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2000-2010
John B. Deitz

Build: 100521.2

Day 14
Days 1-3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15 Day 16 Days 17-18

Thursday, 11 August 2005.  Weatherford, TX to Vicksburg, Mississippi.

The trip to Vicksburg was HOT and muggy. 100 F most of the afternoon and while not as long as the day before, the weather took a lot out of us.

We stayed on I-20 through Ft. Worth and Dallas.  The traffic moved freely even though we were traveling through on the tail-end of the morning rush.  Unfortunately, by staying on I-20, we passed through to the south of the downtown areas, and Mike later commented that we hadn't seen any of the famous Dallas skyline.  If I had looked more carefully at my travel plans, I would have realized that we should have transferred to I-30 through the center cities, then back onto I-20.  Oh well.

Finally (after 230 miles) we left Texas and arrived in northern Louisiana.  Texas may be a wonderful state, but there is just a little too much of it.  Total trip across Texas was about 830 miles.  Northern Louisiana is mostly forested with some farmland, and lots of rivers, bayous, and lakes.  It's a bit boring to just ride through on the Interstate -- no vistas, mostly just trees.

Mississippi River Bridge at Vicksburg, MS
Mississippi River Bridge (Old US Hwy 80 and Railroad) at Vicksburg, MS.  Behind it (to south) is I-20 bridge.

After we settled in at our motel in Vicksburg (across the street from the main entrance to the Vicksburg National Military Park), we rode around the city and had Mississippi farm bred catfish for dinner. Very good. But the City of Vicksburg was a bit disappointing. I expected more antebellum survivors. While there were a few fine homes, overall the city had the appearance of a poor dowager.  I guess I should have realized that much of Vicksburg was destroyed during the Civil War, and that after the war it continued to have misfortunes as the Mississippi River changed course and its role as a river port declined.

My image of Vicksburg has always been colored by an experience as a youth.  While in high school, I was a member of the Key Club (a Kiwanis youth group), and attended a convention in Chicago (my first substantive solo trip).  While there I met a fellow delegate from Vicksburg, and became quite friendly with him.  He was very proud of his city and its Southern heritage.  For a while we corresponded.  But this was still the era of segregation, and I'm afraid I was Yankee liberal arrogant.  Only later did I come to realize how my own home town (East Aurora, NY) was equally segregated and much more subtly bigoted.

Tomorrow, we take a ride through the Vicksburg Civil War military park.

Distance:  About  425 miles Accommodation: Econolodge (no WiFi) Cost:  $58.07

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23 October 2007