Wednesday 28th Oct – New Orleans to Montgomery – 354 miles

My time in New Orléans had come to an end and it was time to hit the road. Finally the rain had stopped enjoyed a beautiful morning with bright blue skies, which made a lovely change from grey. Left New Orléans with a smile on my face as I got another free coffee, no idea how coffee shops make money here. If you ask for a plain black coffee there is a good chance it will be on the house, unless I have developed a charm when ordering coffee I am not aware of.

I left on highway 90 quickly out of the city into the green marshes of the Bayou Savage National Wildlife Refuge and then across a long bridge to the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area. Both areas are very quiet and offered great views while going over huge bridges.

The houses were well spaced out and prepared for flooding as they all stood on large stilts with a boat docked nearby or stored in-between the stilts.
I passed into the state of Mississippi around this time, which I would drive across it’s most southern part in the next couple of hours.

After coming through these two areas as and over the Bay of St Louis, the road ran along the seafront with white sands and great views out to the Gulf of Mexico. There were grand houses of mainly colonial style with large wrap around porches lining the road on the other side of the road. The occupant would have some greats views of the sea front.

There was a battle going on as the locals fought sand continually to stop it making it across the road. I saw loads of people, plus sweepers and diggers loading trucks up with the offending sand all along the seafront road.

It was a beautiful drive, but a little slow with one lane and a 40 mph limit plus lots of traffic lights. At Biloxi I hit the interstate 10 and then the 65 for a blast north into Alabama, before coming back off to smaller roads. The scenery changed quickly with rolling hills and the roads flanked by high trees, the blue skies were no more as the clouds returned. The tree leaves were just starting change into autumnal colours as I drove along empty roads.

Alabama seemed pretty sparsely populated, with out the mega farms of Texas, but with miles of rolling forest. The pick-up dominated as vehicle of choice, almost every time with a large burgundy letter A in italics on the back of the car. Alabama don’t have a NFL football team but they do have pretty much the best college football team in the country and people are fanatical about supporting them.

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When near towns on this ride the amount of billboards for lawyers was higher than I had seen before, a very untrustworthy looking person with heavily whitened teeth telling me to call now. I think designed by the same company who made the second most popular advert, politicians imploring me to choose or vote for them, equally untrustworthy.

A very enjoyable long drive today but after three nights out in a row I was knackered so didn’t explore Montgomery. Where there are motels, there are fast foot joints, I had a choice of about 10 restaurants within a short walk just popping my head out of the door.

I went for Klaxbys for some chicken as I hadn’t heard of the chain before. As I made my order the girl behind the counter cut me off halfway off with “you sure do talk funny” and attracted attention of some of her colleagues so they could all listen to me order together. The chicken meal was a little disappointing.

I spent the evening trying to watch TV but finding it almost impossible, when I turned it on I flicked through 18 channels before I found anything that wasn’t an advert. Most of the TV that was on was just people shouting at each other. Didn’t matter what about politics, cooking, sports just find a couple of people with different opinions and get them to shout at one another for 5 mins before we can go back to more adverts. For a country that makes some fantastic TV it’s day-to-day stuff is awful.

I also wanted to check the lyrics of a song that I had heard a lot when in Louisiana, Calling Baton Rouge by Garth Brooks. Whenever it came on everyone went nuts. While it’s a catchy tune the lyrics they seemed a little dubious. It didn’t really sound like a heartwarming love song to me it sounded like a song about a drunken trucker with a possible statutory rape case on the near horizon. I think the lyrics confirm this.

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