driveway to the house lined with large mature oak trees, and the Mississippi River just over the levee at that point. I was hoping we could get a Creole or Cajun lunch there but unfortunately we would have first had to buy tickets to look around the house and then paid again in the restaurant, and I certainly wasn’t that hungry.
Eventually we passed most of the hideous chemical factories before crossing the Mississippi and heading through Baton Rouge, which, from a distance, looked one of the ugliest places on God’s earth. Bad enough to make residents pay almost anything for a vacation in Johnson Valley, California. I bet the chemical factories even have a ‘No Smoking’ policy for their workforce in case it’s bad for their health whilst pumping out who knows what from their chimneys and waste pipes.
Onward we plodded to our final destination, a Wal-Mart Superstore at Natchez, Mississippi where we’ll spend the night before joining the Natchez Trace Parkway for a couple of days up to Tupelo before turning left and heading across country to Alvarado, Texas.
LOCATION TONIGHT: Wal-Mart Super, 314 Sgt S. Prentiss Drive, Natchez, MS 39120.